Avoid awkward dinner dates with these 17 Italian pronunciations
For English speakers, navigating a menu in an Italian restaurant can present some difficulties. If you’re looking to avoid la-SAG-nuh or chowing down on far-FALL, then consider taking a listen to our handy list of Italian food pronunciations.
This refers to a dish made with bolognese sauce, a ‘sauce of ground beef, tomato, onion, and herbs, typically served with pasta’.
‘Bruschetta’ is ‘toasted Italian bread drenched in olive oil and served typically with garlic or tomatoes’.
A ‘calzone’ is a ‘type of pizza that is folded in half before cooking to contain a filling’.
This café favourite refers to a ‘coffee made with milk that has been frothed up with pressurized steam’.
‘Ciabatta’ is a ‘type of flattish, open-textured Italian bread with a floury crust, made with olive oil’.
Beware of that ‘express’ pronunciation! ‘Espresso’ refers to ‘strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans’.
‘Farfalle’ refers to ‘small pieces of pasta shaped like bows or butterflies’ wings. The word farfalla means ‘butterfly’ in Italian.
This refers to ‘an almond-flavored cream or paste’ or a pastry filled with this.
‘Gnocchi’ refers to ‘small dumplings made from potato, semolina, or flour, usually served with a sauce’.
Spelled both as lasagna and lasagne, this word generally refers to ‘pasta in the form of wide strips’, but also to a ‘baked Italian dish consisting of wide strips of pasta cooked and layered with meat or vegetables, cheese, and tomato sauce’.
11. al dente
This term refers to food (usually pasta) that is ‘cooked so as to be still firm when bitten’. In Italian, al dente literally means ‘to the tooth’.
This term refers to ‘squid served as food’. The word calamari comes from the medieval Latin calamarium ‘pen case’, itself from the Greek kalamos ‘pen’, with reference to the squid’s inner shell and its production of ink.
Macaroni is a ‘variety of pasta formed in narrow tubes’.
This refers to a ‘thick soup containing vegetables and pasta’.
‘Panettone’ is a ‘rich Italian bread made with eggs, fruit, and butter and typically eaten at Christmas’.
‘Spaghetti’ refers to a ‘pasta made in long, slender, solid strings’, as well as to a dish containing this pasta, typically with a sauce.
A salami is a ‘type of highly seasoned sausage, originally from Italy, usually eaten cold in slices’.