Cacio e Pepe, Bottega, Frito Mesto, Bistecca Nella Costola – although naming these dishes might be a jaw-breaker, making them is pretty simple. And their taste? overtly satisfying! Italy, a land of culture and cuisines offers countless must-eats, but that doesn’t mean we must spend $$ on a round-trip to the land. Most of these classic dishes can be made in our home kitchens as well.
Here are 5 simple Italian dishes that are nothing less than a work of art, but can be made in no time!
1. The 2-Step Bruschetta
The garlicky, crispy bruschetta is a healthy snack and takes about 5 minutes to be prepared.
- 1 cup diced ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced diagonally into 1-inch thick slices and toasted
Let’s make some delicious bruschettas’!
- In a bowl, mix tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and garlic powder. Season them with salt, black pepper, oregano, other Italian seasonings of your choice.
- Spoon the mixture on toasted bread slices and serve it before the bread becomes soggy. It is best accompanied by a glass of wine.
2. Crespelle (That’s Italian version of Crepes!)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more, to taste)
- 8 teaspoons unsalted butter
- Chocolate or jam to taste
Let’s make some crepes (We’re excited about this one )
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, a pinch of salt, and water until they turn into a smooth batter.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and swirl it around the pan.
- Spoon in about 1/4th cup of crepe batter and put it on the pan.
- Cook for 35 to 45 seconds, or as and when the edges of the crepe start to lift away from the pan.
- Flip the crepe over and cook for another 20 to 30 seconds. That’s it. Your crepe is done. Dig in!
3. Lasagna (because who wouldn’t like a fusion of pizza and pasta?)
Homemade lasagna can satiate not only your hunger but also your SOUL!
- 2 yellow or red peppers, seeds removed, cut into chunks
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- Dried chili flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 6 chopped tomatoes
- 5-6 dried lasagna sheets
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Mozzarella cheese or cheese sauce
- Preheat the oven at 180C. Take diced peppers and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of oil. Season them with salt and pepper and toss them in the oven
- Roast them for 15 minutes, until they turn light brown.
- Take a large saucepan and heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil and fry the onions for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add chilies and garlic, and cook for a few seconds more. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, or any vegetables that you may want to add. Pour over the water and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously, and then set it aside.
- Take red pepper out of the oven, and add to the pan with the tomato sauce. Spoon a third of the vegetable mixture over the base of an ovenproof lasagna dish, and cover with a lasagna sheet. Top it with another layer of the vegetable mixture, and then the second layer of lasagna.
- Add mozzarella or cheese sauce over the mixture gently, and top it with another layer of vegetable mixture and then the final layer of lasagna sheet. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
- Bake for 35–40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and bubbling. Allow 5 minutes for it to settle, before cutting.
Warning: The resulting dish will sweep you off your feet!
4. Minestrone Soup (Wholesome!)
Do we hear hearty vegetables and pasta, all in one bowl? We’re up for it!
- 3-4 Tomatoes (to make a tomato paste)
- Onion, carrot, and celery
- Vegetable broth
- Vegetables such as Zucchini, green beans, broccoli, or other green vegetables
Let’s make a heavenly bowl of Italian Soup!
- Peel and dice onions, carrots, celery, and other vegetables of your choice into small pieces. Mince in the garlic as well.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and tomato paste.
- Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring continuously until the onions are soft. Add garlic and then cook for 1 minute.
- Add the vegetable broth, some water, zucchini, white beans, oregano, thyme, and some salt. Bring it to a simmer, and then cook 10 minutes on medium-low.
- Add the pasta and cook until the pasta turns soft (will take approximately about 8 to 10 minutes).
- Taste and add fresh ground black pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley, or some cheese if you like.
5. Cheesy Calzone (Pizza pockets, as we see it! <3)
- Pizza dough
- Sautéed vegetables of your choice
- All-purpose flour, for surface
- Pizza sauce
- Shredded mozzarella
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Salt and Italian seasoning
You need your pro/amateur baking skills for this one!
- Preheat the oven at 200C. Take the baking tray and a baking sheet, and put some non-stick cooking spray for grease.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pizza dough, then cut it into 4 or 6 squares (depending on your servings)
- In the middle of each square, spread pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, and sauteed vegetables.
- Fold each square of pizza dough to form a triangle, and gently press the edges together with a fork to seal them.
- Brush the top of each calzone with some melted butter and Italian seasoning.
- Place each calzone on the tray and then bake for 10-12 minutes, until they turn golden brown.
These are some really simple recipes that go extreme on your taste buds. Try them individually or club them together to prepare a great Italian buffet for your friends and family, and cherish all praises bringing together a heavenly feast. Bon Appetit!