12 Northern Italian dishes that make you long for Italy

12 Northern Italian dishes that make you long for Italy

Traveling from home? That’s possible! With these typical Northern Italian dishes, you image yourself in the beautiful Northern Italy.

Jan and I both work full time, so traveling isn’t always possible for us. To soothe our travel jitters, we bring our favorite travel destinations into our home. We do this by preparing local dishes and completely immersing ourselves in the typical flavors of the region. This time we are traveling to Northern Italy from home, with 12 delicious, typical Northern Italian dishes.

For these dishes, I took inspiration from the regions South Tyrol, Emelia Romagna and more centrally located Tuscany. Just like in Italy, I work with different courses where I propose 3 dishes each time. In this way you can compile a complete menu based on Northern Italian dishes to your own taste. This way you can enjoy the delicious Northern Italian cuisine all evening long.

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12 easy to make Northern Italian dishes


Just like in Italy, we start of with a delicious aperitivo consisting of a tasty drink and a suitable bite.

Aperol Spritz

Everyone knows the world famous Aperol Spritz already. Although you can drink this delicious aperitivo all over the world, it’s roots are still in Italy, more specifically in Padua in Northern Italy.

Aperol Spritz

What do you need?

  • Ice cubes
  • 2 cl Aperol
  • 2 cl Prosecco
  • 2,5 cl of sparkling water
  • Slice of orange

How do you make an Aperol Spritz?

Take a large wine glass and fill it with some ice cubes. Add the correct amounts of aperol, prosecco and sparkling water. Finish the glass with an orange slice. And that’s it!

Montenegro spritz

Aperol Spritz

Another delicious aperitivo from beautiful Bologna, is the Montenegro Spritz. Like the Aperol Spritz, this is made with prosecco. But it has a slightly more spicy and bitter taste. Definitely recommended if you like a feisty aperitivo.

What do you need?

  • Ice cubes
  • 8 cl Amaro Montenegro
  • (optional: 30 cl gin)
  • Prosecco
  • Slice of lemon

How do you make a Montenegro Spritz?

You also need a large wine glass for this aperitivo. Fill it with some ice cubes. Add the Amaro Montenegro and fill the glass with prosecco. Finally, add a slice of lemon and don’t forget to enjoy this delicious aperitivo.

Source: ENIT


One of the latest hypes in Northern Italy, more specifically in South Tyrol, is the “Hugo”. This tasty, refreshing aperitivo is also made with prosecco but has a unique twist.


What do you need?

  • Ice cubes
  • 15 cl Prosecco
  • 2 cl lemon balm syrup or elderflower syrup
  • 1 dash of sparking water
  • Mint leaves
  • lemon slices

How do you make a Hugo?

The hugo is easy to make. Take a large wine glass. Fill the glass with the ice cubes and then add the prosecco, lemon balm syrup or elderflower syrup and sparkling water. Gently mix in a few mint leaves with a stirring stick and serve with a slice of lemon.

Source: Suedtirol

Naturally, the aperitivo includes a drink and a bite. One of my favorite Italian dishes is the bruschetta. First and foremost because it just tastes delicious and it is also very easy to make. A bruschetta consists of a toasted slice of bread with a typical Italian topping. Below I explain how you can make a delicious bruschetta in 3 different ways with Northern Italian ingredients to serve with one of the above drinks during the aperitivo.

Bruschetta Molisana

Truffle is a real Italian delicacy. So a bruschetta based on truffle and artichokes should certainly not be missing from our menu.

Bruschetta Molisana

What do your need?

  • A baguette
  • Cream of black truffle and artichokes ( crema carciofe e tartufo)
  • Slices of smoke bacon
  • Parmesan flakes
  • Basil leaves

How do you make a bruschetta Molisana?

Cut the baguette into a few slices and toast both sides. Then spread the black truffle and artichoke cream on the toasted baguette. Place a slice of smoked bacon above. Finish with parmesan flakes and a basil leaf.

Source: ENIT

Bruchetta Mousse di Mortadella

A real specialty in Bologna, the capital of Emelia Romagna, is Mortadella. This is a typical Italian sausage made from pork. You can use this specialty to top your bruschetta, but you can also make a delicious Mortadella mousse.

Bruchetta Mousse di Mortadella

Whad do you need?

  • A baguette
  • 300 g Mortadella Bologna
  • 200 g ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon of parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon of cream
  • Cherry tomatoes

How do you make a bruchetta Mousse di Mortadella?

Cut the Mortadella Bologna into little pieces. This can easily be done with a blender. Add the ricotta and parmesan cheese. Mix until you get a smooth consistency without lumps. Add the cream and mix until you get a mousse. Slice the baguette and toast both sides. Spread the mousse di Mortadella on the bread. Finish with a cherry tomato.

Source: Turismo Inpianura 

Bruschetta Classico

The bruschetta classico is made with delicious Tuscan tomatoes. It’s also the most known bruschetta and the most served one in Italy. That’s why I call it the bruschetta classico.

bruschetta classico

What do you need?

  • A baguette
  • 6 juicy Toscan tomatoes
  • A few leaves of basil
  • salt
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

How do you make a bruschetta classico?

Chop the tomatoes in little pieces and put in a large bowl. Shred the basil leaves and add them to the bowl, season with salt. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and stir well. In the meantime, toast a few slices of the baguette on both sides. Peel the garlic clove. When the bread is ready, rub it with the clove of garlicon on both sides. Then you can chop the garlic and add it to the bowl. Stir well again. Arrange the tomato mixture on the toast. Finish with a basil leaf.

Source: Visit Tuscany


After a satisfying, relaxing aperitivo, we move on to the starters. Once again, I collected three delicious Northern Italian dishes that will blow your mind.

Beef carpaccio with black truffle

Beef carpaccio with black truffle

What do you need?

  • Beef carpaccio
  • Carpatio di tartufo nero
  • Agurula
  • Cherry tomatos
  • Parmesan flakes

How do you make beef carpaccio with black truffle?

Place a few slices of beef carpaccio on a flat plate. Add a few slices of black truffle to it. Finish with some arugula, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and a few flakes of parmesan.

Wine tip: Langhe Rosato

Source: ENIT

Goats cheese au gratin with South Tyrolean smoked ham

Goats cheese au gratin with South Tyrolean smoked ham

Wat do you need?

  • 250 g goats cream cheese from South Tirol
  • 65 g mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons Algund mountain chees, grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (parsley, chervil, chives)
  • 20 rashers of South Tyrolean smoked ham
  • 20 walnuts
  • 1 apple
  • 3 tablespoons South Tyrolean honey
  • Salt and pepper

How do you make Goats cheese au gratin with South Tyrolean smoked ham?

Add the goat cheese with the mascarpone and grated Algund cheese, herbs and add a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix all ingredients well and make dumplings from the mixture using 2 tablespoons. Place the dumpling in an oven dish and let them brown nicely in a preheated oven at 200 g. Meanwhile cut the apple into small pieces. When the dumplings are nicely browned in the oven, it’s time to take them out. Arrange a plate with dumplings, smoked ham and walnuts. Finish with pieces of apple and honey.

Wine tip: Meraner from South Tirol

Source: Suedtirol

Pumpkin and mushroom soup, a delicious autumn dish from Tuscany

Pumpkin and mushroom soup

What do you need?

  • 1 onion
  • 1 slice of pumpkin
  • Fresh porcini mushrooms
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary or parsley

How do you make pumpkin and mushroom soup?

Cut the onion and pumpkin into small pieces and fry them briefly in olive oil. Then cover with boiling salted water and cook slowly for half an hour. In the meantime, cut the porcini mushrooms into small pieces. Also fry these briefly in olive oil. After half an hour of cooking, blend the pumpkin and onion. Then add the mushrooms. Pour the soup into a soup bowl, finish with croutons, rosemary and olive oil.

Source: Visit Tuscany

Time for pasta

In Italy pasta is often eaten between the starter and the main dish. Because I like to leave some room for dessert, I chose to only focus on a few typical Northern Italian pasta dishes that can also be eaten as a main course in large portion.

Tagliatelle al tartufetto bianco

Tagliatelle al tartufetto bianco

What do you need?

  • Tagliatelle al tartufo bianchetto (you can also use regular tagiatelli, but with Tagliatelle al tartufo bianchetto you can enjoy the delicious truffle flavor even more)
  • Crema al tartufo bianco
  • Olive oil
  • (Optional: mushrooms)
  • Parmesan

How do you make Tagliatelle al tartufetto bianco?

Heat a cooking pot with salted water to cook the pasta. Add the tagliatelle al tartufo bianchetto to the boiling water. Meanwhile, put the white truffle cream in a cold pan. Drain the pasta and reserve ½ cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan with the truffle cream and pour in the ½ cup of the cooking water. Turn the heat to a high temperature and mix it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Keep stirring and wait until you have a creamy consistency. Serve on a plate and add some (fried mushrooms) and grated parmesan or parmesan flakes.

Wine tip: Parrina Vermentino

Source: ENIT

Tagliolini in a shallot sauce

Tagliolini in a shallot sauce

What do you need?

  • 400 g tagliolini
  • 3 finely chopped shallots
  • 4 ripe red tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A few leaves of basil

How do you make tagliolini in a shallot sauce ?

Heat a pot of water till it boils. Wash and peel the tomatoes and add them to the boiling water. Brown a few finely chopped shallots with 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Remove the tomatoes from the water and cut them into pieces. Add this to the pan with shallots and fry for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the tagliolini in plenty of salted water. When the tagliolini is done, add them to the sauce and let them fry for about 10 minutes at a low temperature. Finish with a few basil leaves.

Source: Turismo Imolese

South Tyrolean-style carbonara

South Tyrolean-style carbonara

What do you need?

  • 500 g tagliolini
  • 150 g finely sliced Speck Alto Adige
  • 15 ml white wine
  • 4 4 egg yolks
  • 100 ml cream
  • 100 ml broth
  • Chives

How do you make South Tyrolean-style carbonara?

This is definitely one of the best Italian pasta dishes. First boil the tagliolini in water with salt until al dente. Meanwhile, fry the finely chopped bacon in a pan, pour in white wine and add broth and cream. Reduce the sauce and add the tagliolini. Remove the pan from the stove. Only then add the egg yolk. Finish of with chives.

Source: Suedtirol


As icing on the cake, I have 3 delicous North Italians dessert recipes for you.

South Tyrolean apple and cinnamon muffins

South Tyrolean apple and cinnamon muffins

What do you need?

  • 250 g sweet apples
  • 75 g butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g natural yoghurt
  • 250 g flower
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A little mixed cinnamon and sugar

How do you make South Tyrolean apple and cinnamon muffins?

Peel and core the apples, cut them in small cubes. Beat the butter, sugar and eggs in a bowl until fluffy. Sieve the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into another bowl. Alternating between the yoghurt and the flour mixture, work both into the egg mixture.Then gently stir in the diced apple. Grease the muffin cups with butter and dust with flour. Using a piping bag, pipe the mixture into the tins and bake at 175 ° C in a preheated oven for 18–20 minutes. Finish with cinnamon and sugar.

Source: Suedtirol

Typical Tuscan almond biscuits: cantucci


What do you need?

  • 3 eggs
  • 220 g sugar
  • 280 g flower
  • 5 g baking powder
  • Zest of one orange
  • A pinch of salt
  • 200 g of unskinned almonds

How do you make cantucci?

Preheat the oven to 250 ° C. Place two eggs and a yolk in a bowl. Keep the extra egg white separately, you will need this later. Beat the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the sieved flour with baking powder, salt and the orange zest. Finally, gently stir the almonds into the mixture. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Make two loaves of bread with the dough about 30 cm long and no more than 5 cm wide, using a spatula. Beat the egg white with a fork until foamy, then brush it over the loaves.

Set the oven to 180 ° C and bake the loaves for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on the outside but still moist on the inside. Let the loaves cool for about 5 minutes and then cut them with a sharp knife on a cutting board. The cookies should be about 2 cm thick. Then place the cookies on the baking tray cut side down and bake for another 15-18 minutes, until golden brown, then let them cool completely and store in a cookie jar.

If you can’t get enough of those delicious cookie recipes, then you should definitely check out how to make Italian butterball cookies.

Source: Visit Tuscany

 Toscan Tiramisu

 Toscan Tiramisu

What do you need?

  • 500 g of italiaanse Mascarpone
  • Savoiardi biscuits (as many as you need)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • Espresso Coffee for 6 people
  • Powder cocoa

How do you make this all time classic?

First beat the sugar with the egg yolks. Add the mascarpone little by little and keep beating. Beat the egg whites until they’re firm and slowly add them to the yolk sugar and Mascarpone. Pour the coffee into a soup plate. Briefly dip the Savoiardi biscuits in the espresso coffee. Take an oven dish and put the coffee-dipped biscuits on the bottom. Add a layer of the Mascarpone mixture over this. Place another layer of coffee-dipped biscuits above and then add another layer of the Mascarpone mixture. Finish with cocoa powder. Let the tiramisu cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Source: Visit Tuscany

After the dessert you can enjoy a delicious Italian digestif. Some of my favorites are limoncello, amaretto, and grappa.



Be sure to watch the video below to see which dishes we have prepared.

With these Northern Italian dishes you can travel to beautiful North of Italy from your living room. If you want more Italy inspiration, be sure to read my travel guides about Cinque Terre, Firenze, Umbria and Puglia.

Which Northern Italian dishes would you definitely add to your menu? Let me know in the comments.

Good luck with creating your Italian menu!

yours truly,


Noord Italiaanse gerechten

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12 easy to make Northern italian dishes

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34 thoughts on “12 Northern Italian dishes that make you long for Italy

  1. christine poore says:

    Yum! I can’t believe you were able to make all of that at home. What a chef! I love Italy, especially for its food. This is making me miss it even more! Must starting making some Italian dishes of my own, thanks for the ideas and recipes!

  2. Michelle says:

    I must admit, I have probably been having way too many Spritz during the lockdown. LOL! I am so going to try all of these! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Stephanie says:

    I am drooling at the mouth as I read through this post! I was actually searching for new fall recipes to make for my family this morning, and I’m going to give the pumpkin and mushroom soup recipe a try. It was interesting to see what specifically is a northern Italian dish. Cool post!

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      That’s one of my favorites too! I make this soup every fall! Can’t wait for the first pumpkins in the stores.

  4. Olivia says:

    Oh my gosh these are all making me so hungry, especially the carbonara – a classic favorite! Also, I tried the Hugo for the first time this summer and it was absolutely delicious!

  5. Kelly says:

    I made the mistake of reading this before lunch and now I’m very hungry and also craving an aperol spritz 😛 I love Italian dishes and this is making me dream of my trip to Tuscany back in 2014 and I can’t wait to go back one day!

  6. Holly says:

    Before I went to Italy people had told me I had never eaten Italian food until I had eaten in Italy and I scoffed, but its so true! Now my stomach is rumbling…

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      Yes, it’s so different to eat Italian food in Italy. I wish I could drive there to just have lunch, but it would be a bit too far 😉

  7. Nidia Lisic says:

    I just love Italian cuisine, and Aperol is my ultimate favourite drink! Was planning to do a Italian themed dinner so saved/pinned this as a great start to it. Simple and good! Great info 😀

  8. mollly says:

    I like that everything from drinks to dessert is included as that was my experience in Italy. I admit that of everything, the chocolate croissant won my heart! Simple and delicious!

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      Yes Italian food is super delicious and a chocolate croissant is definitely one of my favorites as well 🙂

  9. Silvia says:

    Hi Sarah, I’ve just bumped into your post, and, since I live in a small town near Vicenza, in the north of Italy, I was a little curious about the recipes you chose for your menu. Everything looks really good, brava!
    Ciao a tutti dall’Italia ?

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