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10 Venetian dishes you have to try

By HannahTuesday 12th January 2016

Polenta is a Venetian staple. Polenta is a Venetian staple. Venice. It’s known as ‘The Floating City’, ‘The City of Bridges’ and the ‘Queen of the Adriatic’, and it’s a spectacular place to visit at any time of year. Its famous canals wind through the city, surrounded by magnificent buildings and monuments, and traditional gondolas can be seen wherever you go. As well as its wondrous waterways, Venice has some of the Mediterranean’s best cuisine – here are just 10 Venetian dishes you have to try.

1. Bigoli in salsa

A Venetian staple, Bigoli is a whole wheat pasta, similar in appearance to spaghetti but with a hollow centre. For this dish, the pasta is mixed with a sauce made from onions, anchovies, parsley and seasoning, making for a delightfully salty and hearty meal.

2. Sarde in Saor

Seafood is a prominent ingredient in the Venetian diet, and rightly so – the city’s location is ideal for sourcing seafood. Combining fried sardines, white onions, vinegar, raisins and pine nuts, Sarde in Saor is both sweet and sour all at once. Black squid ink is often paired with spaghetti. Black squid ink is often paired with spaghetti.

3. Fegato alla veneziana

Fegato alla veneziana, or Venetian liver, is a classic dish that can be found on the menus of most restaurants in Venice. Calf livers are cooked with butter, olive oil, vinegar and onions, and served with a generous portion of creamy polenta.

4. Połenta e schie

Made from semolina cooked in water, and often mixed with cream, butter and seasoning, polenta is a staple in northern Italy. In this dish, it’s topped with shrimp cooked in garlic, butter and herbs. It’s creamy, warming and delicious.

5. Spaghetti al nero di seppia

Don’t be put off by the appearance of this dish as the flavour is out of this world – trust us! Spaghetti is mixed with lightly cooked squid and then coated in a squid ink, butter, white wine, garlic and parsley sauce, making for a black coloured dish. Risi e bisi is hearty and delicious. Risi e bisi is hearty and delicious.

6. Baccalà Mantecato

The perfect starter or snack, Baccalà Mantecato is a kind of fish dip, often served on a slice of cooled polenta. Salt cod, cream, parsley, garlic, milk, olive oil and seasoning are blended together, and the result is incredibly moreish!

7. Risi e bisi

It may be simple, but risi e bisi is nothing short of delicious. This famous Venetian dish lies somewhere between a risotto and a soup, offering flavours of fresh peas, salty pancetta, butter, parsley and grana padano cheese, mixed with perfectly cooked rice.

8. Frittelle

Now we come to the desserts. Frittelle are small fried dumplings flavoured with lemon rind and vanilla, and dusted in icing sugar. Sometimes grappa (an Italian liqueur) is added, or they are filled with custard. Frittelle are the perfect sweet snack. Frittelle are the perfect sweet snack.

9. Baicoli

Baicoli are a traditional, twice-baked biscuit that are best eaten alongside a cup of coffee. While the original biscuits are flavoured simply with vanilla, other varieties include orange juice and other flavourings. They’re crisp, crunchy and delicious.

10. Pinza

Pinza is a traditional Venetian cake that has many variations. The classic recipe includes raisins, walnuts, apples, candied orange peel, grappa, fennel seeds and dried figs. Made as a slab, the cake is portioned into individual servings, and is both fragrant and moist.

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