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.

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 »

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 »

A.k.a. pizza rustica and pizza chiena, this Italian classic calls for a whopping 18 eggs and two pounds of charcuterie, and we’re in love

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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 »

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 »

Razor Clams Fantasia

Colatura, an Italian fish sauce, brings an umami note to this simple appetizer of meaty razor clams. Get the recipe for Razor Clams Fantasia »

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 »
Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake »
Finish your fettuccine in buttermilk for this rich and tangy winter dish.

Classic Easy 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 cheesy version any night of the week. Get the recipe Classic Easy Lasagna »

Swiss Chard Anzelottos 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 »
Get the recipe for Rita Sodi’s Italian-Style Fried Rabbit »

Easy 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 Parmesan »

Bored With Ordinary Vanilla? Give Pistachio Gelato a Shot

Pistachio Gelato

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.

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 »

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) »


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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »


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 »

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 »

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 »