Some people have zero tolerance for gluten, while others just want a gluten-free meal.
Whatever your reasons, you can still enjoy great Italian food, even if it is gluten-free.
If you are living or visiting Italy, it is likely you will want to know how to avoid gluten. Finding gluten-free Italian food is not an easy feat given that there most popular foods contain wheat.
However, with the right information, you can make sure your Italian food is gluten-free.
Gluten Free Pizza and Pasta
We all know pizza is an all-time Italian favorite food. Most pizzas you will come across will have gluten.
This does not mean you should not eat pizza at any time. Italian restaurants and eating spots also have gluten-free pizzas.
You can request for rice, chickpea, or corn flour based pizza.
Make sure the establishment uses different pans and surfaces for your pizza because it is easy for the wheat flour from other foods to find its way to yours if the surfaces are shared.
If you are not sure about the establishment, you can look for a place that only deals with gluten free Italian food. This way, you will be guaranteed of a 100% gluten-free pizza.
It may seem like an impossibility, but there is pasta that is gluten-free. This pasta is made using corn or chickpea. Some of these pastas may have a better flavor than normal pasta depending on preference.
If you wish to prepare it yourself, you can purchase the pasta at a store. Otherwise, you can eat in restaurants serving gluten-free pasta.
Grilled Meat/Risi E Bisi and Risotto
The best way to avoid gluten is by eating alternative food such as grilled fish or meat. This way, you are guaranteed of having gluten free Italian food.
You can even eat arrosticini, which is basically meat skewers made from Abruzzo. This meat is usually from sheep. Make sure you confirm there is no dredged or breaded flour on the fish before it is cooked.
Risotto is one of the most popular dishes in Italy. It is a rice dish, usually creamy, made using many variations. Majority of these dishes have butter in their recipe, and use onion and wine as their base.
Risi e Bisi it’s some sort of food with its basis from risotto. It is made using diced pork and fresh peas. The pork is usually pancetta or prosciutto, but at times ham or bacon can be used.
Both these dishes are safe for non-gluten consumers. However, it is always wise to confirm you are being served gluten-free Italian food just to be sure.
Rice and Salads
This is one of the meals that is guaranteed to be gluten-free. You can decide to eat it plain or fry it.
When you decide to fry rice, you can use other ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, and potatoes. Take note that you can cook your rice any way you want it as long as you do not use wheat flour.
This can be a great gluten-free Italian food you can make at home.
For the most part, salads are considered to be gluten-free. However, it is always wise to be sure especially if you have gluten intolerance. A good example of a salad you can eat is Insalata Caprese.
It is a delicious and simple salad of mozzarella slices, basil, and tomato. If this is not available, you can ask for an alternative salad as long as it is gluten-free Italian food.
Panelle, Cecina, or Farinata/Ragu/Lentils and Beans/Polenta/Porchetta
Farinata, Cecina, and Panelle are all chickpea flour based, but each is made using a unique method. For starters, a Panelle is made by frying, while the Farinata and cecina are baked. A cecina is also thinner than a Farinata.
All these types of bread are on the list of gluten-free Italian food. You just need to make sure that they are made using pure chickpea flour.
Ragu is mostly a pasta sauce made using meat. The most famous version of this food is the Bolognese sauce.
Lentils and beans are also great options and should be fine as long as breadcrumbs, pasta, or flour is not added. If you are eating these at a restaurant, make sure you ask for a gluten-free version.
Another popular gluten-free option is Polenta, boiled cornmeal. It can either be allowed to cool into a loaf and sliced, or can be served as hot as porridge. It can also be fired, baked, and incorporated into other dishes.
If you are a lover of pork, Porchetta can be a good option for you. These are tender, savory pork roasts. They should be gluten-free as long as they are not breaded.
Pesto Alla Genovese and Pesto, Sausages, and Stracciatella
Pesto Alla Genovese and pesto are pastes made using fresh oil and basil blended with hard cheese, salt, pine nuts, and garlic.
Cheese options you can use for this include Pecorino or Parmesan. If you want more regular options to feature in your meal, you can include sausages.
Sausages are a popular gluten-free food across the world that you can enjoy if you are intolerant to gluten. Just make sure you choose those that do not use flour in their casing. Italy has a variety of tasty options for this kind of food.
A good example is Salsiccia Fresca. It is sausage made using pork, with fennel seeds seasoning. Mortadella ham is another option.
It is a big pork-based sausage usually eaten at lunch, and it has little pork fat cubes throughout it (which is similar to Bologna).
Stracciatella is a soup, which is a kind of Italian traditional egg drop soup. It is on the list of gluten-free Italian food because it is made using seasonings, parmesan, eggs, and broth made using meat.
It is safe as long as you confirm it does not have any breadcrumbs, pasta, or flour.
Caponata and Semifreddo and Panna Cotta Desserts
Caponata is described as a sour and sweet eggplant dish. It is a gluten-free Italian food as long as the recipe does not include flour with gluten.
A gluten-free option for dessert is Semifreddo which is any semi-frozen dessert. It is mostly made using sugar, cream, eggs, and other ingredients.
Panna cotta is basically a dessert made up of sugar and cream, with gelatin to thicken and flavored using a variety of ways.
All of these treats are okay as long as no gluten-laden ingredients are used.
These are examples of Italian gluten-free meals that you can enjoy. All these can be found in the form of online recipes, or by visiting an Italian restaurant near you.
Finding the best gluten-free Italian food should not be a challenge as long as you make use of these examples. There are a lot of other options that you can explore so go ahead and try other gluten-free Italian foods.