FAGIANO – Pheasant, usually grilled, roasted or stewed.
FAGIOLI – Beans in Italian.
FAGIOLINI – String beans, either yellow or green. Usually boiled and served cold or stewed with tomato, garlic and herbs.
FARAONA – Guinea Fowl or Hen. This bird is very popular in Italy and is prepared as you would prepare chicken. They are often pot roasted, or cooked in a casserole with wild mushrooms and other seasonings.
FARFALLE – This dried pasta is often called bowties or butterflies for it’s shape.
FARINA – Flour. Most Italian bakers use 00 or doppio zero flour which is softer than all-purpose flour. If you cannot find it, use 2 tablespoons less of all-purpose flour per cup than the recipe calls for.
FARRO – Farro in Italian, this hard wheat is most often used in Tuscan cuisine. One of the hardest of all grains, it must be soaked for a long period before cooking, and is commonly used in soups and salads.
FAVA – Fava beans are best eaten very fresh in the spring and early summer when they are small and tender. Later, they can be cooked and skinned. Very popular around Rome they are often served with prosciutto or pecorino cheese.
FAZZOLETTI – Named for an irregular handerkerchief, these delicate pasta sheets are folded over a savory filling and topped with sauce and commonly baked.
FECOLA – A starch such as corn starch used for thickening and baking.
FEGATO – Liver. Usually calves liver is preferred. Fegato alla Veneziana is a famous dish made with liver.
FETTUCCINE – A broad, fresh long strand pasta commonly made from eggs and flour.
FICO – Figs. Figs are grown across Italy, and are eaten both fresh in the summer months and dried throughtout the rest of the year. Figs can be either purple or green, and both are sweet and tender when ripe. Often served on their own, figs are often served with nuts, prosciutto, salami, or cooked in desserts.
FILLETTI DI ACCIUGHE – Anchovies. These are small fish preserved in oil or salt and often used in Italian dishes for flavoring.
FINOCCHIO – Fennel. Yet another important vegetable to Italian cuisine, it has a delicate flavor of aniseed and a very crisp, refreshing texture similar to celery. Often eaten raw, it also makes a great vegetable side dish baked or braised.
FINOCCHIELLA – Fennel Seeds. Yellowish in color and very fragrant, fennel grows wild in the highlands of Italy. The seeds are used to flavor roasts of meat and fish, as well as cured meats and sausages.
FIORE DI LATTE – “Flower of milk,” a soft fresh cow’s milk mozzarella.
FONDUTA – Cheese Fondue. A mixture of melted cheese (usually Fontina) and wine into which foods like bread and vegetables are dipped, typical of Northern Italy. It may also be used as a sauce for vegetables.
FONTINA – Genuine Fontina cheese comes from the Val d’Aosta area in Italy. It is a young cheese, with a mild, nutty flavor and creamy texture. Although it is great on it’s own, since it melts so well, it is often used in cooking.
FRAGOLA – Strawberry. Fragola di bosco or selvatica is the wild type.
FRISELLE – Also known as Frisedde or Frise, this is a hard twice-cooked bread roll that looks similar to a split bagel, which is first soaked in water, then dressed with tomatoes, oregano and extra-virgin olive oil.
FRUTTA DI BOSCO – “Fruit of the forest”. Refers to a mix of berries often served with lemon, sugar, or ice cream.
FUNGHI – General name for mushrooms.
FUSILLI – Short, twisted corkscrew like pasta that holds sauce well.