14 Neapolitan Recipes to Put You in the Mind of a Cucina in Naples

Transport yourself to a cucina in Naples with this special collection of delicious Neapolitan recipes that are bursting with Italian flavors, including robust pasta sauces made with San Marzano tomatoes from the region, shrimp and sardine seafood dishes, and the famous Napoli thin-crust pizzas. Still hungry? We've also included a tempting array of sweet treats from Naples, including the irresistible seashell-shaped sfogliatella pastries, Christmas struffoli, and the iconic pastiera Easter tart, recipes that have been made for generations to celebrate special occasions throughout the year.

01 of 15

Tortiera di Alici (Italian Baked Anchovies)

Tortiera di Alici (Italian Baked Anchovies)
Allrecipes

Every family in Naples will have their own version of this classic dish, also known as Alici in tortiera, which involves alternate layers of anchovies and bread crumbs that have been combined with capers, garlic, and parsley. You can add tomatoes, olives, or different herbs, if you like. It's baked in the oven until the top is crispy and lightly browned.

02 of 15

Spaghetti alla Nerano (Spaghetti with Fried Zucchini)

That Zucchini Spaghetti Stanley Tucci Loves (Spaghetti alla Nerano)
Chef John

This spaghetti pasta dish is a Naples original. It is super simple to make but tastes exquisite thanks to the addition of deep-fried zucchini slices, garlic-infused olive oil, Italian provolone cheese, and fresh basil leaves. "This recipe represents everything that is Italy: simplicity, passion, patience, and authenticity," says Allrecipes Allstar Buckwheat Queen. "It's so delicious."

03 of 15

Pork Tenderloin alla Napoli

juicy pork tenderloin with pasta and asparagus
Scott M.

In this Neapolitan-style dish, pork tenderloins are seared in a cast iron pan, then baked in a creamy tomato, olive, rosemary, garlic, and white wine sauce. "Sensational!" says home cook rosichops. "The pork was incredibly tender, probably the most tender I have ever had! Will be making this many more times and at least doubling the sauce as it is sublime!"

04 of 15

Shrimp Fra Diablo

Shrimp Fra Diablo
Stephanie

Some say that the original version of this Italian shrimp dish is named after Michele Pezza, also known as "Fra Diablo" (Friar Devil), who helped push Napoleon's forces out of Naples. Whether that's true or not, there's no denying that shrimp tossed in a fiery tomato, chili, and garlic sauce is anything less than delicious!

05 of 15

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

potato gnocchi with tomato sauce and cheese on a white plate
Buckwheat Queen

This dish comes from the Campania region of Italy, where Naples is the capital city. Tomatoes are sautéed with onion,and garlic, then tossed with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, and freshly cooked gnocchi. For a fantastic depth of flavor, try using canned San Marzano plum tomatoes, which are grown within a designated area around Naples.

06 of 15

Fresh Sardines Naples Style

Fresh Sardines Naples Style
davidferns

In this refreshing Neapolitan antipasto dish or light appetizer, fresh sardines are pan fried until crispy golden brown, then marinated in a garlic, white wine, and fresh mint vinaigrette. For a more substantial meal, serve the sardines with pan-fried potatoes and a green salad.

07 of 15

Italian Romanesco Cauliflower Salad

Italian Romanesco Cauliflower Salad
Buckwheat Queen

Known as Insalata di Rinforzo in Naples, this gorgeous green, white, and red salad is traditionally served at Christmas. It calls for tender florets of cauliflower, Romanesco, broccoli, olives, and papaccelle (red pickled peppers). A vibrant lemon, garlic, and oregano vinaigrette brings all the flavors together. Garnish with anchovies and capers for even more flavor.

08 of 15

Neapolitan-Style Pizza Dough with Garlic and Italian Seasonings

Neapolitan-Style Pizza Dough with Garlic and Italian Seasonings
Kimberly

Neapolitan pizza has a thin crust, less sauce, and fewer toppings than traditional pizza. It's typically cooked in an extremely hot wood-burning oven but the highest temperature in your home oven should suffice. This version flavors the dough with garlic and Italian seasoning. You can also use this pizza dough recipe to make calzones.

09 of 15

Casatiello Napoletano (Easter Bread from Naples)

Casatiello Napoletano (Easter Bread from Naples)
Allrecipes

A Neapolitan specialty, this famous Italian yeast bread is stuffed with chunks of cured meats and different cheeses. It is typically decorated with whole eggs for a gorgeous centerpiece on Easter morning.

10 of 15

Pastiera (Italian Easter Tart)

Pastiera (Italian Easter Tart)
Allrecipes

The filling for this luxurious Italian lattice-top tart is made with cooked wheat berries and fresh ricotta, and delicately flavored with lemon zest, candied orange peel, and orange flower water. This iconic dessert originated in Naples, and is sometimes referred to as a "Neapolitan grain pie." It is traditionally served at Easter, but you will see versions of it being served year round.

11 of 15

Neapolitan Struffoli

Neapolitan Struffoli
festivelysouthern

Struffoli are delicious deep-fried balls of sweet dough that are coated in caramelized honey. One of the most famous, and popular, sweet treats in Naples around Christmas time, they are sometimes formed into the shape of Christmas trees or wreaths and festively covered with multi-colored candy sprinkles.

12 of 15

Instant Pot® Torta Caprese (Italian Flourless Chocolate-Almond Cake)

slice of flourless chocolate cake on a white plate
Buckwheat Queen

This gluten-free, fudge-like chocolate cake originated in Capri, an island in Italy's Bay of Naples. Because it's made with semisweet chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, almond flour, and eggs, it's incredibly decadent. This version is made in an electric pressure cooker to keep it moist without risk of drying out. Once the cake is cool, dust with powdered sugar and cocoa powder and cut into small slices to serve with strong coffee.

13 of 15

Real Neapolitan Cookies

Real Neapolitan Cookies
Allrecipes

Colorful layers of almond cake-like cookies are coated with raspberry and apricot preserves and topped with chocolate. Simply divine! "These are the kind of cookies you'd spend a fortune on in an Italian bakery," says recipe contributor nella marley.

14 of 15

Sfogliatelle Ricce

Sfogliatelle Ricce
SugarMoGill

No one will be able to resist these sweet orange-ricotta filled Neapolitan treats. Crisp layers of flaky pastry are arranged to resemble a seashell shape — which is why they are known locally in Naples as lobster tails. They take quite a bit of work but are well worth the effort. Dust with powdered sugar and eat them while they're still warm for an incredibly delicious treat!

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