Above all else: rice
The region of Veneto is famous above all for its rice dishes. Risotto is made here in an infinite number of varieties: risotto with asparagus, pumpkin, frogs, quails, seafood, not to mention a stunning black version made with cuttlefish. Equally characteristic of the region is the fact that in Veneto risotto is strictly con l'onda (wavy), that is, soupier and not as "dry" as the risottos found in another regions such as Lombardy.
Rice is also used to make deliciously rich soups, such as the charmingly named risi e bisi, which is made with fresh peas straight from the pod cooked with rice in a flavorsome broth. Riso e verza, rice and cabbage, is another famous first course. The region, however, offers more than rice. The rightly famous pasta e fagioli is one of the few local dishes that uses pasta, contrary to what you might expect from an Italian region. Bigoli, buckwheat pasta similar to spaghetti, is also characteristic of the Veneto and are often served with sardines or with chicken giblets.
Thanks to fishing-port of Chioggia and the rivers of the area, fish features strongly on menus in the Veneto and you will also find baked mullet, sea bream, and delicate deep-fried sole. Sardines are marinated in onions and vinegar for sardine in saòr. Baccalà, dried cod, is also widely used, with baccalà mantecato (served cold with olive oil) and baccalà alla vicentina (dried cod with anchovies and onions) being among the most popular versions. Liver is another favorite, and is often served as fegato alla veneziana, thinly sliced liver fried on a bed of onions and parsley.
To round off your meal you can choose from the many varieties of delicate biscuits: baicoli, perhaps served with creamy zabaione, or zaleti, made with raisins and cornmeal.
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