For a simple cuisine, Italian cookery is incredibly varied and always surprising. It also includes a great range of ingredients from vegetables to seafood and from meat to grains. You'll find a huge amount of regional variation in the dishes and we've been taking a close look at the sorts of surprises that you can expect from Italian restaurants with a southern bias. So we hope that what follows will introduce some very different kinds of Italian food to you, especially as some of the dishes are real Deliveroo favourites. Enjoy!
1. Rice Suppli Mignon
Risotto isn't the only Italian dish to feature rice as this fantastic starter from Pasta King only goes to show. Their Rice Suppli Mignons are tasty little rice balls hailing from the Rome area and they're filled with mozzarella and spices before being deep-fried and served with a rich tomato sauce. The cheese creates a delicious melting middle that contrasts beautifully with the softly yielding rice and the crunchy bread-crumbed casing. In Sicily, you'd find the suppli's larger cousin in the form of arancini, but these five bite-sized pieces are just perfect.
2. Squid Ink Pasta
As you'd expect, seafood of every kind plays a big part in southern Italian food with all the fruits of the Mediterranean to enjoy. But instead of choosing the usual grilled fish and shellfish antipasti we're introducing you to Castel Italiano's Squid Ink Pasta instead. It consists of linguini with a rich, black squid ink sauce that's prepared with tomatoes and cream and liberally garnished with parsley. It's not often you eat a food that's black and this is as dramatic-looking as it is delicious.
3. Sourdough Pizza
As you might be able to guess from their name, this is a real speciality down at Plank Sourdough Pizza. The advantage of using a sourdough base is that it's especially airy and light unlike some other kinds of pizza (deep pan, we're looking at you). There are a number of pizzas to choose from on the menu - no seriously, they're numbered - and one of the most interesting is Pizza 3: tomato, wild mushrooms, shrimp, capers, rocket, smoked salmon, sour cream and dill, a sound combination of both Italian and Scandi influences.
4. Torta al Limone
Southern Italy is also famous for its lemons and lush groves are everywhere to be seen. One of their most delicious uses for the fruits that they grow is in making cakes like this Torta al Limone from Trattoria Capri. It's home-made to their own special recipe and provides the perfect zesty and creamy conclusion to any Italian meal. If citrus isn't your thing then their Torta Caprese – another home-made speciality filled with rich almond and chocolate – is an even more decadent dessert that's sure to bring some real Italian sunshine into your day.
Take yourself on a gastronomic tour and explore the tasty dishes of southern Italy, all brought to you by Deliveroo.