Prosciutto: salt-cured ham from the leg of the pig, which is air-cured and served in thin
slices. It is popularly used as an appetizer wrapped around melon pieces.
Pancetta: an Italian bacon that is cured with salt and spices but is not smoked. It is
slightly salty, comes in a sausage-like roll and is frequently used as a flavouring agent in
many different dishes.
Bresaola: Beef that has been cured with salt and spices and aged in a special net.
Soppressata: A Tuscan specialty made from pork head and seasoned with spices, and
encased in natural casing.
Capocolla: Italian salami made from the best sections of meat.
Speck: Smoked air dried pork from the belly or bacon area which has been brined for a
time with special seasonings.
Carpaccio: Thin shavings of raw beef fillet, usually drizzled with olive oil & lemon juice
and served as an appetizer. Ours is served with arugula and White Truffle Cream.
Carpaccio can also be made from thin slices of tuna, salmon, lamb, buffalo or any other
meat or fish which does not promote bacterial growth.
Serrano Ham: Imported Prosciutto style ham imported from Spain.
Asiago: (AH-zee-AH-goa) A hard northern Italian cheese made from cow’s milk; it has
a rich, nutty, pungent flavor and a grayish white interior; when aged for 6 months or
more, it is used for grating and cooking and makes an appealing table cheese.
Mozzarella: hand-formed cheese curd made from cow or water buffalo milk. Mild and
creamy in taste.
Gorgonzola: (gohr-guhn-ZOH-lah) An Italian cheese made from cow’s milk; it has an
ivory interior streaked with blue-green veins and a slightly pungent flavor when young
that grows stronger when it ages. It also becomes drier and more crumbly as it ages.
Parmigiano: (pahr-muh-ZHAH-noh) A hard cheese made in Italy’s Parma region from
cow’s milk; it has a golden yellow interior, a hard, oily rind and a spicy, rich, sharp flavor;
aged for 2-3 years, it is used for grating or eating in pieces.
Pecorino: (peh-kuh-REE-noh) An Italian term referring to any cheese made from only
ewe’s milk; most are aged and have a white to pale yellow color and a sharp, pungent
Ricotta: (rih-COH-tah) A rich fresh Italian cheese made from the whey remaining after
other cow’s mild cheeses have been made; it has a white color, a moist, somewhat
grainy texture and a slightly sweet flavor and is used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Provolone: (proh-voh-LOH-nee) This southern Italian cow's milk-cheese has a firm
texture and a mild, smoky flavor. It has a golden-brown rind and comes in various
forms. Most provolone is aged for 2 to 3 months and has a pale-yellow color. However,
some are aged 6 months to a year or more. As the cheese ripens, the color becomes a
richer yellow and the flavor more pronounced. It is an excellent cooking cheese and
aged provolones can be used for grating.
Casata Cheese: a medium soft cow’s milk cheese from Italy with a sharper taste than
Pasta & Grains:
Fusilli: (fyoo-SEE-lay; fyoo-SEE-lee) A spiraled spaghetti that can range from about 1
1/2 to 12 inches long.
Gemelli: (jay-MEHL-lee) Italian for "twins," referring culinarily to short, 1 1/2-inch twists
that resemble two strands of spaghetti twisted together.
Orecchiette: (oh-rayk-kee-EHT-tay) Italian for "little ears," referring culinary to tiny diskshaped
Farfalle - bowtie shaped pasta noodles.
Penne: Short tube shaped pastas used primarily for sauces which need to absorb
sauce such as creams or Arrabbiata.
Gnocchi: (NYOH-kee) Italian for dumplings and used to describe irregularly shaped
balls, or small concave oval disks made from potatoes, flour, semolina flavor, cornmeal
and/or rice flour, with or without eggs, they are boiled or baked and can be served as an
appetizer or main dish.
Polenta: An Italian version of cornmeal mush. In addition to being served from the pot,
it is often flavored with pan juices or augmented with grated cheese. When allowed to
cool, it can be sliced and fried and the pieces served as a side dish.
Risotto: (rih-zoh-toh) A cooking method for rice in which the grains are lightly sautéed
in butter and then a liquid is gradually added; the mixture is simmered with nearly
constant stirring until the still-firm grains merge with the cooking liquid. The end result is
a creamy variation of rice.
Al Dente: Italian for "to the tooth" A term used with pasta to connote that is it cooked
just enough to give a little resistance when bitten into instead of being limp and
Focaccia: (foh-CAH-chee-ah) Italian flat bread leavened with yeast and flavored with
olive oil and herbs; traditionally made with potato flour. They are sometimes informed
with rosemary, sage, or thyme and some may include a topping, as of onions or
tomatoes, much like a pizza.
Bruschetta: (broo-SKEH-tah) An Italian appetizer of toasted bread slices rubbed with
garlic and drizzled with olive oil and sometimes topped with tomatoes and basil; served
warm. In the US, any of a variety of appetizers made from toasted bread drizzled with
olive oil and topped with olives, tomatoes, cheese or other ingredients.
Espresso: (ess-PRESS-o) An Italian coffee-brewing method in which of water is forced
through finely ground and packed coffee (usually very dark roasted beans) under high
pressure; the resulting beverage is usually thick, strong, rich, and smooth, not bitter or
acidic. It is usually served in a small cup or used as an ingredient in other coffee drinks
Cappuccino: An Italian espresso coffee served with a topping of frothy, foamed, hot
Macchiatto: Served in an espresso cup with a dollop of foamed milk on top.
Latte: Espresso served in a tall glass with frothy milk but not quite the foam of a
Artichoke Heart: the defuzzed central core – and sometimes the bottoms- of the
artichoke. Artichoke hearts can be cooked and served as a vegetable or marinated and
used in or as a salad.
Arugula: also called rocket lettuce, is a slightly bitter, aromatic salad green with a
peppery, mustard flavor. A rich source of iron as well as vitamins A and C.
Radicchio: This red-leafed Italian chicory is most often used as a salad green. The
leaves are tender but firm and have a slightly bitter flavour. Besides being used in salad,
radicchio may also be grilled, sauteed or baked.
Sauces/ Cooking Styles:
Bolognese; alla Bolognese: (boh-luh-NEEZ; ah-lah boh-luhn-YAYZ; It. baw-law-
NYEH-she) Named after the rich cookery style of Bologna, Italy, Bolognese refers to
dishes served with a thick, full-bodied meat and vegetable sauce enhanced with wine
and milk or cream. The term alla Bolognese (in French, à la Bolognese) on a menu
designates a pasta or other dish sauced in this manner. The Italian term for this sauce
is ragu Bolognese, or often simply ragu
Carbonara: traditional Puglian dish consisting of garlic, eggs, and bacon served over
Puttanesca sauce; alla puttanesca: (poot-tah-NEHS-kah) Generally served with
pasta, this sauce is a spicy mélange of tomatoes, onions, capers, black olives,
anchovies, oregano and garlic, all cooked together in olive oil. A dish on a menu
described as alla puttanesca signals that it's served with this sauce. The name
puttanesca is a derivation of puttana, which in Italian means "whore." According to one
story, the name purportedly comes from the fact that the intense fragrance of this sauce
was like a siren's call to the men who visited such "ladies of pleasure."
Osso buco; Ossobuco: (AW-soh BOO-koh; OH-soh BOO-koh) An Italian dish made of
veal shanks braised with olive oil, white wine, stock, onions, tomatoes, garlic,
anchovies, carrots, celery and lemon peel. Traditionally, osso buco is garnished with
gremolata and served accompanied by risotto.
Pesto: Generally an Italian sauce made from basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and
Parmesan or Pecorino. It is a also a term imprecisely used to describe a sauce or
spread made principally from one herb mixed with olive oil and a sharp, hard cheese,
with pine nuts sometimes added.
Marinara: Tomato Sauce made with plum tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and
basil. Left to cook for several hours and then passed through a food mill.
Arrabbiata: Marinara sauce with Pepperoncini pepper flakes (Hot red pepper flakes).
Boscaiola: Literally "from the woods" a dish consisting of wild forest mushrooms,
pancetta, garlic, shallots and heavy cream
"in Cartoccio" A style of cooking "in the bag" where pastas or fish are placed in
parchment paper or aluminum foil with various ingredients. The bag is place on a plate
and should be opened tables side by the server.
Biscotti: (bee-SKAWT-tee) A twice-baked Italian biscuit (cookie) that's made by first
baking it in a loaf, then slicing the loaf and baking the slices. The result is an intensely
crunchy cookie that is perfect for dipping into dessert wine or coffee. Biscotti can be
variously flavored; the most popular additions are anise seed, hazelnuts or almonds.
Tiramisu: (tih-ruh-mee-SOO; tih-ruh-MEE-soo) The translation for tiramisu is "carry me
up," and many who taste this ethereal dessert assume the unspoken continuation must
surely be "to heaven." Tiramisu is a light composition of sponge cake or ladyfingers
dipped in a coffee-marsala mixture, then layered with mascarpone (an ultrarich Italian
cream cheese) and grated chocolate.
Panna Cotta: (PAN-ah COT-ah) Literally cooked cream, consists of Heavy Cream,
Sugar, Gelatin and designated flavoring.
Sabayon: Eggs, Sugar and Marsala Wine traditionally, whipped until frothy over a
double boiler until it becomes light and creamy. Used for fruit or served with biscotti.
Can also be made with other flavored alcohols such as Gran Marnier. If served cold,
whipped cream is folded into the mixture.
Caper: (kay-purr) The unopened flower bud of a shrub native to the Mediterranean
region; after curing in salted white vinegar, the buds develop a sharp, salty-sour flavor
and are used as a flavoring and condiment.
Balsamic: (bahl-sah-mek) A dark, mellow Italian vinegar with a sweet-sour flavor; it is
made from concentrated grape juice fermented and aged for 15-20 years in a series of
Truffle: A fungus that grows underground near the roots of certain trees, usually oaks;
generally spherical and of various small sizes, with a thick, rough, wrinkled skin; there
are two principal varieties; black and white. Truffles are found in England, France, and
Italy. In Italian, Tartufo.
Porcini Mushroom: (Poor-CHEE-nee) Also known as boletus, cepes, steinpilz, a firm
fleshed mushroom which grows wild locally in and around August. Used in many
preparations when in season including Raviolis, Soups, Pastas and Gnocchi.
Ribollita: A traditional Tuscan soup of white beans, vegetables, olive oil, bread and
cheese(vegetarian). Ribollita means reboiled due to the fact that it is cooked first with
the beans alone and then cooked with the vegetables which consist of Cavolo
Nero(black cabbage) or Swiss Chard, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and some tomato