How to pronounce Italian food

Published in: News 04/12/2020

Who doesn't love Italian food? The French perhaps... But sometimes ordering our favorite Italian food can be incredibly daunting. No fear: this guide will teach you how to pronounce all of your favorite Italian dishes.


Pizza margherita - standard pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella.

Pizza capricciosa - pizza margherita with baked ham (prosciutto cotto), mushrooms, artichokes, olives and basil.

Pizza quattro stagioni - literally meaning "four seasons". It has the same ingredients as the capricciosa but they are placed in four different sections, each representing one of the four seasons.


Bruschetta - the classic grilled bread that is rubbed with garlic and served with fresh tomatoes and olive oil.

Caprese - a fresh salad made with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil.

Carpaccio - thin raw meat or fish slices served with lemon, olive oil and parmesan cheese.

Focaccia - flat oven baked bread that is similar to the texture of pizza.

Funghi - mushrooms in Italian.


Burrata - creamy cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream.

Gorgonzola - veined blue cheese.

Mascarpone - a type of cheese that is often used in desserts, such as tiramisù or cheesecakes.

Mozzarella - semi-soft cow or buffalo milk cheese.

Parmigiano reggiano - parmesan in Italian. This is one of the two types of parmesan, the other is Grana padano.

Pecorino - hard cheese made from goat's milk.

Ricotta - whey cheese that can be made from cow, sheep, got or buffalo milk.

Stracciatella - soft cheese made from buffalo milk and cream. It is very similar to the inside of the burrata.

Taleggio - semi-soft cheese with a strong aroma but mild taste made from cow's milk.

Cold Cuts and Cured Meats

Bresaola - air-dried and aged salted beef.

Capocollo - often known as gabagool in the US. It is a pork's neck cold cut.

Guanciale - cured meat made from pork cheeks.

Mortadella - large pork sausage and luncheon meat that is often called Bologna outside of Italy.

Prosciutto - ham in Italian.

Prosciutto cotto - baked ham.

Prosciutto crudo - dry-cured ham that is served uncooked.


Al dente - when pasta is served firm to the bite, it is cooked al dente.

Agnolotti - stuffed pasta often served with a roasted meat filling. 

Bucatini - like spaghetti but thicker and with a hole through the middle.

Cannelloni - cylindrical type of lasagna served with a filling and sauce on top.

Fettuccine - thick flat noodles made of egg and flower.

Fusilli - short helicoid shaped pasta.

Gnocchi - tecnicamente non pasta.

Lasagna - thin layers of pasta with fillings that include mozzarella, ragù and tomato sauce.

Linguine - a form of flat spaghetti.

Maccheroni - short tubular shaped pasta.

Orecchiette - literally means small ears, which is also what they are shaped like.

Paccheri - large tubular pasta.

Pappardelle - fresh egg-based pasta, like fettuccine but wider.

Penne - short cut pasta with cylindrical shape.

Ravioli - filled pasta that can have a number of different fillings.

Spaghetti - long and thin cylindrical pasta.

Tagliatelle - flat noodles similar to fettuccine.


Amatriciana - sauce made with guanciale, pecorino and tomato sauce.

Arrabbiata - spicy sauce made with tomato sauce, red chili peppers and garlic.

Bolognese - technically called ragù in Italy. It is made with tomato sauce and minced meat.

Carbonara - sauce that is traditionally made with egg yolks, pecorino and guanciale.

Pesto - sauce made from crushed basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and parmesan.

Ragù - the correct term for bolognese sauce.


Panini - literally "sandwiches" in Italian. Panino is the singular form of panini.

Piadina - thin Italian flatbread made with a variety of cold cuts and cheeses.


Risotto - creamy rice dish that is cooked with broth and can be made with numerous other ingredients. It is the primary way rice is cooked in Italy.

Soups and Stews

Cacciucco - fish stew from Tuscany.

Minestrone - thick soup made with vegetables and sometimes with rice or pasta as well.

Meat Dishes

Braciole - thin slices of meat rolled with cheese and breadcrumbs and fried. Braciole are also a type of meat cut.

Saltimbocca - veal wrapped with prosciutto crudo and sage and sometimes cooked in white wine.


Gelato - ice cream in Italian.

Tiramisù - famous coffee flavored desert.

Zabaglione - a kind of light custard.

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