Pasta is one of Italy’s most popular contributions to world cuisine. But only when you travel to Italy will you understand just how many delicious varieties of pasta dishes there actually are. Every region has its own specialty and there is a type of pasta for every kind of person, whether you prefer the salty taste of seafood or the spice of chili flakes. Check out these authentic pasta dishes you have to try and where in Italy you can find them.

Lazio: Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

Spaghetti aglio e olio, or spaghetti with garlic and oil, is one of the simplest pasta dishes you’ll find in Italy but also one of the most delicious. There are very few ingredients, with some versions only containing oil and garlic to flavor the pasta. Most varieties of this dish contain chili and parmesan cheese, plus a little cracked pepper for seasoning.


In Italian families, this simple yet tasty dish is often eaten when there are few ingredients available at home and you need something quick and easy to make. It’s also sometimes eaten as a satisfying meal for those who are hungry after a night out and looking for some carbohydrates to help soak up the drinks!

Puglia: Orecchiette Alle Cime Di Rape

Campagna: Spaghetti Alle Vongole

Liguria: Trenette Al Pesto

If you’re not a pasta expert, it’s easy to confuse trenette for fettuccine. Although this Ligurian delicacy closely resembles its more famous counterpart, the narrow pasta is actually unique to Italy’s north and was probably named after the word trena, which means ‘string’.

Anybody who’s a fan of pesto will love this dish. Pesto sauce serves as the base of the dish, which is often made with large amounts of basil, parmesan, pine nuts, and pecorino cheese. Other ingredients that pack even more flavor into the dish include potatoes and string beans.

This dish is commonly found in Liguria, a mountainous region in the northwest of the country that is home to the Italian Riviera and the stunning Cinque Terre. The capital city of Genoa is one of the best places in the region to sample trenette al pesto.

Calabria: Pasta E Alici

The region of Calabria is located in Italy’s deep south and forms the toe of the boot. The local cuisine has been shaped by a collection of influences throughout history as well as environmental factors. Because the region is largely surrounded by water, Calabria is now home to several delicious seafood dishes.

Otherwise known as pasta with anchovies, this dish is sure to convert those who don’t like seafood. It is often prepared with a light tomato base and is flavored with toasted breadcrumbs, garlic, olive oil, and basil. Like many dishes in Calabria, it also commonly features chili flakes which give the dish some bite.

Calabria is off the beaten track for many travelers but is an ideal destination in summer as it is home to an assortment of relaxing beaches.NEXT: 10 Most Romantic Places To Visit In Italy