Easy Italian recipes
Enjoy la dolce vita from your own home with some of our favourite recipes, from homemade pasta and pizza to antipasti ideas and a decadent semifreddo
Create your own ultimate Italian feast. Start with easy antipasti ideas, including burrata and a summer antipasti board. We have plenty of primi dishes to choose from... think ricotta gnudi and squash gnocchi, posh pasta dishes (including how to make past from scratch) and easy pizza ideas. Italian dishes for main course include Italian sausages with polenta, easy agrodolce chicken and Italian baked meatballs. Finish with some fab Italian dessert ideas such as Italian lemon cake, homemade gelato and affogato.
Not spotted your favourite Italian dish? Do you know an awesome Italian chef or food writer that you’d like to see featured here? Email us or contact us on social media at @olivemagazine to let us know!
Easy Italian recipes
Italian antipasti ideas
Juicy peaches give a sweet contrast to creamy burrata and salty serrano ham in this showstopping summer salad.
This Italian scotch egg-style dish sees olives rolled in sausagemeat and breadcrumbs before frying. This recipe comes from Italian restaurant Luca, where it's served with confit garlic mayo and crispy sage leaves.
Kick off a classic Italian meal with these gorgeous grilled veggies. Serve with fresh focaccia, olives and cured meats for an impressive spread.
Make this posh bruschetta from London's Mortimer House restaurant for a pretty Italian dish to serve as a dinner party starter.
The combination of gorgonzola, pears and walnuts is usually found in a salad but works brilliantly on this molten cheesy bread. It’s great hot but equally good for lunchboxes the day after.
Adding finely grated Grana Padano to the dressing gives a creamy but piquant contrast to the sweet figs for a vibrant starter.
Try this crunchy arancini with punchy 'nduja, Grano Padano and saffron. This easy yet impressive recipe comes from Italian restaurant Bancone in Covent Garden.
Check out our simple focaccia with rosemary and olive oil. This incredibly moreish bread recipe is easy to make and the perfect side with any starter.
Italian pasta dishes
From homemade pasta skills to easy midweek ideas, try our Italian pasta dishes. We have plenty more pasta ideas, from vegetarian pasta recipes to posh pasta recipes for a dinner party and our quick and easy pasta dishes.
Spirals of salty ham hock, creamy mascarpone and spinach create this showstopping pasta bake.
Find more flavoursome ham hock recipes, from risottos to salads.
If you’re looking for an alternative to your go-to pasta dish, check out this recipe, which originates from Palermo, the capital of Sicily, and draws heavily from Arabic influences.
Check out our easy orecchiette recipe with large juicy prawns and punchy chilli. Impress with this simple yet flavour-packed pasta recipe this weekend.
This vegan casarecce is super simple and only takes 15 minutes to make. Casarecce is a twisted short pasta that retains a good bite, perfect for this dish.
Spaghetti alle vongole with 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.
White lasagne, like white pizza, doesn’t contain tomato sauce but is still rich and savoury. This version with porcini and pancetta is a bit posher than the usual. Look for high-welfare or rose veal mince. We have loads of lasagne recipes here, from classic lasagne to posh porcini lasagne.
Mitshel Ibrahim, head chef of Venetian-styled restaurant Ombra, shares his showstopping lamb, peas and wild garlic lasagne, perfect for a lazy weekend project or Italian dinner party.
It doesn't get much more Italian than pizza! Here is a selection of our favourite pizza recipes.
These super-easy Sicilian aubergine pizzas are a great twist on a family favourite. They use crème fraîche instead of a tomato base, charred aubergines, sultanas and pesto, with rocket and pine nuts for a bit of extra crunch.
Flavoured with basil and oregano, slather this tomato pizza sauce over doughy bases to make homemade pizza.
This recipe for no-knead pizza is a bit of a leap of faith, but once you get used to the dough it’s a great method to have up your sleeve.
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.
Other Italian primi dishes
From gnudi to gnocchi, panzanella to pasta, here are our favourite primi recipes.
This combo of cool lemony ricotta and crisp golden fried gnocchi is an absolute winner.
These delicate, light-as-air ricotta dumplings 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.
This recipe makes a great spring salad, packed with lots of tangy flavours from anchovies and capers as well as creamy burrata and fresh broad beans.
If you’re looking for a green salad to add to your Italian spread, try this super-fresh puntarelle, anchovies and caper salad from Ombra restaurant's Mitshel Ibrahim. It’s also perfect as a side to lasagne.
Italian main course ideas
From fresh fish with almond dressing to Italian sausages and family-style meatball ideas, try our best Italian main meals here.
Cacciucco is a fish stew from Livorno, a port on the coast of Tuscany, and it should contain five types of seafood. This recipe comes from Caldesi in Campagna, an Italian restaurant in Bray.
This easy recipe is ideal when you're short on time. Just bung it all in the oven and you have yourself a hearty and healthy springtime meal.
Italian-style sausages with streaky bacon, herbs and a splash of red wine. Serve with some cheesy polenta for extra flavour and you've got a quick and easy midweek meal for all the family.
This Italian classic of layers of tomato sauce, aubergine and parmesan, is simple to make and is good for entertaining or for family meals.
Meatballs baked in rich tomato sauce with a melting mozzarella topping - this recipe is all about comfort food. It's also perfect for freezing, making it a great option for when you don't want to cook mid-week.
Try our Italian dessert recipes, from summery Amalfi lemon cake to rich semifreddo, we've got lots of treats to end your Italian meal. More Italian dessert recipes here.
Whip up our smart, authentic version of this classic Italian dessert, made with mascarpone, marsala and savoiardi biscuits soaked in coffee and Tia Maria.
This quick and easy all-in-one cake is a breeze to make and will wow everyone at the table.
Our chocolate and hazelnut torte is a seriously creamy and indulgent weekend treat. This recipe only takes 30 minutes to whip up and can feed up to 12 people.
Make a batch of homemade cannoli for a sweet Italian treat for your next dinner party, served with a shot of espresso.
Give our Italian almond and Amalfi lemon cake a go. The Amalfi lemons have a strong aroma and are slightly sweeter than regular lemons. This light summery cake is seriously moreish.
Semifreddo is a type of ice cream with a mousse-like texture. This recipe not only looks impressive but can be made in advance for easy dinner party entertaining. Plus, there's no churning required.
This panna cotta with black pepper honeycomb from Rachel Karasik may sound odd but it really, really works.