Each region of Italy has different culinary delights to offer. The traditional recipes of each region are passed down from one generation to the next. The location often influences the types of food eaten, both in terms of the availability of ingredients and of cultural influences that have impacted on food over history. The Campania is heavily influenced by Neapolitan cooking traditions and the coastal areas of the region often feature freshly caught fish and seafood. Here are some of the best traditional dishes of the Campania region.
1. Caprese Salad
This light and fresh dish brings together just four ingredients; tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil. The colors of the Italian flag are replicated in a Caprese Salad and this dish is served either as an appetizer, an entrée or as a side order.
2. Neapolitan Pizza
The pizzas of Naples are famous and it is said that Naples is the birthplace of this well-known Italian dish. Although there are many different varieties to try, you can’t beat the simplicity and flavor of a Margherita pizza and these are served in pizzerias across Campania.
3. Totani e Patate
This delicious dish combines squid and potatoes. It is particularly popular on the Amalfi Coast. So, if you visit one of the restaurants in this area, it is highly likely to feature on the menu.
4. Spaghetti con le Vongole
If you are staying anywhere along the coast of Campania or on the islands Capri or Ischia, it is likely that you will come across this dish on the menu. It is a simple pasta dish that combines spaghetti, cream, clams, parsley, garlic, and olive oil.
5. Risotto Alla Pescatora
This risotto dish can include any type of seafood. Restaurants along the coast will usually use the catch of the day. Popular ingredients are clams, mussels, shrimp and squid.
6. Parmigiana Melanzane
In Campania, mozzarella is an important ingredient that is used in many dishes. Parmigiana Melanzane consists of thinly sliced and fried eggplant layered with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil. It is then baked in the oven.
Polpette is a type of meatball that is traditional in Campania and they are accompanied by a tomato sauce. In Campania, pasta is served as a separate course, unlike many other countries that serve meatballs on top of pasta and coated in sauce.
8. Pesce all’Acqua Pazza
This literally translates as fish cooked in crazy water, but the water isn’t crazy at all. This traditional dish involves simmering the fish in water that is flavored with garlic, parsley, and tomatoes.
- Image 1: Caprese [Maxpixel]
- Image 2, 6, 4, 5: Neapolitan Pizza, Melanzane, Spaghetti, Risotto, Aqua Pazza [Wikimedia Commons]
- Image 7: Polpette [Pixabay]