Italian Cuisine Vocab 103

As more and more restaurants are expanding their seating and capacity limits, now is a perfect time to brush up on some more Italian Cuisine vocabulary! We’ve explained a few of the terms in our previous lessons, 101 and 102, but there’s always room to learn more. After all, there are still plenty of words on restaurant menus that you might not understand at first glance. Read on as we explore more of our Italian Cuisine terms – and what each of them means!


You may have seen this term arise as a part of our popular parmesan dishes. As there is a word for chicken parmesan dishes, there is also a term for eggplant parmesan as well. You guessed it: it’s melanzane! Melanzane directly translates to eggplant, which is why you see it as a part of the eggplant parmesan dishes we offer. It’s healthy and filling – try it!


Italian dishes that use tomatoes as a primary ingredient will usually have the word pomodoro attached to the dish’s name. This is for good reason: pomodoro is the Italian word for tomatoes! Pomodoro is also the name of a popular cooking technique that breaks down work into intervals. It gets its name from the little cooking timers that come in the shape of a tomato. Pomodoro has more meanings than one!


Puttanesca is part of a series of Italian cuisine vocabulary words that has a meaning that is a little more complex. Rather than referring to a particular food, puttanesca is actually the name for a special Italian sauce! It’s made using anchovies, garlic, tomatoes and olives. If you are curious as to how a sauce like that would taste, we actually have dishes made with it on our menu. Try it out for yourself!

Fra Diavolo

Fra Diavolo is another Italian cuisine term that refers to a special type of sauce. It’s made using red pepper, garlic, and herbs. The key difference that separates this from the other sauces is how spicy it is. This sauce really packs a punch! Some recipes using fra diavolo add white wine to its ingredients. If you like spicy food, you’ll definitely want to give this one a go!

Experience Italian Cuisine at Trattoria Il Panino

What better place to experience authentic Italian cuisine than Boston’s first ever trattoria? Trattoria Il Panino is home to the best Italian food that Boston’s North End has to offer. It’s perfectly paired with an extensive wine and cocktail list to give you the satisfied feeling you crave at the end of a meal! You can find all of these terms and more on our menu. To experience it for yourself, make a reservation with us today or call 617-720-1336 to order takeout.