35+ Classic Italian Recipes

Italian cuisine has a way of transporting us to the Tuscan countryside or the bustling streets of Rome. With its rich flavors and aromas, it’s no wonder that Italian cooking has become a staple around the world. But what about the often-overlooked Italian soups that have been simmering on stoves for centuries?

From beef braciole with creamy polenta to caponata, there are countless classic Italian recipes waiting to be rediscovered. Some of these dishes include cheese manicotti skillet, sun-dried tomato and chicken florentine pasta, pasta fagioli al forno, and bellini. Then there’s pizzette with prawns, Italian hot chocolate, Italian tomato sauce, strawberry nutella pizza, olive garden alfredo sauce, mushroom risotto with rosemary, and many more.

Beef Braciole with Creamy Polenta


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Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience with this mouthwatering beef roulade recipe. Thinly sliced beef is carefully stuffed and wrapped around a flavorful filling, then smothered in a rich tomato sauce. While various cuts of beef can be used, a round roast emerges as the preferred choice for its tender texture and even flavor distribution. A culinary must-try that’s sure to satisfy any palate.

Cheese Manicotti Skillet


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One of my newest culinary loves is this effortless recipe, which transports me back to Italian nights at home as a child. The combination of tender stuffed shells and rich tomato sauce is nothing short of irresistible. What’s not to adore? Not only does it boast great taste, but it also boasts impressive speed, making it an ideal solution for busy meal prep. Furthermore, this recipe lends itself well to customization, allowing you to swap in healthier alternatives without sacrificing a single ounce of flavor.

Caponata


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Indulge in the harmonious union of salty, sweet, and tangy flavors that this iconic caponata recipe has to offer. A crucial step in bringing out its rich flavor profile is to caramelize the celery and onion before introducing the capers and olives, as this process amplifies the overall taste experience.
The pungent punch from the vinegar is what sets this dish apart, imbuing it with a delightful sourness.
To truly appreciate the complexity of these flavors, it’s essential to allow the dish to rest for a few minutes, allowing the nuances to meld together seamlessly. Pair it with a side of crispy breadsticks and prepare to be captivated by its delectable essence.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Chicken Florentine Pasta


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For a satisfying meal that’s quick to prepare, look no further than this creamy Florentine pasta dish with chicken or steak. Whether you’re in the mood for a hot supper or a refreshing picnic lunch, this recipe delivers. The rich Parmesan sauce provides the foundation, with melted mozzarella adding creaminess. Fresh spinach and colorful bell peppers bring a pop of color to the dish. Best of all, it can be prepared in just 30 minutes, making it an ideal solution for those chaotic evenings when you need a meal that’s both delicious and efficient. For added variety, consider substituting the chicken with a juicy steak.

Pasta Fagioli al Forno


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Gather everyone around the dinner table for a taste of Italy with this crowd-pleasing dish, also known as ‘beans with baked pasta’. The rich flavors come from a medley of savory ingredients like ripe tomatoes, red pepper flakes, fresh basil, Italian sausage, and dried oregano. What’s more, you’ll find not one, but two types of cheese adding depth to the sauce. Begin by browning the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic before incorporating the remaining ingredients. The finishing touches include an extra sprinkle of cheese and a trip to the oven. Serve warm with crusty bread for a satisfying meal that’s sure to please.

Bellini


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Indulge in a refreshing bellini that’s sure to impress at your next brunch gathering. The simplicity of this recipe is truly its greatest appeal – just two ingredients are required: peaches and Prosecco. This classic combination yields a crisp, sparkling drink that’s perfect for warm weather or any occasion when you want to elevate the mood.

To prepare the peach purée, simply peel your peaches and remove the pit before blending them until smooth. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow it to reach its optimal temperature. Once cold, pour 2 ounces of the purée into a champagne flute, top with chilled Prosecco, and serve.

This delightful drink is as easy to prepare as it is to enjoy. With only peaches and Prosecco on the ingredient list, you can’t go wrong. Credit: taste.com.au

Pizzette with Prawns


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Imagine delighting in bite-sized pizzas that capture the essence of their larger counterparts, minus the hassle of a full-sized pie. These charming morsels are ideal as finger food or an appetizer at social gatherings, where they’ll surely impress your guests. To make preparation a cinch, rely on store-bought pizza dough and let your creativity shine by combining cheeses, tomatoes, and Parmesan atop the mini-circles of dough. Complete with a sprinkle of fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil after baking, then experiment with different toppings to discover your new favorite combination. This recipe adds an exciting twist with spicy elements and succulent prawns, sure to elevate your pizza game.

Italian Hot Chocolate

Italian cuisine extends far beyond the realms of pizza and pasta. One such gem is Italian hot chocolate, a rich and creamy concoction that will transport you straight to Italy’s charming streets. Leave behind the instant mixes and bland flavors, for this authentic recipe uses real dark chocolate, whole milk, and sugar to create a thick, sweet, and indulgent delight.

Italian Tomato Sauce


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At the heart of Italian cuisine lies a rich and savory tomato sauce, a family heirloom recipe that’s sure to become a staple in your kitchen. The beauty of this sauce is its simplicity – with just a few key ingredients, the magic happens when you slow-cook it on low heat. The subtle trio of oregano, mint leaves, and basil infuses the sauce with a bright and refreshing flavor, while the pungency of onion, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil expertly balances the acidity of the tomatoes.

Strawberry Nutella Pizza


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Indulge in the ultimate sweet treat by combining the richness of Nutella with the lusciousness of strawberries on a strawberry Nutella pizza. The creamy, nutty flavor of Nutella perfectly harmonizes with the sweetness of the strawberries, while chopped almonds provide a delightful crunch. To create this dessert masterpiece, cook your dough to perfection and let it cool slightly before adding your toppings. And if you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to experiment with alternative combinations like bananas and peanut butter or dark chocolate chips and blueberries.

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce


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Say goodbye to relying on Olive Garden after whipping up this spot-on Alfredo sauce imitation. The process isn’t complex, requiring only a handful of minutes to prepare. A trifecta of heavy cream, garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese forms the foundation of this delectable sauce. Unlike traditional Alfredo sauces that often prioritize quantity over quality, this recipe prides itself on simplicity and a focus on using fewer ingredients to achieve a richer flavor profile.
To ensure a silky-smooth consistency, be patient and allow your butter and cream mixture to reach a rolling boil before adding the Parmesan cheese in small increments. This crucial step allows the cheese to melt effortlessly, preventing lumps from forming. With this recipe at your fingertips, you’ll never have to rely on Olive Garden again.

Mushroom Risotto with Rosemary


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While many people consider risotto a daunting dish to prepare, this rosemary and mushroom recipe is here to prove that it can be surprisingly easy. The key to a successful risotto lies in the use of warm broth, which allows the rice to cook evenly and prevents it from becoming mushy or overcooked. As you cook the risotto, be patient and take your time, as rushing through the process can lead to disappointing results. This recipe stands out due to its bold flavors, with the tanginess of mustard adding a delightful zing. However, the true star of the show is undoubtedly the fragrant rosemary, which infuses the dish with its unmistakable aroma and will surely impress your guests.

Florentine Steak

When it comes to Florentine cuisine, there’s no denying the allure of ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’, also known as Florentine steak. This iconic dish is all about sharing a hearty, slow-cooked porterhouse steak with friends and family. The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity – a generous helping of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper are all the seasoning needed to bring out the natural flavours of the beef. For that reason, it’s crucial to choose a premium cut of meat to ensure an unforgettable dining experience.

Serve your ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’ with roasted potatoes for a comforting classic combination or pair it with a vibrant Italian salad for a lighter option.

Italian Meatballs


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The classic Italian meatball recipe is a staple in many households, and with good reason – these tender, flavorful morsels are incredibly versatile. The key to achieving that depth of flavor lies in using a combination of three meats: beef, ground pork, and Italian sausage. This trifecta creates a rich, complex taste experience that’s hard to resist.One crucial step in ensuring the meatballs stay juicy is incorporating a panada into the mixture. A panada is simply a thick paste made by combining milk with bread crumbs. This clever technique helps to lock in moisture and prevents the meatballs from drying out, resulting in a more satisfying eating experience.

Neapolitan Pizza

While we may not be able to physically travel to Naples for a taste of authentic Neapolitan pizza, the good news is that this culinary delight can be easily recreated in the comfort of our own kitchens. A key component to achieving that characteristic crust is the use of handmade dough – and fortunately, it’s a surprisingly straightforward process.

At its core, Neapolitan pizza is all about simplicity. The sauce is made with canned tomatoes, while the toppings are limited to fresh mozzarella and an abundance of basil leaves. This understated approach allows the natural flavors of each ingredient to shine through, resulting in a truly elevated pizza night experience.

Sausage Arugula Pizza


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Indulge in this scrumptious sausage arugula pizza, which is bound to become a beloved family favorite. While pairing arugula with pizza may seem unconventional, its peppery flavor beautifully complements the richness of the sausage, creating an harmonious union. As you savor each bite, topped with melted mozzarella and tangy tomato sauce, you’ll undoubtedly bid farewell to traditional pepperoni pizzas forevermore. For an added layer of convenience, consider using homemade dough or store-bought alternatives. With each delectable slice, your love for this pizza will only continue to grow.

Calzones


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While some might disagree, I firmly believe that a cheese-drenched calzone eclipses a traditional pizza slice. The experience is undeniable – once you’ve savored the flavors of this compact delight, it’s likely you’ll be convinced of its superiority. These bite-sized calzones are ideal for grab-and-go lunches, far surpassing anything found at a fast-food establishment. Consider preparing a batch and freezing them for future convenience. When it comes to the dough, you can either rely on store-bought options or take the time to create your own from scratch. The fillings are entirely up to personal preference – feel free to add your favorite pizza toppings, such as rich sauce, fragrant basil, melted mozzarella, and crunchy peppers.

Caprese Chicken


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Indulge in the rich flavors of Caprese Chicken, where melted cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and a hint of sweetness from the balsamic sauce come together in perfect harmony. What’s remarkable about this dish is how effortlessly it can be prepared. The key to its success lies in the simplicity of cooking the chicken until it’s nicely browned and juicy. To take it to the next level, top the chicken with cheese slices and sun-dried tomatoes, then let the oven do the rest for about 10 minutes. The crowning glory is a generous drizzle of balsamic reduction – a finishing touch that elevates this dish from delightful to truly unforgettable.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

A delightful dinner option that’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters is filled pasta shells. This creative presentation not only makes mealtime more engaging for kids but also packed with rich flavors and creamy textures that adults will equally enjoy. The process begins by cooking the shell-shaped pasta, which serves as a versatile canvas for combining ricotta cheese and Parmesan for a filling. Next, add a savory meat sauce to create a hearty base, then top it off with melted Mozzarella cheese before baking. As the dish emerges from the oven, you’ll be treated to a serene dining experience that’s sure to leave everyone feeling content.

Tuscan Seafood Stew


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Tuscan fish stew, also known as Cacciucco, is a hearty and flavorful dish that can be customized to your taste. Typically, it features five different types of seafood, each representing one of the ‘c’s in the name. However, feel free to get creative and choose your own seafood combination.

The rich flavor profile of this stew comes from a blend of ingredients like parsley, garlic, sage leaves, and red wine vinegar. A touch of spice is added by red pepper flakes, giving it a nice balance of flavors.

To fully enjoy the savory liquid, serve your Cacciucco over crusty bread or croutons, allowing the bread to soak up the delicious broth.

Pasta Alla Norma


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Pasta Alla Norma is a beloved Sicilian dish that harmoniously blends roasted eggplant, rich marinara sauce, and fragrant fresh basil. While traditional recipes often employ fried eggplant, this adaptation cleverly substitutes roasted eggplant, resulting in a lighter and more straightforward preparation process. This creative twist yields a double benefit: it simplifies the cooking process while also reducing the dish’s overall richness. With its minimal ingredient requirement, Pasta Alla Norma can be effortlessly prepared and served with haste, making it an excellent option for busy home cooks.

Crispy Chicken Parmesan


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Experience the rich flavors of Italy with a classic dish that’s sure to delight your entire family: chicken Parmesan. The key to achieving perfectly tender and evenly cooked chicken breasts is to pound them using a meat mallet until they’re extremely thin and uniform in size.

Next, set up a breading station with three trays containing flour, cream and eggs, and breadcrumbs. This will make the breading process efficient and help you achieve that perfect crispy coating. To bread your chicken, start by dredging each breast in flour, then dip it in the egg wash before finally coating it in breadcrumbs.

Once you’ve breaded your chicken, it’s time to fry it. Simply place the coated breasts in a pan with some oil and cook until golden brown. After frying, begin building your Parmesan masterpiece by adding a layer of marinara sauce, followed by a breast of chicken, another layer of sauce, and finally topping it all off with a generous helping of melted mozzarella cheese.

Italian Salad

This Italian-inspired salad makes a satisfying side dish or a quick and nutritious lunch on its own. The key to its flavor is the homemade dressing, which is surprisingly easy to prepare.

To make the dressing, combine fresh basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and honey in a food processor until well combined. That’s it!

For the salad itself, you can’t go wrong with a mix of crunchy vegetables like romaine lettuce, carrot, and bell peppers. Add some juicy tomatoes and savory black and green olives for added texture and flavor. If you want to get fancy, toss in some crumbled feta cheese for an extra burst of taste.

Lasagna

There’s nothing quite like the comforting warmth of a perfectly crafted lasagna. This recipe takes the classic Italian dish and gives it a twist, allowing you to create a delicious meal even on the busiest of nights. The key is simplicity – using store-bought marinara sauce and cooked lasagna noodles means less prep time and more time spent enjoying the fruits of your labor. The layers of this lasagna are what make it truly special: alternating between meat sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese creates a rich and satisfying flavor profile that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Simply layer the ingredients, pop the dish in the oven, and serve with a glass of Italian red wine for the ultimate comfort food experience.

Muffuletta

Indulge in the delightful flavors of a Muffuletta sandwich, a culinary masterpiece that’s sure to win your heart. This stacked delight boasts an impressive array of savory meats and crisp vegetables. But what truly sets it apart is the tangy olive salad that serves as its defining characteristic.

The key to a traditional Muffuletta lies in crafting the perfect olive salad. Simply combine fresh peppers, capers, olives, garlic, giardiniera, and chopped parsley in a food processor until you achieve a harmonious blend.

Spread this zesty mixture evenly on both sides of the bread, creating the ideal base for your sandwich. Next, build towering layers of capicola, mortadella, provolone, and soppressata on top, repeating the process to create a majestic monument of flavors that’s sure to satisfy any appetite.

Tuscan Chicken


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For busy weeknights, this one-pan Tuscan chicken is a game-changer. This 30-minute meal boasts rich flavors and a satisfying creaminess without sacrificing simplicity. The core ingredients are easy to source, but the resulting dish is far from basic.

The magic happens when you combine Alfredo sauce made with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, Italian spices, and melted cheese. Spread this luscious coating over browned chicken and let it simmer, allowing the flavors to meld together in a harmonious blend. This recipe shines on its own, but it also pairs beautifully with spaghetti for added variety.

Stromboli


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Transform leftover pizza dough into a mouth-watering stromboli by filling it with an assortment of meats such as ham, pepperoni, and salami. Don’t forget to add a generous helping of melted mozzarella cheese for added flavor and creaminess. Roll the dough up tightly, place it in the oven, and let the magic happen. Once baked, slice it into individual portions to reveal the characteristic stromboli shape.

Cappuccino

As the evening draws to a close, there’s no better way to cap off a spectacular dinner party than with a lively conversation and a rich, velvety cup of cappuccino in hand. And the good news is that crafting this delightful beverage isn’t an art reserved for the initiated – all you need are some basic ingredients, including milk, water, and coffee, as well as a cappuccino maker to simplify the process. While the perfect cappuccino may be elusive for many, one key element stands out: foamy milk, which is equally at home starting the day off on the right foot or serving as a soothing conclusion to a long evening.

Easy Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread

The quintessential Italian flatbread, focaccia, boasts a delectable exterior that’s crispy and golden, while its interior remains soft, warm, and delightfully chewy. The aroma of freshly minced garlic, the fragrance of rosemary, and the richness of olive oil mingle to create a truly mouthwatering experience. To achieve this perfect harmony of flavors and textures, simply combine ingredients such as sugar, salt, and pepper, and let the magic unfold. What’s more, crafting focaccia from scratch is an effortless endeavor that requires minimal time investment, making it the perfect addition to any meal or gathering.

Italian Pasta Salad

This delectable Italian pasta salad is an ideal accompaniment to any meal, boasting a harmonious blend of creamy mozzarella cheese, savory salami, and crunchy fresh vegetables. The dish is elevated by a zesty herb vinaigrette that adds depth and complexity. Whether you’re preparing for a large gathering or looking for a nutritious lunch option, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings. With its impressive yield, you can create a batch that will impress at any occasion.

Osso Buco

One of Italy’s most beloved recipes, this braised veal dish is a masterclass in make-ahead comfort food. The rich tomato sauce, infused with an array of vegetables and spices, remains remarkably flavorful even after refrigeration or freezing. Its versatility allows it to harmonize beautifully with other Italian staples like saffron-infused Risotto alla Milanese and roasted asparagus, making it an excellent choice for a weeknight dinner or special occasion alike.

Creamy Garlic Salmon

This delectable Italian dish is a masterclass in simplicity. Despite its refined appearance, it’s surprisingly quick and effortless to prepare. The skillet cooking method yields a satisfying crunch on the edges, elevating this meal from ordinary to extraordinary.

Whipped Ricotta Dip

Savory and creamy whipped ricotta is an impressive appetizer that requires just four fundamental ingredients. This delightful dip pairs exquisitely with your go-to vegetables, crackers, or bread. Moreover, you can effortlessly prepare a batch in merely five minutes, making it an excellent addition to any gathering. Furthermore, the spreadability of this fantastic dip makes it perfect for elevating sandwiches to new heights.

Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Salad

Indulge in the effortless charm of Caprese Salad, an Italian culinary delight that’s as easy to prepare as it is to savor. This refreshing creation brings together the sweetness of halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls, the pungency of diced red onion, and the brightness of herbs, all united by a subtle yet tangy herb and garlic dressing. In mere minutes, you’ll be serving up a salad that’s sure to captivate your guests’ taste buds.

Creamy Chicken Roulade with Spinach and Mushrooms

Elevate the humble chicken breast by filling it with a flavorful mixture of crisp spinach and earthy sautéed mushrooms. This cylindrical delight is then wrapped in a crispy breaded coating, culminating in a rich and creamy Alfredo sauce that brings everything together.

Turkey Tetrazzini with Spinach

For the best way to repurpose those turkey leftovers, look no further than Turkey Tetrazzini, a satisfying casserole that combines the richness of creamy white sauce with egg noodles and an abundance of vegetables like peas and mushrooms.

Classic Roman Herbed Potato Pizza


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The culinary world of Italy never fails to impress, and one dish that embodies the country’s love for simplicity and flavor is the Roman herbed potato pizza. This delightful creation features a crispy crust topped with thin slices of potatoes, artfully seasoned with herbs and drizzled with olive oil, all baked to a golden brown perfection.

Final Words

These delectable recipes are sure to delight a crowd. Whether you’re gathering family and friends for a casual meal or a special occasion, these dishes are perfect for sharing. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these Italian-inspired creations!

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