Italian Meal Structure

Light Italian Meal

Many times you’ll hear Italians say that every day they eat just a primo and a secondo, when they invite friends they prepare also an antipasto or a dolce,  at the restaurant you can nowadays order just a secondo and a contorno. All of this talking is so easy for Italians but not so common in other countries. Let’s specify  a little more about the courses:

APERITIVO

 The aperitivo is usually served when the guests are still standing up waiting for their seats. It  consists of spumante, prosecco,  or white wine, small dishes of olives and  nuts 

 ANTIPASTI

 Many times it consists of cold cuts such as salami, mortadella, or prosciutto, small fishes or cheese slices.Then crostini /tartine: bread with various sauces or small bruschettas as a simple appetizer or more complicate small portion of vegetables or other.

 PRIMI

 Primi is the first course, it may be Risotto, gnocchi, soup, fresh pasta with eggs such as tagliatelle, ravioli, tortellini and lasagne, or  dry pasta like spaghetti, penne and farfalle with an infinity of different sauces or soups with a large variety of vegetables.

Primo Piatto-First Course

SECONDI

 In this course, you will encounter different meat or seafood options. You may have chicken, beef, pork, lamb, or turkey prepared in a variety of different ways,  a roast or grilled meat or meat cooked in wine. As seafood, you might find fish, shrimp, lobster.

Secondo Piatto & Contorno

 CONTORNI

 Contorni dishes are served alongside secondi dishes. Common contorni dishes are vegetable-based, whether raw or cooked. They are served on a different plate than the secondi, to preserve the flavors.As a contorno, you can have a simple salad with lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes or a more complex dish such as a savory cake

DOLCE

 Dessert /Pudding include tiramisu, pannacotta, sorbet or gelato, some Biscotti di Prato with Vin santo, cannoli, cassata and many more.

Dessert-Dolce-Pudding

 CAFFE

 A strong espresso is served after dolce, often served very warm. You can add “two drops” of milk and sugar. Cappuccino is not an option for Italians.

 DIGESTIVO  AMMAZZACAFFE’

Walnut Liqueur

 To complete the meal the “coffee killer “is perfect: some grappa, nocino, limoncello, Amaro,  which aids with digestion.Buon Appetito !

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