100 Ways to Cook Italian
Bring the flavors of Italy into your very own kitchen with our 100 delectable Italian recipes.
From pizza and pasta to gelato and tiramisu, we've rounded up a collection of our most exquisite and enchanting Italian recipes. Fresh herbs, produce, and ingredients come together to create these Italian recipes, which offer lighter versions of otherwise diet-busting dishes.
First up is a classic— Pizza Margherita!
Because this classic Neapolitan-style pizza is so simple, it depends on quality ingredients: Use the best fresh mozzarella and basil you can find for this recipe.
Our cioppino is easy to make and it features fresh Italian flavors such as basil, oregano, and tomatoes. If you already have it on hand, feel free to substitute chicken broth in place of vegetable broth.
When this recipe first appeared in the magazine in October 2009, it was made with hollow bucatini noodles. For this version, we switched to ribbony pappardelle. In truth, any pasta would work well.
Fra diavolo means "brother devil" in Italian and refers to a spicy, tomato-based sauce. Here we use store-bought marinara that's jazzed up with fresh fennel, crushed red pepper, and garlic.
Look for caper berries near the olives in the supermarket; they should be next to the capers, but they're much bigger and have a stem. In a pinch, substitute about a tablespoon of chopped capers. Japanese eggplants have thinner skins than typical globe eggplants, so you can leave the peel on. The light purple color is pretty, too.
Ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella combine to give this lasagna an irresistible gooey factor. Store-bought tomato sauce offers convenience and is perked up with a little fresh basil, garlic, and ground red pepper.
Don't skimp on the oil: There's a good bit here, but it creates a gorgeous tomato sauce that coats the noodles nicely. Burrata is rich, delicious fresh mozzarella cheese filled with cream. Although it was originally a hard-to-find imported Italian ingredient, now Bel Gioioso (an American cheese producer) makes and sells it in the gourmet cheese section at many major supermarkets.
Slow roasting concentrates the flavor in the tomatoes, making for a much heartier and somewhat thicker sauce. You can freeze the sauce in pint containers for up to six months. If you don't have a food mill, puree the sauce in a blender or food processor and strain through a sieve.
Our Vegetable Lasagna has half the fat and calories of traditional lasagna--but loaded with satisfying flavor. Lots of colorful, delicious baby veggies are layered between pasta to reduce the typical mounds of cheese.
Homemade pizza dough is economical, fun, and healthful since you control the ingredients. This recipe yields enough dough to make two pizzas, or one pizza and four large calzones.
Commercial marinara sauce and quick-cooking chicken cutlets give you a jump start on dinner when preparing this Italian-inspired chicken entree. Pepperoni slices and shredded mozzarella make this meal appealing to kids and adults alike.
Prepare the salad up to 1 day ahead, and store in the refrigerator. If you can't find fresh cranberry beans, substitute rinsed and drained canned cannellini beans, and add them to the snap beans for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
A rich bolognese sauce with plenty of meat feels like the old-world Italian dish, but fits in the new-world nutrition sense. One online reviewer claims, "I like any spaghetti sauce that sneaks in tons of veggies." Note: A little liquid remaining in your bolognese sauce helps coat the pasta.
In about 30 minutes, you can have a bowl of Garlicky Meatball Pasta on your table--homemade meatballs included. Refrigerated fettuccine and commercial marinara sauce helps to quicken this quick and easy pasta dinner.
This recipe makes an elegant dinner for entertaining. Spaghetti dressed with clams is a Southern Italian classic, and tomatoes contribute a contemporary addition.
Rich porcini broth and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano add deep umami taste to this vegetarian lasagna. Plain white button mushrooms will work in place of cremini. Serve with a simple green salad for a satisfying meal.
In Candy-Wrapped Tortelli, fresh dough gets twisted around the chicken-spinach filling, like a candy wrapper. Cutting and shaping tortelli by hand means each piece is unique--and therein lies the charm of this pasta dish.
Look for almond meal—also known as almond flour—in health-food and specialty stores. Bake the cookies ahead, and freeze up to six months in an airtight container, with wax paper between layers. Thaw and dust the cookies with powdered sugar just before serving.
This drink is a twist on the classic Bellini, a post–World War II cocktail of white peach puree and Champagne, first mixed at Harry's Bar in Venice. Freezing the watermelon before pureeing lends the drink a slightly slushy consistency. If you prefer a smoother texture, simply chill the watermelon. Serve in Champagne flutes.
Freshen up a classic chicken dish by using Meyer lemons for the sauce. These lemons have a great tangy aroma and are sweeter and less acidic that regular lemons.
Cubes of butternut squash hold their shape and bite, and stand out wonderfully against the farro background in "Farrotto" with Butternut, Gruyéré, and Hazelnuts. Grated Gruyéré cheese and chopped hazelnuts add the perfect touch of fat and salt at the end of this vegetarian main dish.
Chicken puttanesca is a simple Italian pasta sauce featuring fresh ingredients like chopped onion, garlic, chopped tomato, capers, sliced green olives, fresh herbs, and chopped anchovy. Serve with angel hair pasta.
Although the name tartine often refers to a French open-faced sandwich, this version is closer to Italian focaccia topped with piquant salad. Because it's inexpensive to make your own flatbread, you can splurge on real Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano, which makes a huge difference in a simple recipe like this one. You'll also have room in the budget for 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto for a salty, savory note.
This decadent-seeming chocolate biscotti recipe is actually pretty healthy and features good-for-you ingredients like whole-wheat flour, flaxseed, and unsalted almonds.
Limoncello is good ice-cold on its own, but it's also delicious in a lemon drop martini, mixed with sparkling wine, or splashed over a bowl of fresh fruit. Since it takes two weeks to infuse the bracing citrusy flavor into the vodka, start this gift early and decant it into pretty sterilized glass bottles.
Fresh lasagna noodles offer silky texture without the work of making your own pasta. Here we cut the sheets into thick noodles. Sub pappardelle or fettuccine, if necessary.
These breadsticks turn any soup or salad into a great lunch. Brush the dough with oil, coat with the cheesy seasoning blend, cut into thin strips, and bake until browned and crisp. For best results, bake only one sheet at a time.
Short-grain brown rice gets a whole pound of fresh mushrooms and a shower of chopped green beans in this vegetarian risotto. If the rice isn't tender enough after you've stirred in all the porcini liquid, add water and continue cooking and stirring until it's done.
More of a game plan than a set recipe, this dish lends itself to an assortment of ingredients you may have on hand. For example, if you can't find capocollo—cured sausage similar to salami—substitute salami or pepperoni. Serve the platter while vegetables are warm or at room temperature.
Our version of this quick dessert uses shaved bittersweet chocolate for added richness. Look for amaretti cookies at specialty or gourmet markets; they have a distinct almond-amaretto flavor and crunchy texture that make this dish memorable. In a pinch, you can substitute crumbled almond biscotti.
Based on the classic bistecca Fiorentina—grilled porterhouse—this dish uses sirloin strip steaks, which are leaner (and, because they're boneless, a little easier to grill) than porterhouse. Lemon juice is a traditional accent in the dish, meant to cut the richness of the meat. Use a mandoline to slice the artichokes thinly and evenly.
Salty Italian bacon and fresh asparagus make this crisp-chewy flatbread unforgettable. Use a mandoline to slice the asparagus, or just cut it into 2-inch pieces.
Think of this as stuffed French toast in a casserole. Here, sweet cinnamon bread meets juicy pears and the savory bite of Gruyère cheese. You want a pear variety that will hold its shape and won't exude too much moisture as the strata bakes--we liked Anjou and Concorde.
Orecchiette (little ears pasta) is a classic shape that's ideal for this chunky sauce. You can also substitute short pasta shapes like penne or rigatoni. If you can find mild-tasting cavolo nero (black kale), try it here.
We prefer the fresh taste of this Chocolate Chip Cannoli recipe's homemade ricotta, which can be made up to 4 days ahead. If you don't have time to make ricotta from scratch, substitute 4 cups part-skim ricotta, and proceed to step 3.
Gnocchi—small Italian potato dumplings—are a hearty alternative to pasta. While making gnocchi from scratch could take more than an hour, premade vacuum-packed dumplings cook in a few minutes.
This salad offers textural treats—crunchy celery, meaty walnuts, and crystalline cheese. Because the salt draws water out of the celery, it's best to serve this simple salad shortly after tossing the ingredients together.
Cannellini beans, native to Tuscany, work beautifully in this rustic soup because they hold their shape after simmering in the flavorful broth. Serve with a crusty Italian bread, such as ciabatta, and a salad of bitter greens.
Grilled Rosemary-Chicken Panini with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes is a delicious solution to the busy weeknight dinner dilemma. This excellent sandwich is loaded with fresh flavor and is guaranteed to satisfy any appetite.
A simple vodka-marinara sauce is tossed with refrigerated fettuccine and sauteed shrimp and for a quick and filling one-dish entree. Round out the meal with Creamed Spinach and Mushrooms.
Italian flavors abound in this vegetarian one-dish meal of Asparagus, Tomato, and Onion Farinata. Farinata is a thin cake made with chickpea flour. The chickpea flour makes this crispy crust high in fiber and gluten-free.
This dish contains many of the flavors of sauce Bolognese, the classic Italian ragù of pancetta, a mixture of ground meats, and aromatic ingredients stewed together. Round out the meal with polenta. Garnish with chopped fresh rosemary, if desired.
Put frozen whipped topping and frozen cherries to delightful use in this impressive finale. If you don't have 3-inch ring molds, which look like round cookie cutters, use smooth-sided mini charlotte molds with removable bottoms. Or you can freeze the mixture in a 9-inch springform pan and cut it into wedges for a more homey presentation.