5 Dishes to Try That Aren’t Pizza

It goes without saying that pizza will always remain a top contender among the world’s most popular foods. Truth be told, we have no qualms about eating it every night. But, sometimes it’s fun and necessary to venture out of the confines of our typical takeout order. After all, pizza and spaghetti barely scratch the surface of Italian delicacies and dishes. And, even though leaving your cheesy comfort zone is never easy, your taste buds will appreciate the variety. Here are 5 Italian dishes to try that aren’t pizza (but are still equally delicious).

1. Gnocchi

dishes to try that aren’t pizza Gnocchi

If you want to have a taste of true Italian cuisine, this dish has all of the right moves. Rich and hearty, gnocchi is regarded as one of Italy’s most important dishes. It features only 5 simple ingredients: potatoes, flour, ricotta, Parmesan, and egg. authentic gnocchi melts in your mouth and is light enough to endure a heavier sauce. At Spizzico, our potato dumplings are made from scratch using our Neapolitan family recipe. Even more, we make it fresh every single day with 5 sauces to choose from:

  • Caprese oven-roasted tomato sauce & fresh mozzarella
  • Slow-cooked meat sauce
  • Tradizionali tomato sauce, grated Parmigiano & fresh basil
  • Creamy gorgonzola cheese sauce
  • Casarecci meatballs, fresh mozzarella & crumbled sausage sauce

2. Antipasto Tradizionale

Without a doubt, the dish that speaks for Italian cuisine most is antipasto. Typically marked as the first course of an Italian meal, the literal translation for antipasto is “before the meal”, not “before the pasta” as may be suggested. With origins in medieval Italy, the sweet and savory finger-food will get your appetite going before the main entree.

Primarily served on a large platter, the colorful display of antipasto features various slices of cured meats, hard cheeses, and marinated/grilled vegetables. Some antipasto platters include prosciutto, salami, and mortadella meats, mozzarella, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses, as well as marinated olives, preserved peppers, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes.

3. Penne Arrabiata

Featuring a mighty yet delicious kick, this Italian classic is not for the faint of heart. With origins in Rome, Arrabiata (which literally translates to “angry” in Italian) is a spicy sauce featuring garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers. Also, thanks to its simplicity and tastiness, Penne Arrabiata is famous worldwide. Of course, you can always try Spizzico’s recipe featuring a spicy oven-roasted tomato sauce and topped with Parmigiano.

4. Polpette

Polpette, AKA “meatballs” in Italian, is one of the most popular recipes in Italy. As a classic starter meal, Italian meatballs include ground beef or veal. Also, they can be fried, steamed, or baked in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil.

Moreover, did you know that spaghetti and meatballs is a uniquely American dish that doesn’t really exist in Italy? It’s true. In most Italian regions, people enjoy meatballs without marinara sauce and pasta, as it’s plenty delicious on its own. So, go ahead and try Spizzico’s delicious homemade polpette starter with crostini bread today.

5. Tomato Pie

Although it may seem like just another fancy word for pizza, tomato pie is quite its own unique concoction. And, while it may be an Italian-American creation, it’s still worthy of an honorable mention given the dish’s perceived roots in Sicily. In fact, South Philadelphia, where many 20th-century Italian immigrants settled, claims it’s the nation’s epicenter of tomato pie.

Tomato pie typically features a thick, focaccia-like dough baked into rectangular pans with tomato sauce and seasonings and often little to no cheese. Interestingly, it’s common to let the pie cool and serve it at room temperature. Spizzico’s creation calls for extra zesty tomato sauce with ‘lotsa’ garlic, olive oil, and spices, spread over a bed of fresh mozzarella.

Taste the Flavors of Italy at Spizzico

Start expanding your Italian cuisine palate today. At Spizzico, we offer a diverse menu of authentic Italian foods including gluten-free meals, handcrafted pizzas, pasta, gnocchi, and more. Contact us today at 443-214-5121 to place your order. We have locations in both Arnold and Edgewater, Maryland.