Food is the ingredient that binds us together! There is no more sincere love in Italy than the love for food …
Once you get to explore Italy, you will definitely want to discover their fabulous cuisine. You might also want to know that cooking and sharing food in Italy is no less than a way of life, whether it is at home with friends, in a humble trattoria or in a fine-dining restaurant. Wherever it’s eaten, it’s always based around fresh, seasonal produce, which is the main reason that it’s so hard to talk about “Italian food” as a single entity. In fact, Italian food varies widely by region – and even village to village – and according to the time of the year. More precisely, the northern Italian food centers around butter, meat, potatoes, pork, Parmigiano and other types of cheeses, while southern cooking is more focused on olive oil, tomatoes, eggplant, capers and fresh fish.
Above all, Italians believe in simplicity and respect for good products, so some of the most beloved dishes comprise just a few simple ingredients, carefully selected and served at their prime. Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine, as is coffee, particularly espresso. It is said that every great Italian dish has only three ingredients and while that’s often not true, you won’t find complicated dishes in most of the country’s family restaurants. Instead of complex combinations of ingredients or fussy processes, Italians choose, instead, to use the best fresh ingredients they can find.
Basilicata is well known for its rich agricultural traditions. Olives, flavorful vegetables and legumes are cultivated in Basilicata, including Sarconi beans and Senise pepper. Lagane is the regional pasta dish that dates back to the Roman period and it’s made with chickpeas, soft bread, walnuts and beans. The base of all the sauces is made from garlic, olive oil and peperoncino, to which vegetables or meats may be added. Soups are also popular in this region. Minestra Maritata is a soup with both meat and vegetables, whereas Acquasale is made entirely with hot water, bread, onions, tomatoes, garlic, oil and salt. Fish caught off the two coasts are used in a number of recipes, or conserved in salt and oil. Anchovies, tuna, sardines and salt cod are all popular down south. Lamb meat is used in many traditional recipes. Pork sausages are common in Basilicata, including Lucanica, Soppressata and Pezzenta, which combines pork, lamb and veal meat. Mostacciolo is Basilicata’s popular dessert, made with vino cotto, or cooked wine, honey, almonds and flour. Another popular treat is called Cuccia, a pastry made with cooked wheat, like the Neapolitan pastiera. We shall not forget about the good wine, that is why you should not skip a glass of Aglianico or Aleatico, the most important wines from Basilicata.
The delicious local cuisine of Basilicata must be your first choice once you start exploring this impressive culinary trip. You will find a variety of restaurants and eateries across this region. From upmarket restaurants (ristorante) to the more frequently found cafes (osteria and Trattoria), eating out is one of the most memorable experiences in Basilicata. Here are the top restaurants where you can taste the real feeling of eating in the Italian way.
Dedalo – Sensi sommersi
This restaurant is such an amazing place, in so many ways. Situated inside of a cave, this beautiful restaurant has a breath-taking design, with lovely and unique sculptures. The staff is absolutely friendly and the food is amazing. On arrival, you will be given a glass of the local wine and a gift, according to the time of your visit. Every detail from the floor, to the art and the food, is carefully considered and perfectly executed. Enjoy your stay here and take a look at our food recommendations!
THE LOCAL SPECIALITY:
Fried bread balls
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
Shrimp Tartare with apples and melon
Pistachio Pork Medallions
Hot Chocolate Pie
Le Dodici Lune Ristorante
If you are looking for a perfect experience with a fantastic service, this is the place you are searching for. Here you will be able to taste different types of tortelli, local products like ricotta and a lot of delicious desserts. All the meals are nicely presented and garnished, which will offer you the possibility to enjoy a successful meal.
Chopping of cheeses and cold cuts
Orecchiette with turnip tops
Orecchiette of burnt wheat
Cavetilli with pesto
Fillet of black piglet
Ricotta cheese pie
Pizza – a must try
It is said that there is no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza. Make your dream come true and don’t miss the chance of eating a true Italian pizza, at the best restaurants in Basilicata. Here are our recommendations.
5 Lire Matera
With a lot of great flavours, delicious ingredients, a lovely atmosphere and a friendly staff, this is the place where you will find the best pizza in Basilicata. Try to sit at a table on the little terrace from the back of this restaurant, because the view is absolutely amazing.
Pizza with Prosciutto and Melon
Pizza in Teglia
Pizza Vegetariana in Teglia
If you are looking for a good pizza, or a take away one, this is the perfect place for you! This place is incredibly busy and getting a table is quite hard. But once you do, the pizza is excellent. They put quite a lot of toppings on the pizza and a generous amount of cheese. The crust is awesome and it’s freshly baked in the stone oven.
Spicy Pizza Calabrese
Pizza with Walnut cream, eggplant and Prosciutto
Italian seafood recipes are full of flavours, very satisfying and so hard to ignore. Seafood is consumed all over the world, but in Italy and especially in Basilicata the recipes are so unique and tasty, all the ingredients are fresh and well prepared, which will leave you amazed.
Alle Fornaci Restaurant
In the modern section of Matera, this recently renovated restaurant boasts modernism, with a wonderful decor, careful lighting, flawless and professional services. The several courses that you will get to try will leave you with such deep impressions and still hungrily recalling. You will be welcomed here by a very friendly hostess who is going to guide you through the menu, explaining the local specialties and the ingredients used.
Crispy octopus with bean purée and sautéed turnips
Fillet of amberjack with friggitelli peppers
Great raw sea with a variety of carpaccios
Calamarata with white Ionian fish
Gragnano spaghetti with clams
Orecchiette of burnt wheat with pumpkin flowers clams and red prawns of Gallipoli
Osteria al Casale
Looking for the perfect dinner? Then choose Osteria al Casale for authentic and wonderful meals based on seafood. The service here is exceptional and you will definitely feel as if you are in your own home. Take a sit outside and enjoy the mesmerizing view and the relaxing ambiance.
Grilled octopus served with courgette and mint cream
Stewed salt cod-fish with basil pesto and dry sweet pepper from Senise
Mix of fresh fruits
At the end of your culinary journey take your time to join an organised food tour in order to learn a lot more about the Italian food culture. At the end of your meals order un caffe (espresso) and try to drink it at the bar; always eat pizza with your hands and don’t forget to ask for slices of focaccia with different sauces. Order wine and enjoy the best of what Basilicata has to offer to each and every tourist.
Take every chance you get in life, because some things only happen once!