From velvety soups to delectable veal dishes, these Italian foods that start with “V” showcase the country’s passion for culinary excellence.
1. Vitello Tonnato
Vitello Tonnato is a classic Italian dish consisting of thinly sliced veal that is served cold and accompanied by a luscious creamy tuna sauce. The veal is typically cooked by simmering until tender and then chilled before being thinly sliced. The creamy tuna sauce is made by blending canned tuna, mayonnaise, lemon juice, capers, and anchovies until smooth and creamy. The sliced veal is then generously topped with the sauce, which adds a rich and savory flavor to the dish. Vitello Tonnato is often enjoyed as a starter or as part of an antipasto platter, showcasing the delicate flavors of veal and the unique combination of tuna and creamy sauce.
Vermicelli is a type of pasta that is characterized by its thin, long, and cylindrical shape. The word “vermicelli” translates to “little worms” in Italian, referring to the pasta’s thin and slender appearance. It is commonly used in Italian cuisine, particularly in soups or seafood dishes. Vermicelli is versatile and can be paired with a variety of sauces, such as tomato-based sauces, creamy sauces, or oil-based sauces. Due to its thinness, vermicelli cooks quickly and absorbs flavors well, making it a popular choice for dishes that require shorter cooking times. Whether in a comforting bowl of minestrone soup or tossed with fresh seafood and garlic, vermicelli adds a delicate texture and enhances the overall taste of the dish.
Vongole, which means “clams” in Italian, is a popular ingredient in Italian cuisine, particularly in dishes like spaghetti alle vongole. Clams are often used to add a briny and slightly sweet flavor to pasta dishes, creating a delightful combination of flavors. In spaghetti alle vongole, the clams are cooked with garlic, white wine, and olive oil, resulting in a flavorful broth that coats the pasta strands. Vongole can also be used in other recipes such as clam chowder or served steamed with a garlic and herb butter sauce. With their unique taste and versatility, clams are a cherished ingredient in Italian coastal cuisine, bringing a taste of the sea to the table.
4. Vitello alla Milanese
Vitello alla Milanese is a delicious Italian dish that consists of breaded and fried veal cutlets. It is a specialty of Milan, the capital city of Lombardy in northern Italy. The dish starts with tender veal cutlets that are pounded thin, dipped in beaten eggs, and coated with breadcrumbs. The cutlets are then shallow-fried until golden and crispy. The result is a flavorful and tender veal with a crispy and golden crust. Vitello alla Milanese is often served with a squeeze of lemon juice and accompanied by a fresh salad or roasted potatoes. This iconic dish showcases the simple yet exquisite flavors of Italian cuisine and is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
5. Verdure Grigliate
Verdure Grigliate, which translates to “grilled vegetables” in Italian, is a popular dish in Italian cuisine. It involves grilling a variety of vegetables to perfection, resulting in a flavorful and healthy side dish. Common vegetables used in Verdure Grigliate include bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, and onions. The vegetables are typically sliced, seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then grilled over an open flame or on a grill pan until they are tender and slightly charred. The grilling process adds a smoky flavor and enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables. Verdure Grigliate is often served as an appetizer, side dish, or as a component of antipasto platters, providing a vibrant and nutritious addition to any meal.
6. Vellutata di Zucca
Vellutata di Zucca is a creamy pumpkin soup that is perfect for autumn. It is a comforting and velvety soup that highlights the rich and earthy flavors of pumpkin. The soup starts by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil until they are soft and fragrant. Then, diced pumpkin is added along with vegetable broth and simmered until the pumpkin is tender. The mixture is then pureed until smooth and creamy. The velvety texture is achieved by blending the soup until it reaches a silky consistency. Vellutata di Zucca is often seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, or thyme, which enhance the natural sweetness of the pumpkin. It is commonly served as a starter or a light main course, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, or a dollop of cream.
7. Verdure al Forno
Verdure al Forno, meaning “roasted vegetables” in Italian, is a delightful dish where an assortment of vegetables is seasoned, roasted, and served as a flavorful side or a standalone dish. The vegetables used can vary, but popular choices include bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and onions. The vegetables are typically cut into bite-sized pieces, drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano. They are then roasted in the oven until they become tender and caramelized, resulting in a medley of flavors and textures. The roasted vegetables can be served as a side dish, tossed with pasta, or even used as a topping for bruschetta. Verdure al Forno showcases the natural flavors of vegetables and the simplicity of Italian cuisine, providing a delicious and wholesome addition to any meal.
Vincisgrassi is a decadent baked pasta dish that is similar to lasagna. It is a traditional Italian recipe hailing from the Marche region, specifically the city of Macerata. Vincisgrassi features layers of flat pasta sheets, typically egg-based, that are alternated with a rich and savory sauce. The sauce is typically made with a combination of ingredients such as ground meat (often beef and pork), mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and herbs. It is then topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and grated cheese before being baked to golden perfection. The result is a deliciously layered pasta dish with a perfect balance of flavors. Vincisgrassi is often enjoyed as a main course during special occasions or festive gatherings.
9. Verdure Saltate
Verdure Saltate, which translates to “sautéed vegetables” in Italian, is a simple yet flavorful dish that showcases the natural goodness of vegetables. Various fresh vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and green beans are quickly cooked in a hot skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. The goal is to retain their vibrant colors, crisp texture, and natural flavors. Often, garlic and herbs such as rosemary or thyme are added to enhance the taste. The result is a delightful medley of vegetables that are lightly seasoned and retain a satisfying crunch. Verdure Saltate is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a side dish alongside meats or fish, tossed with pasta, or even served as a light vegetarian main course.
10. Vellutata di Funghi
Vellutata di Funghi is a velvety mushroom soup that is often made with the flavorful and aromatic porcini mushrooms. It is a beloved dish in Italian cuisine, especially during the autumn months when mushrooms are in season. The soup starts by sautéing mushrooms, onions, and garlic in butter or olive oil until they become tender and fragrant. Then, vegetable or chicken broth is added, and the mixture is simmered until the mushrooms are fully cooked. The soup is then pureed until smooth and creamy, and optionally finished with a touch of cream for added richness. The result is a velvety and comforting soup with an earthy and robust mushroom flavor. Vellutata di Funghi is often garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or thyme and can be enjoyed as a starter or a light meal.
11. Vellutata di Pomodoro
Vellutata di Pomodoro, meaning “creamy tomato soup” in Italian, is a delightful soup made with ripe tomatoes. It is a classic Italian dish that celebrates the natural sweetness and tanginess of tomatoes. The soup starts by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil until they become translucent and aromatic. Then, ripe tomatoes are added, along with vegetable broth and herbs such as basil or oregano. The mixture is simmered until the tomatoes are cooked and tender. The soup is then pureed until smooth and creamy, creating a luscious and velvety texture. Vellutata di Pomodoro is known for its vibrant red color and bright, refreshing flavor. It can be enjoyed as a starter or a light main course, often accompanied by a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
12. Verdure Ripiene
Verdure Ripiene refers to stuffed vegetables, a delightful dish that showcases the versatility of Italian cuisine. Various vegetables can be used for stuffing, including bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and mushrooms. The vegetables are typically hollowed out and filled with a mixture of cheese, breadcrumbs, herbs, and sometimes minced meat or other vegetables. The filling adds flavor and texture to the dish, while the vegetables themselves provide a natural vessel for the delicious stuffing. After being filled, the vegetables are often baked or roasted until tender and the filling is golden and bubbling. Verdure Ripiene can be served as a side dish or as a vegetarian main course, and it offers a wonderful way to enjoy the bounty of fresh produce.
13. Vellutata di Carciofi
Vellutata di Carciofi is a creamy artichoke soup that highlights the delicate and unique flavor of artichokes. Artichokes are a cherished ingredient in Italian cuisine, and this soup allows their natural taste to shine. The artichokes are typically simmered in a broth along with onions, garlic, and other aromatics until tender. The mixture is then pureed to create a smooth and velvety texture. Cream or milk is often added to further enhance the soup’s creaminess and richness. The result is a flavorful and comforting soup with a subtle hint of earthiness and a slightly tangy note. Vellutata di Carciofi is often garnished with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, and can be served as a starter or a light main course.
14. Vitello al Marsala
Vitello al Marsala is a classic Italian dish featuring veal cooked in Marsala wine, resulting in a flavorful and savory sauce. Marsala wine is a fortified wine produced in the region of Marsala in Sicily, Italy. It has a rich amber color and a complex taste profile, ranging from sweet to dry. In Vitello al Marsala, thinly sliced veal cutlets are sautéed until golden brown and then simmered in Marsala wine, along with other ingredients such as mushrooms, onions, and herbs. The Marsala wine imparts a distinct flavor to the dish, creating a luscious sauce with a hint of sweetness and a depth of flavor. Vitello al Marsala is often served with a side of vegetables or roasted potatoes, and it is a beloved dish that showcases the elegance and richness of Italian cuisine.
15. Vellutata di Piselli
Vellutata di Piselli is a creamy pea soup that celebrates the vibrant and fresh flavors of peas. This soup is typically made using fresh or frozen peas, which are gently simmered in a broth along with onions, garlic, and other aromatic ingredients. The mixture is then pureed to create a smooth and velvety texture, with the addition of cream or milk to enhance the richness. Vellutata di Piselli can be enjoyed as a light and nourishing starter or as a main course when paired with crusty bread. The soup is often garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh herbs such as mint or parsley, or even a dollop of creamy yogurt for added texture and flavor. Its vibrant green color and delicate sweetness make Vellutata di Piselli a delightful dish that captures the essence of spring and the simplicity of Italian cuisine.
16. Vellutata di Cavolfiore
Vellutata di Cavolfiore is a velvety cauliflower soup that highlights the mild and nutty flavor of cauliflower. The soup is made by cooking cauliflower florets in a flavorful broth, often enhanced with aromatics such as onions, garlic, and herbs. Once the cauliflower is tender, the mixture is pureed until smooth, resulting in a creamy and luxurious texture. The soup is typically finished with a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of cream to add richness and a silky finish. Vellutata di Cavolfiore is a comforting and satisfying soup, perfect for colder days or as a starter to a larger meal. It exemplifies the simplicity and elegance of Italian cuisine, where humble ingredients are transformed into delightful dishes through careful preparation and appreciation for natural flavors.
Vignarola is a delightful Roman spring vegetable stew that showcases the vibrant flavors of artichokes, peas, and fava beans. This dish is traditionally prepared during the springtime when these vegetables are in season and at their freshest. The vegetables are gently simmered together with olive oil, garlic, and aromatic herbs, allowing them to release their natural sweetness and flavors. The result is a harmonious combination of tender artichoke hearts, plump peas, and creamy fava beans, all infused with the herbaceous aromas of the Mediterranean. Vignarola is often served as a side dish or a contorno, accompanying main courses such as roasted meats or grilled fish. It represents the essence of Roman cuisine, celebrating the bounty of the spring harvest and the simplicity of ingredients prepared with love and care.
18. Vellutata di Piselli
Vellutata di Piselli is a luscious and creamy pea soup that highlights the delicate sweetness of fresh or frozen peas. This soup is made by sautéing onions or shallots in butter or olive oil until they turn translucent and fragrant. The peas are then added along with vegetable or chicken broth, and the mixture is simmered until the peas are tender. Once cooked, the soup is pureed until smooth, creating a velvety texture. Some variations of Vellutata di Piselli may incorporate additional ingredients such as mint, parsley, or cream to enhance the flavor and add richness. This soup is often served as a comforting appetizer or light lunch, accompanied by crusty bread or a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Vellutata di Piselli captures the essence of Italian cuisine, with its emphasis on using fresh, seasonal ingredients to create dishes that are both satisfying and elegant.