Benevento: Exploring Local Cuisine, Famous Restaurants, and Traditional Recipes

Benevento: Exploring Local Cuisine, Famous Restaurants, and Traditional Recipes

Exploring Benevento: Local Cuisine, Famous Restaurants, and Traditional Recipes

Welcome to Benevento, a charming city in southern Italy known for its rich culinary traditions. If you are a food enthusiast, you have come to the right place! In this guide, we will take you on a gastronomic journey through Benevento, exploring its local cuisine, highlighting famous restaurants, and sharing traditional recipes that you can try at home.

Local Cuisine of Benevento

Benevento's cuisine is deeply rooted in the region's agricultural heritage, making use of fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The flavors are authentic, rustic, and full of character. Here are some key elements of the local cuisine:

  • Aglianico Wine: The vineyards surrounding Benevento produce excellent Aglianico wine, a robust red wine with deep flavors. Don't miss the opportunity to pair your meals with a glass of this local specialty.
  • Pasta alla Beneventana: This pasta dish is a beloved local specialty made with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and chili peppers. The simplicity of the sauce allows the flavors to shine.
  • Sannio DOP Olive Oil: Benevento is known for its high-quality olive oil. The Sannio DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) olive oil, produced in the region, has a distinct taste that adds depth to any dish.
  • Local Cheeses: Benevento boasts an array of delightful cheeses. Try the Caciocavallo Podolico, a semi-hard cheese made from the milk of Podolica cows. It has a rich and slightly spicy flavor.
  • Sweet Treats: End your meal on a sweet note with traditional desserts like Struffoli, small deep-fried balls of dough coated in honey and sprinkles, or Pastiera Napoletana, a delicious ricotta and wheat pie.

Famous Restaurants in Benevento

Benevento is home to numerous restaurants that offer mouthwatering dishes and impeccable service. Here are some renowned establishments that you should consider visiting:

  1. Ristorante Il Ficodindia: Located in the heart of the city, this elegant restaurant offers a combination of traditional and innovative dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients.
  2. Osteria al Duomo: Situated near the Cathedral, this charming eatery specializes in local cuisine, including homemade pastas, flavorful meats, and delectable desserts.
  3. Ristorante la Piazzetta: Enjoy a cozy atmosphere and exquisite dishes prepared using local ingredients. From fresh seafood to mouthwatering meat dishes, this restaurant has something for everyone.
  4. Trattoria da Peppino: A favorite among locals, this family-run trattoria serves generous portions of traditional Benevento dishes. Don't miss their homemade gnocchi and tender osso buco.
  5. Ristorante O' Sarracino: Indulge in a wide variety of traditional Italian dishes, including wood-fired pizzas and succulent grilled meats, at this popular restaurant known for its lively atmosphere.

Traditional Recipes from Benevento

If you want to recreate the flavors of Benevento at home, here are a couple of traditional recipes for you to try:

Pasta e Fagioli

This hearty pasta and bean soup is a staple in Benevento's cuisine. It combines simple ingredients to create a comforting and flavorful dish.


  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta (or any short pasta of your choice)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Soak the dried cannellini beans overnight in water. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add the soaked beans and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender.
  4. Using a blender or a food processor, puree half of the soup mixture until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot.
  5. Add the pasta to the pot and let it cook until al dente.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


This delightful dessert is a staple during festive occasions in Benevento. The small, golden balls of dough are coated in sweet honey and decorated with colorful sprinkles.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup honey
  • Colorful sprinkles, for decoration


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until the dough comes together.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth.
  3. Divide the dough into small portions and roll them into thin ropes. Cut the ropes into small pieces, about the size of a hazelnut.
  4. In a deep pan, heat vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C).
  5. Fry the small dough pieces in batches until golden brown. Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  6. In a separate saucepan, warm the honey over low heat until it becomes runny.
  7. Add the fried dough to the saucepan with honey and mix until all the pieces are coated.
  8. Transfer the coated dough to a serving plate and shape it into a mound. Decorate with colorful sprinkles.
  9. Allow the struffoli to cool and set before serving. Enjoy!