30 Italian Food Recipes for Memorable Meals


Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen with these fantastic gourmet Italian recipes. From crescent-shaped stuffed pasta to woven lasagna and fried risotto pancakes, these dishes are full of flavor and are wonderful for family dinners and parties alike. It doesn't end there, though: We've included desserts such as classic cannoli with orange-scented cheese filling to keep everyone's sweet tooth satisfied. Try one of these Italian dishes for a gourmet getaway.

01 of 30

Salad of Pink Radicchio, Citrus, and Mushroom Bagna Cauda

Salad of Pink Radicchio, Citrus, and Mushroom Bagna Cauda
Gentl & Hyers

In this recipe from Cooking with Mushrooms by Andrea Gentl, melted anchovies and porcini mushroom powder lend a savory depth to nutty brown butter bagna cauda, yielding a powerhouse sauce that's perfect for drizzling on a wintery salad. The sweetness of vibrant Cara Cara oranges mellows the bitter radicchio and adds a pop of color.

02 of 30

Italian Bone-In Pork Loin

Italian Bone-In Pork Loin Recipe
Victor Protasio

Frenching and trimming the bone-in pork loin at home gives you fatty, flavorful scraps to season the aromatics and render luscious pan juices. Finishing the pork on a slow roast gives it time to cook through without drying out, gently caramelizing the tender fennel, onion, and shallots.

03 of 30

Smoked Mozzarella Mezzelune with Braised Onion Sauce

Smoked Mozzarella Mezzalune with Braised Onion Sauce
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Missie Neville Crawford

Mezzelune (which means "half-moons" in Italian) are a crescent-shaped stuffed pasta similar to ravioli. They're a relatively simple shape to try that requires little equipment to make at home. The accompanying thick, rich slow-cooked tomato-onion sauce is loosely inspired by a Bolognese classic called il friggione.

04 of 30

Fritto Misto with Calabrian Chile Aïoli

Fritto Misto with Calabrian Chile Aioli
Jose Mandojana / Food Styling by Robyn Valarik / Prop Styling by Christine Wolheim

A festive mix of shrimp, calamari, anchovy-stuffed olives, and paper-thin lemon slices are dredged in a Pernod-spiked batter and fried to crispy, golden perfection. Jarred Calabrian chiles add a fruity heat to the creamy aïoli dipping sauce. 

05 of 30

Candied Almond Affogato

Almond Affogato
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

This Italian dessert is simplicity at its finest — all you need to make it is a scoop or two of gelato and a shot of hot espresso. Here, we've added almond liqueur to the mix for a little extra flair, plus candied almonds and crushed amaretti cookies for some crunch. The elegant treat comes together in just a few minutes, making it an easy and impressive option for entertaining. 

06 of 30

Soppressata Pizza with Calabrian Chiles and Hot Honey

Soppressata Pizza with Calabrian Chile Honey
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Take a little soppressata, some chopped Calabrian chiles, and a drizzle of hot honey, and you'll end up with the pizza of the moment. Calabrian chiles, fiery chiles from Italy, add heat and a distinctly fruity flavor to this pie. The hot honey mirrors the flavors of the chiles and adds a touch of sweetness. 

07 of 30

Farro Mafaldine with Black Truffle Butter and Mushrooms

Farro Mafaldine with Black Truffle Butter and Mushrooms
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

"The best way to cook with truffles is as simply as possible," says chef Karen Akunowicz, of the northern Italian restaurant Fox & the Knife in Boston. Black truffle paste, available year-round, melts beautifully into the buttery sauce, but when they're in season (November through February), Akunowicz recommends splurging for fresh black truffles, using a rasp grater to get as much truffle goodness as possible into each perfect bite.

08 of 30

Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and Fresh Spinach Sauce

Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and Spinach Sauce Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Weaving the pasta sheets in this lasagna allows the outer pieces to bubble and crisp in the oven around the creamy, rustic prosciutto-ricotta filling. Don’t skip the fresh pasta sheets; their length and texture are key to assembling this show-stopping dish.

09 of 30

Risotto al Salto (Crispy Rice Pancake)

Riso Giallo al Salto (Crispy Rice Pancake)

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Also known as risotto alla Milanese, risotto giallo is a yellow risotto that gets its vibrant color as a result of the pigment released by saffron, the hero of the dish. In this two-for-one recipe, you can make a sumptuous saffron-stained risotto that's perfectly delicious served all’onda (creamy and hot) — or prepare it al salto (fried) into crisp golden pancakes.

10 of 30



Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This cozy dish of rolled flank steak and prosciutto stuffed with breadcrumbs, cheese, and pine nuts and cooked in tomato sauce is a staple at Italian family gatherings.

11 of 30

Tortine di Riso Agli Agrumi (Italian-style Rice Custard with Citrus)

Tortine di Riso Agli Agrumi (Rice Custard with Citrus)

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Inspired by the classic torta di riso alla Carrarina, a special dessert from the area of Tuscany's Carrara marble quarries, this sweet rice dish’s defining feature is that it separates into two layers as it bakes: The top transforms into a delicate, barely set custard, while the bottom develops into a firmer layer of soft rice bound with custard.

12 of 30

Five-Herb Frittata with Prosciutto and Parmesan

Five-Herb Frittata Prosciutto and Parmesan
John Kernick

Chef Nancy Silverton has strong opinions about frittatas. She likes them to be creamy like scrambled eggs, with various toppings like prosciutto, cheese, and a generous amount of herbs. At her dinner parties, she often serves this 15-minute frittata as a side dish, so guests can cut wedges at the table.

13 of 30

Tuscan-Style Veal Chops

Tuscan-Style Veal Chops
© James Baigrie

"Grill masters all over the world have noticed that when you grill a piece of meat and then anoint it with some kind of fat, it mixes with the meat juices and creates instant sauce," barbecue teacher Steven Raichlen says. In Tuscany, olive oil is the fat of choice for finishing herbed veal chops like these.

14 of 30

Creamy Polenta with Three-Cheese Fonduta

Creamy Polenta with Three Cheese Fonduta Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

This creamy polenta with three-cheese fonduta, also called toc’ in braide, is a luxuriously rich mixture of thick, sweet polenta and three cheeses: whole milk ricotta, crumbly Gorgonzola, and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano. Thyme-infused brown butter adds a woodsy, nutty bite to this indulgent side.

15 of 30

Italian Wedding Risotto

Italian Wedding Risotto
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Inspired by the classic Italian wedding soup, this heartier risotto is filled with just-wilted spinach and topped with crispy, garlicky meatballs. Use a cookie scoop to quickly portion out the meatballs; make a double batch and freeze half to whip up this risotto in a flash. Remove the risotto from the heat while it's still a little soupy — it will thicken slightly as it rests. 

16 of 30

Ossola-Style Gnocchi with Sage-Butter Sauce

Ossola-Style Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Missie Neville Crawford

Recipe developer Meryl Feinstein's Ossola-style gnocchi are hearty cold-weather dumplings from the Ossola Valley in northern Piedmont, only a few miles from the Swiss border. In addition to potatoes, these gnocchi include winter squash, chestnut flour, and nutmeg.

17 of 30



Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Josh Hoggle

Cannoli, a crisp and creamy Italian dessert with origins in Sicily, is made of pastry dough that has been molded into a tube and fried until crispy. The fried pastry is filled with orange-scented mascarpone and ricotta cheese filling and then dipped in chopped chocolate or pistachio.

18 of 30

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

© Greg DuPree

Chef Nancy Silverton is an Italian cooking expert, getting the biggest flavor from the simplest ingredients. She does just that with this hearty salad, which combines crisp iceberg lettuce, milky mozzarella, spicy-tangy peperoncini, and salty olives and salami.  

19 of 30

Florentine Butter Chicken

Greg DuPree

This recipe, inspired by Food & Wine editor in chief Hunter Lewis' trip to Trattoria Sostanza in Florence, features tangy cultured butter, which has a higher butterfat content. The butterfat gives cultured butter a slightly higher smoke point and — when combined with olive oil — provides enough cooking time to finish the chicken and sauce simultaneously.

20 of 30

Beef Brasato with Pappardelle and Mint

Beef Brasato with Pappardelle and Mint

© Tina Rupp

Chef Chris Cosentino braises beef shank and oxtail in red wine to make a brasato he serves with housemade mint pappardelle. This easier version uses just beef shank; feel free to purchase the fresh pappardelle from the store instead of making your own.

21 of 30

Italian Seafood Stew

Italian Seafood Stew
© John Kernick

In this luscious, tomato-rich stew, chef Marco Canora cooks calamari slowly until it becomes super tender. He says calamari is absolutely essential to the success of the dish because it releases its liquid as it simmers, which adds a huge amount of flavor to the sauce. "I'm a big fan of substitutions," he says, "but not in this case."

22 of 30

Toasted Pistachio-Cheese Arancini

Toasted Pistachio–Cheese Arancini
© Ditte Isager

This recipe for arancini — fried risotto balls — comes from bakery owner Renato Poliafito, who got it from his Sicilian cousin Emanuele Sanfilippo. These arancini are the size of tangerines, filled with creamy, cheesy rice, studded with nuts and green peas, and encased in a great crunchy crust.

23 of 30

Bucatini Carbonara

Bucatini Carbonara
© Anna Williams

Italian carbonara is famously rich, combining pancetta or guanciale (cured pork jowl), egg yolks, and cheese. Chef Linton Hopkins adds his own Southern accent to the dish with house-cured pork and local eggs.

24 of 30

Sardinian Stuffed Eggplant

Sardinian Stuffed Eggplant
© Quentin Bacon

Chef Efisio Farris says that his mother used only eggplants from the first pick of the season (le primizie) for this dish because of their supple texture and earthy-sweet flavor without a hint of bitterness. But if you don't have the primizie option, seek out firm, heavy eggplants with smooth, evenly colored skin. Check for ripeness by pressing them lightly; if this leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ready to use.

25 of 30

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Spiced Pepita Brittle

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Spiced Pepita Brittle. Photo © Con Poulos
© Con Poulos

This light, silky panna cotta tastes a lot like hot cocoa in custard form. The brittle is easy to make; heat sugar and water on the stove, swirl in butter and spiced pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), then let cool.

26 of 30

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato-Butter Sauce

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato-Butter Sauce
© Catherine Ledner

Chef Tommy Habetz describes gnudi as "ravioli filling without the pasta." Gnudi are of Tuscan origin, and a fresh Tuscan white wine — particularly a Vernaccia — makes a perfect pairing for Habetz's recipe.

27 of 30

Grilled Mackerel with Sicilian Caper-Tomato Salsa

Grilled Mackerel with Sicilian Caper-Tomato Salsa
© John Kernick

"Give mackerel a chance," begs chef Michael White. The Spanish fish he imports from Europe is grilled, which makes the skin enticingly crisp, then topped with a refreshing tomato-caper salsa.

28 of 30

Pizza Vesuvio with the Works

Pizza Vesuvio with the Works. Photo © Anson Smart
© Anson Smart

This half-pizza, half-calzone is named for Italy’s Mount Vesuvius. It's topped with everything delicious: artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, ham, salami, mushrooms, olives, and of course, marinara.

29 of 30

Farro Salad with Fried Cauliflower and Prosciutto

Farro Salad with Fried Cauliflower and Prosciutto
© Kana Okada

Cooks in Italy fry cauliflower to bring out its nuttiness. Here, chef Ethan Stowell deep-fries it for a salad with salty prosciutto and nubby farro.

30 of 30

Vanilla Zabaglione with Raspberries

Zabaglione with Strawberries
© Stephanie Shih

The ethereal Italian dessert sauce zabaglione (known in French as sabayon) consists of egg yolks beaten with sugar and the Sicilian fortified dessert wine Marsala. Steeping vanilla seeds in the Marsala adds lovely flavor; folding in whipped cream increases its decadence.

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