Classic Italian Recipes

Italian food has some of the most recognizable meals, whether it's the simple spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, or pasta with buttermilk fettuccine, there's an endless list of Italian classics. It's easy to think about pasta when you hear Italian food, from a classic lasagna to delicious ravioli, Italians have mastered the art of pasta. But there's so much more to Italian food, including the classic way to cook rabbit, and of course chicken parmigiana. Don't forget about Italian desserts like rich gelato, the elegant ricotta and coffee mousse, or especially the chocolate, olive oil, and sea salt budino. There's a reason why the Italian cuisine is considered one of the best in the world, so here our are favorite classic Italian recipes to prove it.

Nick Anderer's Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil
Nick Pasta Recipe
Classically Roman, this garlicky pasta dish—as interpreted by Nick Anderer of Maialino and Marta in New York City—is brightened with pepperoncino and a handful of vibrant parsley. It gets a hit of salt from grated Grana Padano and roundness from extra-virgin olive oil. Get the recipe for Nick Anderer's Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil »Michelle Heimerman
Salami, Smoked Mozzarella, and Basil Stromboli
Salami, Smoked Mozzarella, and Basil Stromboli
Chef Scott Conant's gooey, smokey stromboli is best hot out of the oven, but It also makes great leftovers. Wrap individual slices in foil for an easy, cheesey lunch. Get the recipe for Salami, Smoked Mozzarella, and Basil Stromboli »Dan Q. Dao
Italian Easter Pie (Pizza Gain, a.k.a. Pizza Rustica)
Pizza Gain
Sometimes called pizza rustica or Easter pie, this savory southern Italian pie—eaten around the holiday—incorporates chopped cured salamis and Italian cheeses into a dense, eggy filling surrounded by a pastry-like crust. It's most delicious eaten warm the same day it's baked, but leftovers (which you are almost certain to have) will keep for 4 to 5 days. Get the recipe for Italian Easter Pie (Pizza Gain, a.k.a. Pizza Rustica) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Mortadella and Fontina Slab Pie
Mortadella and Fontina Slab Pie
This flaky, comforting puff pastry hand pie is evil but genius—it tastes like the Italian version of a ham and cheese croissant, but without the labor of from-scratch pastry. Mortadella, a pork-based deli meat with pistachios and delicate morsels of pork fat, is available at many grocery stores, and Italian markets. Get the recipe for Mortadella and Fontina Slab Pie »Stacy Adimando
Cuttlefish Ink Risotto
Cuttlefish Ink Risotto
This recipe was adapted from Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina in Florence, Italy. Chef Jeewa Atapattu serves his jet-black risotto al nero with bright yellow shaved bottarga (Italian cured fish roe). Get the recipe for Cuttlefish Ink Risotto »Michelle Heimerman
Sicilian Seafood Stew with Almonds and Couscous
Sicilian Seafood Stew with Almonds and Couscous
In western Sicily, couscous is often served as an appetizer. Here, a bounty of local seafood—swordfish, shrimp, calamari, and mussels—is piled on top for a hearty main course. The cooking liquid, a fragrant tomato-seafood broth, is rich and flavorful, so be sure to serve the seafood and couscous doused with plenty of it—the couscous will soak much of it up. Get the recipe for Sicilian Seafood Stew with Almonds and Couscous »William Hereford
Razor Clams Fantasia
Razor Clams in White Wine Sauce
Colatura, an Italian fish sauce, brings an umami note to this simple appetizer of meaty razor clams. Get the recipe for Razor Clams Fantasia »Michael Turek
Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce
Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce
These soft gnocchi from Tuscany are the ultimate version of the kind most commonly served at Italian-American restaurants. The dish is amped up with briny chopped capers and green olives. Get the recipe for Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce »Con Poulos
Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake
Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake
Serve this moist, dense, candied orange-studded cake with vanilla gelato, sea salt, and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. Get the recipe for Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake »Andre Baranowski
Chickpea and Pasta Soup
Chickpea and Pasta Soup
This soup is a meal in and of itself, full of lots of vegetables, chickpeas, and pasta. Get the recipe for Chickpea and Pasta Soup »Farideh Sadeghin
Buttermilk Fettuccine with Spiced Tomato Sauce
Buttermilk Fettuccine with Spiced Tomato Sauce
At Bros' in Lecce, chef Floriano Pellegrino finishes lightly cooked pasta in fresh buttermilk before dousing it with slow-cooked, cinnamon-spiked tomato sauce. Get the recipe for Buttermilk Fettuccine with Spiced Tomato Sauce »Matt Taylor-Gross
Classic Easy Lasagna
Lasagna
Lasagna gets a bad rap for being a labor-intensive dish, but with a few shortcuts, like starting with store-bought lasagna sheets, you can make a great version any night of the week. Get the recipe for Classic Easy Lasagna »Farideh Sadeghin
Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce
Anzelottos Stuffed with Swiss Chard topped with Pomodoro Sauce
From the tortelli family, anzelottos are rectangles often with ridged edges. "They're made with a thicker, bright white dough of plain semola flour and hot water, which penetrates the proteins in the rustic flour more easily," chef Evan Funke of Felix in Los Angeles says. Get the recipe for Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce »Heami Lee
Italian-Style Fried Rabbit (Coniglio in Padella)
Rita's Rabbit Recipe
A classic way to cook this lean protein, coniglio in padella requires not much more than brining, browning, and reducing. Rita Sodi of I Sodi in New York City brines her rabbit with garlic and rosemary before browning it with salty lardo. A white wine sauce with olives adds an extra layer of briny flavor. Get the recipe for Italian-Style Fried Rabbit (Coniglio in Padella) »Michelle Heimerman
Easy Chicken Parmigiana
Chicken Parmesan
Simply bread your chicken (you could use veal or eggplant instead), fry it, layer with some easy homemade red sauce and mozzarella, and bake. Get the recipe for Easy Chicken Parmigiana »Farideh Sadeghin
Pistachio Gelato Ice Cream
Pistachio Gelato Ice Cream
Compared to American and French ice creams, Italian-style gelato is made with less cream. Surprisingly, this translates to a denser, richer texture, since cream traps more air bubbles than milk when churned. Gelato also melts faster on the tongue, and the neutral base intensifies added flavors—in this case, pistachio. Get the recipe for Pistachio Gelato Ice Cream »Matt Taylor-Gross
Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca
Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca
Rumor has it that pasta puttanesca–literally "whore's pasta"–was a quick and easy dinner of choice among Napolitan working ladies, but the dish's salatious history is unlikely. Get the recipe for Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca »Matt Taylor-Gross
Ricotta and Coffee Mousse
Ricotta and Coffee Mousse
Elegant and easy to prepare, a classic mousse flavored with espresso and topped with a dusting of chocolate is a great way to end a romantic meal. Get the recipe for Ricotta and Coffee Mousse »Helen Rosner
Lemon-Infused Spaghetti with Oil and Provolone
Lemon-Infused Spaghetti with Oil and Provolone
Cook your pasta in fragrant lemon water. Get the recipe for Lemon-Infused Spaghetti with Oil and Provolone »Matt Taylor-Gross
Caprese Salad
Caprese Salad
A dish as simple as caprese salad demands the best ingredients: Use firm, in-season tomatoes, the freshest burrata, and dress with pristine olive oil and top-quality balsamic vinegar. Get the recipe for Caprese Salad »Landon Nordeman
Tuscan Seafood Stew (Cacciucco)
Tuscan Seafood Stew (Cacciucco)
This Tuscan soup has a base of octopus, squid, tomatoes, wine, garlic, sage, and dried red chiles; other fish are added at the end of cooking, before the soup is served over garlic-rubbed bread. Get the recipe for Tuscan Seafood Stew (Cacciucco) »Todd Coleman
Bellini
Bellini
The traditional Bellini is made with white peach puree and sparkling wine, but the addition of a high quality peach brandy intensifies and sweetens the cocktail. Get the recipe for Bellini »Nicole Franzen
Mostarda di Frutta (Spicy Mustard and Fruit Preserves)
Mostarda di Frutta (Spicy Mustard and Fruit Preserves)
Likened to a fruit-based relish, the complex condiment is best served with meats or cheeses that can stand up to its intensity of flavor. Get the recipe for Mostarda di Frutta »Todd Coleman
Sicilian Cannoli
Sicilian Cannoli
Cannoli should be light and creamy, not dense and sticky. To replicate the iconic dessert, use ricotta impastata, a smoother and drier version of ricotta, in the filling. Get the recipe for Sicilian Cannoli »Landon Nordeman
Pesto-Rubbed Chicken with Panzanella
Pesto-Rubbed Chicken with Panzanella
Pesto genovese adds herbal brightness to grilled chicken, which is served over a hearty toasted bread salad. Get the recipe for Pesto-Rubbed Chicken with Panzanella »Todd Coleman
Piselli al Prosciutto (Sweet Peas with Prosciutto)
Piselli al Prosciutto (Sweet Peas with Prosciutto)
In this classic Roman contorno, or side dish, sweet peas are braised until tender, then sauteed with salty prosciutto. Get the recipe for Piselli al Prosciutto »Todd Coleman
Spritz
Spritz
Found all over Italy, the prosecco-based spritz is a slightly bitter Venetian cocktail that pairs well with all sorts of cicheti. Get the recipe for Spritz »Todd Coleman
Swordfish Puttanesca
Swordfish Puttanesca
Italy's puttanesca sauce, briny with anchovies, olives, and capers, pairs well with swordfish or any other meaty fish. Get the recipe for Swordfish Puttanesca »Todd Coleman
Tuscan Bean Soup
Tuscan Bean Soup
Cannelini beans, carrots, onion, squash, potato, and kale combine to make a hearty, warming soup. Served with a slice of country-style bread, the dense and slightly sweet soup is the perfect remedy for cold weather. Get the recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup »André Baranowski