How to pronounce Italian food

Published in: News 05/01/2022

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

How to pronounce the traditional Italian pizzas

Pizza margherita is a standard pizza with just tomato sauce and mozzarella as toppings.

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

Pizza quattro stagioni, literally translated from Italian means four seasons. This pizza has the same ingredients as the pizza capricciosa, but they are placed in four different sections, each quarter representing one of the four seasons.

The correct pronunciation of all the Italian appetizers

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

Caprese is a fresh salad made with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil. Nothing more.

Carpaccio is a dish made with thin raw meat slices served with lemon, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Arugula leaves can be added.

Focaccia is an oven baked flatbread, with olive oil and salt as toppings.

Pronounce all the Italian Cheeses 

Burrata is a cow milk cheese (or buffalo milk cheese) made as a mozzarella and containing a creamy filling of stracciatella (described below).

Gorgonzola is a veined blue cheese. 

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

Mozzarella is semi-soft cow or buffalo milk cheese.

Parmigiano Reggiano is the real Italian Parmesan produced in Reggio EmiliaModenaParma and Bologna. Similar to this famous cheese is Grana padano, from the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardia, Piemonte and Trentino-Alto Adige.

Pecorino is a hard cheese made from sheep's milk.

Ricotta is a whey cheese that can be made from cow, sheep, goat or buffalo milk.

Stracciatella is a creamy cheese made from buffalo or cow milk. It is used to fill the burrata.

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

Learn how to order the best Italian cold cuts and cured meats

Bresaola is an air-dried and aged salted beef cut.

Capocollooften known as gabagool in the US, is a cold cut made from the pork neck.

Guanciale is a cured meat made from pork cheeks.

Mortadella is a large pork sausage that is called Bologna in some places.

Prosciutto is the name of the generic ham in Italian. You need to specify if you want it cotto or crudo (cooked or raw).

Prosciutto cotto is a cooked ham traditionally made in Italy.

Prosciutto crudo is a dry-cured ham.

Pronouncing all kind of Italian pasta

Al dente is an expression particularly loved by Italians: it is pronounced when pasta is served firm to the bite.

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

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

Cannelloni are a cylindrical type of pasta prepared as a lasagna: it is served with a filling and Besciamella sauce on top.

Fettuccine are thick flat noodles made with eggs and flour.

Fusilli are a variety of pasta, usually called rotini in the United States.

Gnocchi are not pasta, technically speaking: they are small potato dumplings. But they still are a first course, and we didn't know where to place them in this list.

Lasagna is a dish prepared with thin layers of pasta, each layer covered with Ragù, Besciamella, Parmesan cheese and, sometimes, Mozzarella.

Linguine are a sort of flat spaghetti. Linguine, and not linguini, is the plural of linguina.

Maccheroni are a short tubular type of pasta.

Orecchiette literally means small ears: the name is due to the shape of this kind pasta from Puglia which resemble to ears.

Paccheri are a large tubular type of pasta.

Pappardelle are fresh egg-based pasta. They look like fettuccine, but they are wider.

Penne are short cut pasta with a cylindrical shape.

Ravioli are filled pasta that can be prepared with different fillings.

Spaghetti are long and thin cylindrical pasta.

Tagliatelle are flat noodles similar to fettuccine.

How to pronounce all types of Italian sauces

Amatriciana is a sauce made with guanciale, pecorino and tomato sauce.

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

Bolognese is an Italian sauce, but in Italy it is called simply Ragù. It is made with minced onions sautéd, then tomato sauce and minced meat are added.

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

Pesto is a sauce from Liguria made from crushed basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and Parmesan.

Ragù is the correct Italian term for bolognese sauce.

Learn how to order Italian sandwiches

Panini is the Italian term to translate sandwiches. Panino is the singular form of panini.

Piadina is a thin Italian flatbread served with a variety of cold cuts and soft cheeses.

How to pronounce Italian rice dishes

Risotto is a creamy rice dish which is cooked with broth and then various ingredients are added. 

Pronounce correctly Italian soups and stews

Cacciucco is a fish stew from Tuscany.

Minestrone is a thick soup made with mixed vegetables. Sometimes rice or short cut pasta can be added.

Pronounce meat dishes in Italian

Braciole are thin slices of meat rolled, covered in breadcrumbs and fried. Braciole is also the name of a meat cut.

Saltimbocca are thin slices of veal wrapped with prosciutto crudo and sage and cooked in white wine.

Learn how to pronounce the Italian dessert

Gelato is the ice cream in Italy.

Pandoro is a traditional Christmas cake.

Panettone is a traditional Italian dessert commonly served during the Christmas period. It contains raisins and candied fruit.

Tiramisù is a famous coffee flavored dessert.

Zabaglione is a kind of light custard made with eggs and sugar.

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