best ever italian recipes

We've got 18 inspiring Italian recipes to celebrate La Dolce Vita. Pizza, pasta or a decadent semi-freddo; dine the Italian way tonight

Courgette carbonara

Dressed in a light and creamy carbonara sauce, this quick-to-make pasta is perfect on a warm summer evening. It quickly dispenses with any garden gluts too.


 Ricotta gnudi with sage butter 

These delicate, light-as-air ricotta dumplings are a bit of a leap of faith but will work perfectly as long as you follow the rules. Don’t be tempted to skip the draining or overnight coating time as these are both essential to the gnudi holding their shape.

ricotta gnudi

Spaghetti alle vongole with samphire

Spaghetti alle vongole or clams makes a classic Italian supper. The clams are cooked in dry white wine, which combined with the natural clam juice and samphire make a lovely rich sauce for the pasta.

Spaghetti alle vongole with samphire

lemon butter fish with pepperonata

An easy fish supper: grilled haddock or pollack served with a traditional Sicilian pepperonata; peppers, onion, raisins and capers makes a quick midweek meal.

vanilla panna cotta with espresso swirl

Panna cotta is an Italian pudding of cream which has been softly set with gelatine. This version has a delicious espresso coffee swirl in the middle for an extra touch.


Saltimbocca means ‘jump in the mouth’ in Italian. This quick supper is a very thin veal escalope, wrapped in Parma ham then pan fried in butter with sage. Look for ethically produced rose veal in good butchers and supermarkets.

basic pizza

Learning to make pizza dough from scratch is a great skill to master. It will save you a fortune in takeaway bills and you get to decide exactly what toppings go onto it. This easy recipe will keep all the family happy.

trofie al pesto

Using fresh, homemade pesto this quick to make pasta dish is ready in 20 minutes. A fast and easy weekday meal that all the family will love.

peppadews stuffed with green olive tapenade and mozzarella

This super-quick party nibble is really easy to put together and requires no cooking. Buy sweet and hot peppadew peppers then just stuff with a mix of creamy mozzarella and a punchy olive tapenade.


A brilliant Italian-style antipasti. Perfect for a quick starter or summer lunch, this bruschetta is best cooked on the BBQ for an authentic charred flavour.

tagliata of grilled rib of beef

A traditional Italian dish from the region of Tuscany of thinly sliced beef served with rocket and parmesan – the perfect recipe for a summer BBQ with friends

aubergine parmigiana

Easy recipe for Aubergine parmigiana. This Italian classic of layers of tomato sauce, aubergine and parmesan, is simple to make and is good for entertaining or for family meals.

Mushrooms baked with hazelnuts and pecorino

This clasic Italian dish combines field mushrooms with hazelnuts for a simple autumnal dinner-party starter or quick and easy vegetarian midweek meal.

Chicken with agrodolce sauce

Agrodolce means sweet and sour in Italian. This dish cooks thin escalopes of chicken in a tomato, onion and red wine vinegar sauce for a punchy super low-cal and low-fat dish.

Pizza bianca with smoked salmon and spring onions

Try this delicious pizza bianca (with a creamy white base rather than tomato sauce). Spring onion, rocket and smoked salmon mean this pizza is piled high with fresh summery flavours.


The classic beef sauce in this lasagne is enriched with porcini mushrooms and olives to make a flavourful dish that’s ideal for entertaining.

Marinated parmesan

Delicious dip for nibbles at a party or as a light starter that gives Parmesan a starring role. Quickly made in less than half an hour, with just 5 ingredients and bread to serve.


Apricot and amaretti semifreddo

This no-churn Italian ice cream dessert is sure to impress dinner party guests. Make with fresh apricots and a dash of Ameretto, the best Italian liqueur.

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