contorno (side dish)

Il contorno: A side dish usually served with the secondo or second course. Roasted potatoes, French fries, or vegetables are typical. Pasta, risotto and gnocchi are usually primi or first courses.

i contorni plural

See also: antipasto, primo, secondo

crispelli (crêpes)

I crispelli: Crêpes are popular in Italy, particularly in Tuscany, and are used similarly to their French counterpart. The filling may be sweet or savory and they may be rolled or folded. The folded variety are sometimes known as fazzoletti (handkerchiefs). In Piedmont a dish similar to canneloni is made with crispelle rather than pasta. Crispelli might be served as a primo (first course) or for a light lunch.

il crispelle Singular:

merenda (snack)

La merenda: A simple repast usually taken in the afternoon. It may just be some bread and prosciutto or a platter of cheese with olives. Small sandwiches are also common.
Fare una merenda. To have a snack. 

le merende plural

See also spuntino

primo (first course)

Il primo: The first course in an Italian meal, after the antipasto and before the secondo. Pasta is a typical primo as are soups and risotto. Short for primo piatto or “first plate.”

i primi or i primi piatti plural

See also: antipasto, secondo, contorno

secondo (second course)

Il secondo: The second course in an Italian meal, after the antipasto and the primo. If that seems like the third course, remember that Italians also call the second floor of a building the first floor (il primo piano). The second course is usually fish, meat or fowl and is roughly equivalent to the main course or entree in American meals. The traditional Italian meal is more linear than American meals, consisting of a sequence of dishes and fewer side dishes. Pasta is typically a primo or first course rather than a main dish.

i secondi plural

See also: antipasto, il primo, i contorni

Next Page »