Regional Italian Spotlight: Emilia Romagna

In this series, we look more closely at a lesser-known region of Italy in every issue. As consumers continue to clamor for authentic, regional foods from Italy, it pays to be a step ahead! This month, we travel to Northern Italy and to the region of Emilia Romagna.

Emilia Romagna is located in Northern Italy, where the Po River brings rich microclimate and flourishing farmland, habitat for land animals and fish. The fertile Po River valley is home to many of Italy’s legendary food products: Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic Vinegar from Modena. Prosciutto isn’t the only famous charcuterie in the region, either – mortadella, pancetta and salumi are celebrated DOP products in each of the region’s main cities, from Piacenza to Modena and Parma.

Pasta is king in Emilia Romagna, thanks to the local cultivation of wheat…and maybe in part because the Barilla global headquarters are in Parma. Fresh egg pasta is rolled and cut into lasagne, tagliatelle, tortellini, cappelletti, and tortelli stuffed with various ingredients like beef, poulty, ricotta and swiss chard, cheese, eggs and herbs. 

Arturo Joe’s in Narragansatt, RI features the famous balsamic vinegar prominently on its menu, as on this salmon fettucine dish. Chef Peter diSimone reduces balsamic with demi-glace as a flavor accent to the sun-dried tomato cream sauce and grilled salmon.

For a lighter, American interpretation of Bolognese made for cafeteria-style dining, check out NC State’s chicken Bolognese lasagna.

Buon Appetito!