The Amalfi Coast is not just the land of beautiful sea, villages and landscapes. From Positano to Vietri sul Mare you will also be able to enjoy wonderful dishes and ingredients, the excellent results of centuries of culinary refining, waiting for you in each one of the many restaurants and typical trattoria of the Amalfi Coast.
Even though you may think that there can’t be much variety in such a tiny portion of land, you will be amazed by the unbelievable amount of dishes, cheeses, agricultural products, wines, charcuterie, seafood, fish, liquors and much more you will be able to taste during your vacation in the Costiera.
When in Rome… do as the Romans do, and when in Costiera… eat as Italians do. Right above this tiny introduction you will be able to find a complete guide to everything that you must eat, drink and taste during your vacation.
Try not to miss any of them, as in every dish and product there is a whole universe to be discovered.
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We are in Italy, so… Pasta
As the Costiera Amalfitana is in Italy, our little tour at the heart of its cuisine has to start from Primi Piatti, or Pasta.
Campania, the region of Amalfi, Positano, Minori and Maiori, has a great tradition in the production of hand-made pasta, even though as every person loving Italian first dishes must know, there is not good pasta without a good condiment.
And that’s were the Amalfi Coast can offer the best you can ever imagine.
Scialatielli with Sea Food – Scialatielli ai frutti di mare
Scialatielli with Seafood is one of the most famous first dishes of the area. Scialatielli are a traditional type of pasta all along the Costiera, created for the first time in ’60s by the famous chef Enrico Cosentino and, while they resemble pretty much tagliatelle, they are quite different because instead of eggs, milk is used to create the dough.
As ingredients to prepare Scialatielli you will also find the traditional basil, flour, parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil. The Pasta is cut irregularly and then it is ready to be boiled.
The perfect match? Seafood from the Amalfi Coast: mussels, prawns, clams, sea truffles, a bunch of olives, some capers and some tomatoes. That’s the first dish you should absolutely try during your vacation in the Amalfi Coast. You will be able to find it in every traditional fish restaurant and we are pretty sure that, before leaving Costiera you will surely try to get it once again!
Spaghetti alla Nerano
Nerano is one of the most woderful towns of the Costiera, and beside offering an amazing beach, it has also something ready for the lunch! Spaghetti alla Nerano are one of the most famous first dishes among those that were born along the Amalfi Coast.
The recipe is quite simple, but just a master can reach the highest levels while preparing this Primo. What’s inside Spaghetti alla Nerano? Spaghetti, zucchini, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, some Provolone, one of the most popular cheeses of the area. To garnish and enrich you will be served some basil, as usual.
A very simple Primo Piatto, which is the probably the best synthesis of the local cuisine: simple recipes, great ingredients, everything cooked while extremely fresh.
Spaghetti alla Nerano can be found all along the Coast, even though paying a visit to Nerano, both for its unbelievably good beach and for the Spaghetti is surely a good idea, even if you won’t remain but for a few days in the Costiera.
Spaghetti alle vongole – Spaghetti with clams
As we just said, Amalfi Coast culinary tradition is a simple one. The focus is always on the freshness of ingredients, which are provided by the sea, by the mountains circling the Coast and by the expertise of food artisans working in the area since Roman times.
Spaghetti alle Vongole – Spaghetti with Clams, are another variation on this theme. A bunch of spaghetti, some garlic, some olive oil, a couple of small tomatoes and clams. There is nothing else needed to prepare one of the best dishes Italian cuisine has to offer.
Spaghetti alle vongole are not peculiar to the Amalfi Coast; you can find them all along the coasts of Italy even though, most probably, they never reach the grade of perfection they are able to reach in Amalfi and its whereabouts. If you have a passion, and we really hope you do, for seafood, spaghetti alle vongole are one of the best declinations of this particular branch of cuisine.
Cheese: it’s not just mozzarella time
Mozzarella is a mixed blessing for the Amalfi Coast. Surely it is one of its most representative products, even though its enormous popularity overshadows some of the majestic cheeses that are peculiar to this area of Italy.
Even though we strongly believe that your trip to the Amalfi Coast is a great occasion to get some good mozzarella, we firmly believe that if you are a true cheese lover, you should take some time to appreciate also the other types of cheese you will be able to find along the Coast.
Most of the products come from Monti Lattari, a small chain of mountains that, if you want, you will be able to visit and walk during your trip, especially during summer.
There is a good tradition of dairy products in the Amalfi Coast. A tradition that goes far beyond mozzarella.
When in the Amalfi Coast, mozzarella is a must
We just told you that mozzarella is not the only product that should interest you during your trip or vacation to the Amalfi Coast.
For sure you should taste it at least once though. Mozzarella is a very particular product, that can be produced both from cow milk and from buffalo milk. The latter is usually preferred by experts even though there is nothing we can say against Fiordilatte, which is the version prepared with cow milk.
We know that eating mozzarella with some prosciutto, or inside a Caprese, or sank in oil could look like a good idea. It’s not.
A good mozzarella should be tasted warm (i.e. at room temperature, fridge does no good to mozzarella), and possibly without any kind of seasoning. A good mozzarella is salty and fat enough to grant you an excellent sensory experience.
Mozzarella is also used to prepare some recipes, like for example Caprese or mozzarella in carrozza. They are great dishes, even though it is probably best to taste your mozzarella alone, at least for the first time.
Provolone del Monaco
Provolone del Monaco is one of the most famous local products. It is a semi-hard cheese, seasoned for some time that can be eaten raw or molten in several local recipes.
It looks like a melon, it has a yellowish crust and quite a sweet taste. You will be able to taste Provolone del Monaco and also to buy some to take it back to your country (if the regulations let you do that!) all along the Amalfi Coast. It is produced, in its best version, on Monti Lattari.
If you want to be sure of buying the best ones, look for the DOP symbol. It is a symbol granted by Italian State just to local products following both what is required as ingredients and what is required as procedure. Don’t worry, you won’t have to look much for Provolone del Monaco DOP!
Goat Cheese from Monti Lattari
What is quite unbelievable about this small corner of heaven is the variety of products you can find.
There is not just buffalo milk and cow milk products, but also goat milk products. Goat Cheese from Monti Lattari is one of the most exclusives of Italy and surely something to be tasted if you are looking for some good, tasty and unique cheese. This one is slightly harder to find, even though the best restaurants of the area will be more than ready to offer you this amazing local product!
Ndunderi from Minori
Ndunderi are, according to Unesco, one of the oldest types of pasta of the world. They are a variety of gnocchi and are prepared with flour and ricotta, and served just with a quick-to-cook tomatoes sauce.
Some leaves of basil and here you have one of the most peculiar, tasty, simple and great types of pasta of the world. The best place to taste them? In one of the traditional restaurants of Minori. If you are looking for something very peculiar and that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, Ndunderi are the answer you were looking for!
Second dishes – fish, meat and much more
Second dishes offer us the same variety we got used to, during our virtual trip through the best food you will be able to find in the Amalfi Coast.
Even though Amalfi cuisine give its best with antipasti, primi and desserts, you will be able to find plenty of recipes prepared starting from what the sea has to offer.
Crabs, anchovies, seafood, octopus, crayfish and much more. Even if the primo already filled your belly, there is always the chance to continue your meal with something good!
Desserts: the true jewels of Amalfi Coast cuisine
If you are looking for a great way to end your meal, you won’t be disappointed. Amalfi Coast is home to many peculiar recipes, usually involving local lemons, probably the most peculiar fruit products of the area. Let’s see what you absolutely have to eat before leaving!
Delizia al limone
Delizia al limone is a dessert created for the first time by the famous pastry artist Carmine Marzuillo. In less than 40 years they have become the signature dessert of Costiera Amalfitana and can be tasted in each one of the good pastry shops of the Amalfi Coast.
It’s a very simple dessert: lemons, some limoncello, eggs, sugar, flour. Even though they are prepared with very simple ingredients, the taste you will face is something you won’t be able to forget.
Delizia al Limone is probably the best dessert you will be able to find in the Costiera: simple, rich, tasty and the perfect ending for a full meal that included both the products of the sea and the ones of the local dairy farms.
It wasn’t born in the Costiera, but it is today one of its most representative desserts. There is a story about its birth, involving Al Capone and a goofy pastry chef, who, being quite excited by the presence of the mobster, forgot to add flour to the recipe.
The result is quite amazing. Soft, tasty, a perfect mix of lemon, almonds and chocolate. One of the best desserts you will taste in your life!
What do drink in the Amalfi Coast
There is no good meal without good wine and a good liquor after the dessert. Even in this particular aspect, Amalfi Coast is quite rich and ready to satisfy even the most discerning mouths and palates. Here you will find a short guide about what to drink in the Amalfi Coast, what to match with the amazing dishes we talked about.
What is very interesting for wine lovers is the fact that you will be able to taste wines that are exclusive to the area and that cannot be found anywhere else.
DOC Tramonti includes several options: a red, a special red, a white wine and a rosé one. 4 different wines, all produced with grapes growing along the hills of Tramonti, the perfect combinations for your meals not just in the restaurants serving the products of Tramonti, but also to match a great dish of Scialiatielli ai frutti di mare.
Same for the DOC Ravello. It’s an area including 4 different types of wine: red, special reserve red, white and rosé, with the peculiarity that, to gain the mark, they have to be produced exclusively with grapes born and picked up in the small area of Ravello.
Furore DOC white is prepared with a mix of 40-60% Falanghina, a very common grape in the Campania region, and an autochthonous grap, the Biancolella, which is impossible to find anywhere else.
Furore DOC red is prepared using 40-60% Piedirosso, another autochthonous grape, and mixing the rest with Aglianico grapes or Schioppettino.
Our advice is to taste each of them, as even in a very small area like this, there can be radical differences as for taste, color and perfumes. The Amalfi coast is an extremely rich region, even when it comes to wines!
Its majesty – the Limoncello
You may have tasted limoncello all around the world, as it is today one of the most counterfeited liquors. The true one, the Limoncello prepared with the very special lemons of the Costiera, can be found just here. Once you taste your limoncello here, you won’t be able to drink anymore those awful industrially prepared yellow liquors, that nothing have to share with the true one.
Limoncello is by far the most famous liquor of the area and you will be able to find many small producers in Amalfi, Minori, Maiori, Sorrento and in every other town along the Costiera.
Lemons are the true treasure of the Coast and Limoncello is by far one of the best ways to offer them to our guests. Do not leave the Costiera without sipping, at least once, a small glass of limoncello by the sea!