Top 5 Italian Desserts And What To Eat Them With

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We’re all about those delicious Italian flavours in the Gousto kitchen right now. And of course, a country’s cuisine isn’t just about dinner. In fact, I would argue that the main event is never truly complete without what comes after…that’s right folks, it’s time for dessert!

Just like the recipes we’re exploring on our Journey through Italy range, most Italian desserts originate from specific regions of the country. Pair them together to experience a truly authentic regional dinner.


Panna cotta

Italian desserts panna cotta

Origin: Piedmont

Translation: “Cooked cream”

Ingredients: Cream, milk, sugar, gelatin, rum, marsala and caramel

Panna cotta is one of the most popular Italian desserts nationwide. It can be any flavour from the classic vanilla to delicate lavender, zesty lemon or boozy rum. The moulding is a creative opportunity for the chef to have fun, but the real art is in the texture. A panna cotta should be creamy and silky smooth. Get it just right and it should quiver when wobbled. The key is in the gelatin.

Enjoy after: Chicken Cacciatore with Herbed Orzo

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Italian desserts tiramisu

Origin: Treviso, Veneto

Translation: “Pick-me-up”

Ingredients: Ladyfingers dipped in coffee and layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks, sugar, cocoa and mascarpone cheese

Tiramisu is a globally beloved treat, made with everything from whipped cream and amaretto to nutella and speculoos biscuits. The authentic Italian dessert sticks to the original six ingredients. It’s easy to make and you can do it yourself in only 10 minutes.

Enjoy after: Venetian Chicken Scaloppine with Green Beans

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Zuppa Inglese

Italian desserts zuppa inglese

Origin: Emilia-Romagna

Translation: “English soup”

Ingredients: Sponge cake dipped in herb liqueur and alternated with layers of thick egg custard and lemon zest, topped with cream, meringue or almonds

Inspired by the English trifle, the origins of zuppa inglese are hotly disputed. Stories trace back to Florence in the 1800s and Siena in 1552, and cookbooks featuring similar recipes date from 1557 to 1891. No one’s disputing how delicious it is though.

Enjoy after: Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagne

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Italian desserts cannoli

Origin: Sicily

Translation: “Little tubes”

Ingredients: Tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough filled with a sweet, creamy filling usually containing ricotta

Arguably the most famous dish to come out of Sicily (back off, arancini), cannoli can be traced all the way back to the Arab invasion of the island. Originally created as a fertility symbol especially for Carnival, it’s now a year-round staple and can be flavoured with a huge variety of ingredients from chocolate to pistachio.

Enjoy after: Sicilian Pasta Alla Norma with Aubergine

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Italian desserts affogato

Origin: Across Italy

Translation: “Drowned”

Ingredients: A scoop of vanilla gelato drenched in a shot of hot espresso

The simplest of classics, there can’t be an easier dessert than affogato. Just scoop, pour, and enjoy.

Enjoy after: Any Italian meal

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Experience authentic flavours, discover new ingredients, and learn to cook like a true Italian in our newest range. To join the journey and cook some Italian meals for yourself, look out for the Journey Through Italy logo as you choose your weekly recipes.