7 Classic Italian Recipes to Make When You'd Rather Be in Italy

Updated 07/16/18

Sure, we'd all love to soak up the summer sun à la Emily Ratajkowski vacationing in the Italian Riviera, but the reality is that we don't all have the luxury of jet-setting to the picturesque Mediterranean country at the drop of a hat. So what's the next best thing to drinking copious amounts of Chianti in Tuscany, lounging under an umbrella in Cinque Terre, and enjoying a plate of cacio e pepe in Rome? Obviously, it's cooking up these seven classic Italian recipes to transport your taste buds to Italy.

Spanning a saucy bolognese bake to a hearty caponata panzanella, these dishes are proof that no one does food quite like the Italians.

DREAMING OF: Cinque TerreMAKE: Linguine With Fresh Clams

Classic Italian Recipe: Linguine with clams
Half Baked Harvest

The Hero Ingredient: The crispy prosciutto adds an extra layer of salty flavor to this quintessential Italian summer dish.

The Pro Tip: Serve with a glass of chilled white wine.

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DREAMING OF: SicilyMAKE: Caponata Panzanella

Classic Italian Recipe: Panzanella
The First Mess

The Recipe: Caponata Panzanella

The Hero Ingredient: The caponata, which is essentially a rustic Sicilian eggplant and tomato stew slash condiment.

The Pro Tip: "It's pretty crucial to cook the eggplant until it’s way tender, like a solid 15-minute simmer," advises recipe creator Laura of The First Mess. "Also, there's a lot of salty bits in the caponata, so maybe taste the finished product before you season the whole thing."

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DREAMING OF: MilanMAKE: Italian Wedding Soup

Classic Italian Recipe: Italian wedding soup
The Modern Proper

The Hero Ingredient: The carrot-packed, garlic-loaded, gluten-free meatballs, which don't even require browning before adding to the pot.

The Pro Tip: "Kale holds its firmness beautifully in a bowl of brothy goodness, making it the perfect addition to any soup," says recipe creator Natalie of The Modern Proper.

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DREAMING OF: FlorenceMAKE: Meatballs

Classic Italian Recipe: Meatballs
Half Baked Harvest

The Hero Ingredient: Spicy sausage takes this traditional Italian fare to the next level.

The Pro Tip: "Wetting your bread prior to mixing it with the meat is KEY for moisture," explains recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. 

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DREAMING OF: RomeMAKE: Cacio e Pepe

Classic Italian Recipe: Cacio e Pepe
How Sweet Eats

The Recipe: Kale Cacio e Pepe

The Hero Ingredient: Without a doubt, the toasted black pepper is the hero ingredient of this dish.

The Pro Tip: "Serve immediately with extra parmesan shavings and freshly cracked black pepper," recommends recipe creator Jessica of How Sweet Eats.

 

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DREAMING OF: TuscanyMAKE: Bolognese

Classic Italian Recipe: Bolognese
Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Gnocchi Bolognese Bake

The Hero Ingredient: The cheese. This recipe calls for mozzarella and provolone, but you could swap in burrata or ricotta if you prefer.

The Pro Tip: "To make the sauce rich but flavorful, I use a mix of red wine and milk," divulges recipes creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "The wine adds a fruity flavor while the milk keeps the sauce creamy and rich."

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DREAMING OF: SienaMAKE: A Frittata

Classic Italian Recipe: Frittata
How Sweet Eats

The Hero Ingredient: Fresh arugula lends a peppery bite to this cheese-filled frittata.

The Pro Tip: "I like to broil mine for a few minutes to finish it off and get the top a little golden, bubbly, and even crunchy from the cheese," reveals recipe creator Jessica of How Sweet Eats.

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Convinced that you need to eat your way through Rome, Tuscany, and Cinque Terre? This is hands down the best time to travel to Italy.

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