If there’s one thing the Amalfi Coast is known for, it has to be those incredibly dramatic views along the coastline. Yet the local culinary traditions are an absolute highlight of the area that you won’t want to miss. What better way to enjoy those dreamy views than sitting back along the sea with a delicious meal or glass of locally produced wine? While there are too many specialties to even try to cover them all, we’ve picked a few of our favorite dishes to try while visiting the Amalfi Coast. Buon appetito!
Pasta … of course!
The Amalfi Coast–or Italy in general–is not the place to skimp on carbs. This is where they truly know how to prepare pasta in extraordinary ways and it’s definitely something you should try once or twice … or just don’t keep count!
Naturally, seafood is the highlight of most menus in restaurants along the coastline and the islands. One of the classic pasta dishes in the area is spaghetti with vongole (clams) or cozze (mussels) or sometimes both together. You’ll also find pasta served with frutti di mare, which is a variety of mixed fresh seafood that often includes clams, mussels, shrimp, and more. Some restaurants will serve this with scialatielli, a type a fresh handmade pasta that is like thickly cut fettuccine but shorter. Another popular pasta variety are paccheri, giant pasta tubes, that are often served with a sauce made with fresh fish.
Ready to try something different as your first course? Risotto is also done exceptionally well in the area. You’ll find it served with fresh seafood, like shrimp or prawns. But if you’re looking for something without seafood, try risotto with the delicate flavor of the Amalfi Coast’s locally grown lemons.
Not a fan of seafood in general? Don’t worry! There are plenty of options for pasta dishes featuring vegetables or traditional meat based sauces. A summer classic that just can’t be beat is pasta with zucchini served with a generous grating of parmigiano cheese.
For the second course, seafood is again one of the top specialties along the Amalfi Coast. Think clams, mussels, fresh fish, and even sea urchins. Anchovies, called alici, are also a specialty as they are caught fresh right along the coastline. You’ll find them marinated or fried as an antipasto, served fresh with pasta, and many other ways. Even if you think you don’t like anchovies, you’ve never tasted them like you will along the Amalfi Coast!
Often you can pick a fresh fish that is then prepared in a sauce that is served with pasta – thus making your first and second course in one. It truly is a seafood lovers heaven!
Neapolitan Style Pizza
While Naples is famous as the birthplace of pizza, you’ll find excellent pizza all around the Amalfi Coast area, too. Look for a restaurant that uses the traditional wood fire pizza oven. The classic is a margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil. Just like with so many specialties here, the simplicity lets the high quality of the ingredients truly shine.
Time for Dessert
You saved room for dessert, right? You really do want to while visiting the Amalfi Coast. Much like pizza, a lot of the local desserts you’ll find are popular Neapolitan desserts. However, there are a few specialties that are unique to the Amalfi Coast and Capri. You might want to try the Sfogliatella Santa Rosa, a pastry filled with citrus infused cream that was invented in Conca dei Marini on the Amalfi Coast. On Capri, try the Torta Caprese, a lovely chocolate and almond flourless cake. Or try the local Delizia al Limone, a rich lemon cake filled with lemon cream and topped with even more lemon cream, which was created by a chef from Sorrento.
After dinner it’s time for a digestivo, a liqueur that is traditionally served after a meal in Italy. The most popular on the Amalfi Coast is the classic limoncello, a strong lemon liqueur that packs quite the lemony punch. You might also like to try finocchietto made with wild fennel, mela annurca made with a variety of apples grown in Campania, or concerto, which is a traditional liqueur made in the Minori and Tramonti area with a blend of spices, barley, and coffee.
We hope you enjoyed this look at some of the best culinary traditions in the area. Want to know our favorite spots where you can eat the freshest seafood and local specialties on the Amalfi Coast and Capri? Book a private boat excursion with us and we’ll help you pick the perfect spot for an unforgettable lunch or dinner during your cruise. Contact us to find out more!