The Cuisine of Campania

Campania is the best-known of Italy’s southern regions. It is home to the bustling port city of Naples, the stunning Amalfi Coast and the infamous Mt. Vesuvius. In culinary terms, Campania is the origin of pizza, mozzarella, macaroni, spaghetti and much of Italy’s citrus fruit is grown in the region.

Pizza Margherita

The warm climate and fertile soil of Campania allow for a long growing season. The abundance of sunlight combined with the rich soil allows some of the juiciest and ripest tomato varieties to thrive. Beans, cabbage, broccoli and tomatoes grow between rows of olive and fruit trees. Grapevines drape over trees, producing trellises of wine grapes throughout the region.

Campanian cooking is nearly synonymous with Neopolitan cooking; pizza is probably the single food most associated with Naples. There is no limit to the variations of pizza-making, some of which appear on our daily menu. The most popular Neapolitan pizza is the Pizza Margherita (mozzarella, oregano, tomato sauce and fresh basil). Dry pasta is also associated with Naples. Cooks in Naples began manufacturing macaroni in the 15th century; today, the region is the dominant producer of this national staple. At Il Fornaio, we import all of our dry pasta from Gragnano, Campania.

Chef Giuliano Mosca of Il Fornaio Beverly Hills was born and raised in Naples. He grew up surrounded by some of Italy’s best food and premium ingredients. Mosca’s favorite dish is the Calzoncino Sasicc e Friariell, “because it is simple and rich with authentic flavors.” The smoked mozzarella is a highlight of this region and it adds extra depth to the plate. Mosca says some of his fondest memories are in his grandmother’s kitchen, watcing her cook. He credits his godfather, who is also a chef, for his strong work ethic and dedication to his craft. You can see Chef Mosca’s skill at work in his Frittatina Napulitan dish. This is a baked pasta dish with bucatini pasta, green peas, provolone, pancetta and Grana Padana, deep fried with bread crumbs. This shows his ability to transform a classic dish into something innovative.

Join us at your favorite Il Fornaio location August 7-27  for the chance to taste authentic Campanian cuisine!


Frittatina Napulatin

Frittatina Napulitan