Bologna is often called la grassa (the fat), but this nickname can be extended to the whole region, which is full of typical delicious food that has become a symbol of Italian cuisine abroad. Moreover, the culinary tradition of Emilia-Romagna has very old origins, as it is rooted in a tradition that was handed down during the centuries. Pork is one of the main ingredients, as it is used in many recipes, as well as in cold cuts like mortadella or prosciutto.

In this article, you will find a selection of typical dishes of Emilia-Romagna, which are the ones that best summarize the cuisine of this region.


Starting with appetizers, you can find mortadella, whose origin can be found in Bologna. It is a big sausage, prepared with pork meat mixed with fat cubes, pepper and pistacchio. Mortadella is a very old food, whose roots originated in the Ancient Roman Empire.


Still talking about appetizers, you can find prosciutto, which is a typical cold cut of Emilia-Romagna, especially in the area of Parma. In particular, prosciutto crudo is a cold cut realized with the dry salting of the pig’s leg, when it has become very fat. Moreover, prosciutto is another very old recipe, whose origins can be found in Etruscan cuisine.

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano PDO is a typical cheese of Emilia-Romagna, in particular of the area of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna. It is prepared with cow’s milk, partially skimmed and then seasoned.

You can use Parmigiano in different ways, but you can also eat it alone as an appetizer.


Crescentine is another appetizer of Emilia-Romagna, but they take different names according to the zone. For example, in some areas, they are also called gnocco fritto or torta fritta. Anyway, the recipe is the same, which consists of a dough of flour, salt, water, and fat, then fried in oil and eaten with prosciutto, mortadella, or cheese.


Erbazzone is another typical appetizer of Emilia-Romagna with very old origins. It consists of a quiche filled with chard, which is mixed with eggs, onions, and Parmigiano. You can usually eat it from June to November, which is also the period in which chard grows.

Tagliatelle with ragù

Going deep into the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna, you can find tagliatelle with ragù, a dish that is famous all over the world and represents Italian cuisine abroad. It consists of egg pasta, which is very thin and is stretched by hand. Then, it is served with ragù, which is a sauce made with tomatoes, ground meat, onions, and carrots.

Lasagne alla bolognese

This dish is a classic of Emilian cuisine. Who has never eaten Lasagne?! It’s a dish realized with egg pasta sheets, which are overlapped and split with ragù and sometimes cheese. Lasagna is cooked in the oven and then served, ready to be eaten.

Fun fact: did you know that lasagna is the oldest kind of pasta? Its first evidence of cooking dates back to the Roman era.


Tortelli is another typical dish of Emilia-Romagna’s culinary tradition. It is a kind of fresh pasta, which is stretched by hand and then filled with meat, herbs, pumpkin, or cheese. Usually, in Bologna people eat it in broth, with a unique taste.


Zampone is a popular recipe all over Italy, but it originated in Emilia-Romagna. It consists of ground pork meat, which is aromatized with pepper and spices. Subsequently, it is bagged in the pig’s leg, boiled in water, and served with lentils. It is a very old recipe that people eat especially during Christmas time.

Piadina Romagnola

Piadina Romagnola is a typical dish of Romagna. It is a very thin focaccia, prepared with wheat flour, lard and yeast. Piadina is cooked on a disk of terracotta, then served with prosciutto, mortadella, cheese or vegetables.

Cake of tagliatelline

Among the desserts of Emilia-Romagna, you can find a cake made with tagliatelline. It is a cake made of short pastry, filled with the first layer of almonds, butter, and sugar. This layer is then covered with tagliatelle, egg pasta.

This cake originated in Molinella, but it’s very popular all over the region.

Our homes in Bologna

May 27th, 2021