When it comes to Italian food, I couldn’t name a person who’d say that they don’t love traditional Italian pasta dishes. The beauty of Italian cuisine is, that everything is simple, high quality, and delicious. Below you’re going to find the best Italian pasta dishes from which some are regional, but most of them are to be found in the whole country. A list of Italian pasta dishes selected for all pasta lovers!
List of Italian pasta dishes – 10 best Italian pasta dishes
If you’re looking for some of the most famous Italian pasta dishes, I’ve got some good news! Below we’ve made a list of the most authentic Italian pasta dishes that you could find in Italy! There are some with meat, some that are great for vegans and vegetarians as well! Thanks to the fact that Italians rarely eat meat with pasta, most of the dishes are actually meat-free! See our selection of Italian pasta dishes names and stories below!
1. Pasta alla Carbonara
Who would’ve thought that one of the best Italian pasta dishes that make the first of the list of Italian pasta dishes is made by nome more than 5 simple ingredients that usually everyone has at home? Well, at least in Italy we do. The Pasta alla Carbonara is originating in Rome during the second world war. Carbonara is the best dish to try in Roman restaurants!
At that time, during the war and with Fascism ruling, Italians were living in poverty. Eggs and guanciale (or pancetta) were easier to find on the market, but the parmesan and pecorino cheese were also available, rarely, on the black market. A traditional Carbonara is made of eggs, guanciale (or pancetta = bacon), pecorino cheese, spaghetti, peppers, and some parmesan on top. It’s a really cheap dish, but Carbonara is definitely one of the best traditional Italian pasta dishes!
2. Pasta with Pesto
One of the most delicious and most famous Italian pasta dishes out there is the pasta al pesto. The interesting fact is, that this is also one of the fastest pasta dishes to make. Even if you’re making your own pesto at home, you can make it by the time the pasta is cooked.
Pasta with pesto made to the Italian pasta dishes names list because it is indeed one of the most popular, easy, and healthy pasta dishes ever. The pesto is made of two matured cheese types, Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano, along with fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic. A perfect choice for a light dinner, or lunch.
3. Pasta all’Arrabbiata
Pasta all’Arrabbiata is one of my personal favorite authentic Italian pasta dishes that’s also originating from Rome. Arrabbiata means angry, and it’s called angry pasta because it has spicy pepper inside the sauce. I personally adore the name of this dish, and the dish as well.
Pasta all’Arrabbiata is one of the best Italian pasta dishes, and it is really popular in different sides of the country. However, since people prefer eating regional food, you’ll most likely find this dish in Rome everywhere, but in other regions just rarely.
A quick and easy dish with spicy peppers, tomato, some garlic, and parsley. Perfect for those who love spicy food! If you’re in Rome, make sure to check the best restaurants in Trastevere, so you could try this authentic dish in an authentic neighborhood.
4. Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi
If there’s one dish I must choose from this list of amazing Italian pasta dishes, is definitely the Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi. It’s actually not even a pasta dish, since the gnocchi is made of potatoes, but well, it couldn’t miss the list.
I wouldn’t put it in the category of classic Italian pasta dishes, but it is indeed one of the most delicious things to try! For those who love cheese, this is a great alternative for authentic Italian pasta dishes. Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi is made with Grgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Fontina, and Emmentaler.
Delicious, cheesy, and super soft and creamy dish that we all love. We’ve also got the recipe for this one so make sure to check it out! Also, you may find alternatives to the four cheese gnocchi, like gnocchi with gorgonzola and nuts.
5. Pappardelle ai Funghi Porcini
Pappardelle ai Funghi Porcini is one of the best seasonal dishes you could make, with fresh Porcini mushrooms. It is definitely one of the best Italian pasta dishes, and it is another on the list of Italian pasta dishes that are really quick to make!
When you’re looking for traditional Italian pasta dishes with Porcini mushrooms, this is a great pick. Risotto with Porcini is also delicious, and the best thing to eat especially in Tuscany, but the version with pasta is just as great! If you can’t find Porcini mushrooms, you can make this recipe with other types of mushrooms as well. What you need for a dish like this is garlic, mushrooms, cooked ham, parsley, butter, and white wine.
6. Tagliatelle al Ragu
Ah, there’s nothing better than Tagliatelle al Ragu! The ragu is what you know as Bolognese sauce. Here in Italy, we call it simply ragu, since it’s not done just in Bologna, therefore it doesn’t take part with this name on the list of Italian pasta dishes names.
You might want to eat Tagliatelle (or other pasta) al ragu in Florence, where they’d call it ragu Toscano, or Ragu Fiorentino. The ragu is made more or less the same way all around Italy, and it’s used for different dishes, beyond pasta.
It’s used as we know for Lasagne, but in Arancini as well. Pasta al ragu is definitely one of the most amazing Italian pasta dishes you must try in Italy! Overseas, using the Bolognese name it is one of the most famous Italian pasta dishes. We’ve covered the ragu as well as some other traditional Italian pasta recipes.
7. Cappellacci di Zucca al Ragu
Cappellacci di Zucca al ragu is one of the traditional Italian pasta dishes in Ferrara Italy. This type of pasta is very similar to the tortellini, the only difference is that it’s bigger in size. I chose this to make it on the list of the best Italian pasta dishes because I honestly never tried any dish with pumpkins that taste better.
The Cappellacci are filled with pumpkins, and after they get cooked, they are served with the above-mentioned ragu, that’s made with minced meat and tomatoes. At serving, you may sprinkle some Parmigiano Reggiano on top, and it will be just perfect! A dish that you must try if you’re visiting Ferrara!
8. Bucatini all’Amatriciana
Bucatini all amatriciana is somewhat similar to our other pasta on the list of Italian pasta dishes, the pasta all arrabbiata. This dish qualifies as one of the classic Italian pasta dishes, that’s again easy to make, and this one is spicy as well! In the above picture, the Amatriciana is made with Spaghetti, but Bucatini is more preferred for this dish.
Bucatini are like spaghetti, they are just thicker. For this one of the authentic Italian pasta dishes, you don’t need much time either. Also, the ingredients are very few and it’s easy to make it. Bucatini all amatriciana needs tomatoes, parsley, white wine, guanciale, and in some places, they add also olives to it. It also has spicy pepper inside, so another good pick for those who love spicy dishes!
9. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
It wouldn’t be fair if I mentioned the Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi, that’s not even one of the best Italian pasta dishes, since it’s not pasta, and I don’t mention Cacio e Pepe. When you’re looking for famous Italian pasta dishes names, you will definitely spot the Cacio e Pepe, especially in Rome.
Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe is one of the most amazing Italian pasta dishes. You need just three ingredients to make it, and it is indeed amazing! To make Cacio e Pepe you need black pepper, pasta, and Pecorino Romano cheese. It’s suggested to add on top Parmigiano Reggiano as well though! It’s a quick, but tricky dish to make. Those who love cheese will definitely fall in love with this amazing one!
10. Spaghetti alle Vongole
I left Spaghetti alle Vongole as the last one since I personally don’t like seafood. However, Spaghetti alle Vongole is definitely one of the most famous Italian pasta dishes you could try! The best places to eat Spaghetti with clams are on the Italian coastline. For instance, if you’re in a restaurant in Venice, or Sorrento, or Naples, or anywhere in Liguria, you’ll find delicious spaghetti alle Vongole!
Coastal towns and cities have fresh ingredients, and fresh clams and they are specialized more in seafood dishes, than if you’d be ordering Spaghetti al Vongole in Milan or Turin. If you love authentic Italian pasta dishes, and you love seafood, definitely try on the Italian coast this dish!
Wrapping up the 10 authentic Italian pasta dishes
So now that we’ve seen the classic Italian pasta dishes, you might want to check out some recipes for these? Or maybe you’d like to see beyond Italian pasta dishes names and learn about those dishes that are called Italian, but they aren’t actually a thing in Italy? If you love healthy, tasty, simple pasta recipes, these 10 traditional Italian pasta dishes will definitely be for your taste!