10 'Italian' dishes that don't exist in Italy
Wherever you travel in the Western world, the chances are you’ll never be too far from a restaurant offering Italian food. But is it really Italian? Here, The Local speaks to Italian food blogger and culinary tour guide Monica Cesarato who dispels a few persistent food myths.
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Spaghetti with meatballs “Oh God!” sighs Cesarato. “Well, this is definitely not Italian.” The dish was probably created by Italian immigrants who moved to the US in the early 20th century. Unable to find good-quality tomatoes, they added meat – which was cheap and readily available – to the sauce in order to make it sweeter and thicker. Traditionally, however, meatballs, or ‘polpette’ as they are known in Italy, are served either as a starter or a main course with potatoes, vegetables or beans. “But definitely not with pasta!”