A white bowl filled with brodo di pollo on a wooden surface with a fork and spoon beside the bowl.
Jonathan Kennedy
1 of 35

Brodo di Pollo ~ Italian Chicken Soup

Brodo di pollo. That's Italian for "the most gosh darn comforting and restorative chicken soup ever to cross the lips of someone who's under the weather or just needs some soothing sustenance."
A tangle of fresh pasta noodles on a cutting board that is sprinkled with semolina.
David Leite
2 of 35

Homemade Pasta Dough

This homemade pasta dough is foolproof and easy to make by hand or with your stand mixer with just eggs, flour, olive oil, and salt. Italian through and through. Here’s how.
A skillet filled with classic chicken piccata
3 of 35

Chicken Piccata

This chicken piccata, made with boneless chicken breasts cooked in a buttery lemon and caper sauce, is on the table in less than half an hour. Easy!
Three glass jars partially filled with pesto Genovese.
Lisa Linder
4 of 35

Pesto Genovese

This pesto Genovese is a classic Italian tradition that’s simple to toss together and has countless uses that extend way beyond tossing it with pasta.
Three bowls of minestrone soup with a small bowl of pesto on the side.
Tara Fisher
5 of 35

Old-Fashioned Minestrone Soup

This old-fashioned minestrone soup is chock-full of carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, kale, zucchini, beans, and pasta…but gets an unexpected drizzle of pesto that transforms a frugal veggie-bin soup into something special.
A tied pork loin in the style of Porchetta on a white platter with cooked red onions and rosemary.
Christina Holmes
6 of 35

Pork Loin in the Style of Porchetta

This pork loin in the style of porchetta is an Italian classic that blends pork loin with a pork shoulder, fennel, and rosemary filling, to make an impressive, celebration-worthy entrée.
Pieces of uncooked homemade cavatelli on a floured surface.
7 of 35

Homemade Cavatelli

This homemade cavatelli is easy to make with flour, water, salt, and oil, and doesn’t even require a pasta maker. Here’s how to make it.
A grey platter of Italian-style chicken braised in wine with a spoon resting on top
Ed Anderson
8 of 35

Italian-Style Braised Chicken in Wine

This Italian-style braised chicken in wine is made by gently simmering chicken pieces in a sauce of wine, peperoncino, and tomatoes until tender. Fancy enough for company yet completely doable on a weeknight.
People gathered around a cast-iron skillet on a wooden board with some spaghetti and red sauce.
Eric Wolfinger
9 of 35

Sugo di Pomodoro ~ Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce

This red sauce, or sugo di pomodoro, is an easy, classic Italian tomato sauce made with tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, and basil. Ideal for busy weeknights as well as easy entertaining.
A loaf of ciabatta, sliced, and filled with large air holes.
Ed Anderson
10 of 35


This ciabatta recipe for traditional Italian bread is made the authentic way with a biga, or starter, and turns out a loaf that’s incredible on its own or in a sandwich. 
A white oval dish filled with cooked spinach with raisins and pine nuts sprinkled over the top and a spoon resting in the dish.
Rachel Roddy
11 of 35

Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Spinach with raisins and pine nuts, when simply yet perfectly sauteed as here, is a classic for a reason. Serve as tapas, side dish, or topper for pasta.
A black and white decorative platter filled with Tuscan roast pork and scattered with bay leaves
Linda Pugliese
12 of 35

Tuscan Roast Pork

This Tuscan roast pork is made from a seared pork loin rubbed with a garlic, rosemary, and sage paste and then slowly roasted in the oven. Easy, elegant, and certain to impress. (Keto)
A ball of burrata for burrata with grilled bread sitting in a few tablespoons of oil in a white bowl.
Eric Wolfinger
13 of 35

Burrata With Grilled Bread

Burrata is like fresh mozzarella gone to finishing school. A burlesque dancing finishing school. It’s creamy and cheesy and versatile as heck and absolutely sufficient simply on its own with a drizzle of oil and grilled bread.
A metal sheet pan, covered with spread out tomato paste.
Sara Remington
14 of 35

Homemade Tomato Paste

Homemade tomato paste is surprisingly easy to make at home and a great way to use up lots of tomatoes. All you need are tomatoes, salt, olive oil, a food mill, and a flair for classic Italian goodness.
A paper bag filled with loaves of pane Francese.
Thomas Schauer
15 of 35

Pane Francese

This pane francese recipe turns out a northern Italian bread that’s crusty and chewy and all sorts of incredible. Looks like a baguette, tastes like a ciabatta.
Pieces of beef stew with red wine and mashed potatoes in a white bowl with a fork nestled inside.
Connie Miller
16 of 35

Beef Stew with Red Wine

This beef stew with red wine, made with beef chuck roast and a rich red wine sauce, can be made in your Instant Pot or braised in the oven.
A white serving bowl filled with sauteed spinach and bread crumbs.
Stacey Tyzzer
17 of 35

Sautéed Spinach with Bread Crumbs

This sautéed spinach with bread crumbs is an easy, healthy side dish made with fresh spinach cooked with garlic and spritzed with lemon juice and toasted bread crumbs.
White bowl with ziti and a pasta puttanesca sauce
Jan Baldwin
18 of 35

Pasta Puttanesca

This pasta puttanesca, made with tomatoes, anchovies, olives, and penne is edgy, spicy, and sassy, just like the women it’s named after.
A blue bowl filled with pappardelle noodles and Marcella Hazan's bolognese sauce on a wooden board with a block of Parmesan and a grater beside the bowl.
19 of 35

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese sauce recipe is authentic as can be and is, according to many we’ve heard of the absolute best Bolognese sauce recipe ever. It’s also easy and impressive.
A whole ligurian almond cake cooling on a wire rack.
Quentin Bacon
20 of 35

Ligurian Almond Cake

This ligurian almond cake is a classic Italian dessert with a tender, tight crumb. Flavored with almonds, cinnamon, and lemon, it tastes lovely served with fruit curd, too.
A white bowl of Italian onion soup topped with cheese toast with a pot of soup and several bread slices in the background.
Ed Anderson
21 of 35

Italian Onion Soup ~ Licurdia

This Italian onion soup is an inexpensive, comforting bowl of goodness that's similar to its French cousin. A fairly basic soup made with a few ingredients tastes terrific, especially when topped with rustic, cheesy toast.
Pasta alla Norma on a white oval serving plate with a spoon resting on the side.
Ed Anderson
22 of 35

Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma, made with baked or roasted eggplant, ricotta, tomatoes, pasta, and fresh herbs, is an authentic Sicilian dinner that’s welcome any day of the week, any night of the year.
A partially sliced semi-boneless Tuscan style roasted leg of lamb on a wooden cutting board with a knife resting beside the lamb.
Eric Wolfinger
23 of 35

Tuscan Style Roast Leg of Lamb

This Tuscan style roast leg of lamb is made in traditional Italian fashion with a garlic, rosemary, lemon, and olive oil marinade before being roasted until perfectly tender. Easy and elegant.
Two shallow bowls, each with an unmolded panna cotta in caramel, with a spoon resting in the bowl.
Martin Brigdale & Ian Garlick
24 of 35

Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is an Italian classic made with cream, sugar, gelatin, and your favorite flavoring. What results is a luxuriantly creamy and not-too-sweet dessert that’s suitable for any occasion.
A slab of homemade Guanciale on a wooden board.
Lauren Volo
25 of 35

Homemade Guanciale

This homemade guanciale, made with pork jowl, seasoning, and white wine, is easier than you may think. Here’s how to make it.
A white platter filled with broccoli rabe, topped with roasted garlic and red pepper flakes.
Quentin Bacon
26 of 35

Broccoli Rabe with Roasted Garlic

This broccoli rabe with roasted garlic is mellowed by sweet, roasted garlicky goodness and spiked with the warmth of red pepper flakes. An easy side dish for weeknight dinners. Here’s how to prepare it.
Many prepared potato gnocchi on a floured kitchen towel, with a mound of gnocchi dough in the background.
Edward Park
27 of 35

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

These homemade potato gnocchi are the best version of this Italian classic we've ever had. They're made with russet potatoes, flour, egg, and salt and are like little pillows of potato heaven. Four ingredients. Ridiculously easy. Wonderfully inexpensive.
A sliced beef braised in Barolo, garnished with thyme sprigs, on a bed of mashed potatoes.
Carl Tremblay
28 of 35

Beef Braised in Barolo

This beef braised in Barolo is braised chuck roasted in an aromatic mix of Barolo wine, garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and rosemary. Perfect for entertaining.
A baked loaf of focaccia with red onion and rosemary with two wedges cut from it.
Laura Edwards
29 of 35

Focaccia with Red Onion and Rosemary

This focaccia with red onion and rosemary has that iconic crunchy, perfectly salted surface and a tender texture beneath. It’s topped with caramelized onions and fragrant rosemary and makes a worthy distraction—both the making and the devouring.
A piece of homemade pancetta sliced to show the circular pattern.
Kevin D. Weeks
30 of 35

Homemade Pancetta

This homemade pancetta is unsmoked bacon or pork belly that's cured with salt, sugar, pepper, juniper berries, bay leaves, nutmeg, and thyme. It's an ingredient in many Italian pasta dishes such as carbonara and as a substitute for guanciale in all’Amatriciana and can be hard to find.
Eight Italian breadsticks, or grissini, lined up next to each other.
Ed Anderson
31 of 35

Italian Breadsticks ~ Grissini Torinesi

These grissini, or Italian breadsticks, are an easy, authentic Italian classic. They’re satisfyingly crispy and outrageously hard to stop eating after just one.
Three pieces of grape focaccia on a wooden board.
Emiko Davies
32 of 35

Grape Focaccia

Grape focaccia, or Schiacciata All’uva, is a magnificent Tuscan tradition sometimes known as winemakers’ focaccia that’s homemade flatbread with a smattering of black grapes that’s roasted until it creates a wondrously jammy sweetness. Here’s how to make it.
A pile of lightly fried shelfish - fritto misto amalfitano - on a piece of newspaper.
Christopher Hirsheimer
33 of 35

Fritto Misto Amalfitano

This fritto misto amalfitano is an Italian-inspired fried seafood appetizer platter made by frying mixed seafood to create a sigh-inducingly crisp crust and tender, not tough, seafood. So long, soggy calamari.
A white bowl filled with pasta soup with potatoes and pancetta on a linen cloth with a spoon resting on the edge of the bowl.
Kate Whitaker
34 of 35

Pasta Soup with Potatoes and Pancetta

This pasta soup with potatoes and pancetta is a traditional Italian soup made with potatoes, carrots, and leeks, tender pasta and diced pancetta. Hearty cold-weather comfort food.
Espresso being poured over gelato in a cup to make affogato.
35 of 35


Affogato literally means “drowning” in Italian, which is exactly what this scoop of gelato is doing in a shot of espresso. It’s the best sort of tragedy to happen at the dinner table. Here’s how to make it.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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