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

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 Terre MAKE: Linguine With Fresh Clams

Classic Italian Recipe: Linguine with clams
Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Fresh Clam Pasta With Creamy White Basil Sauce

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.

DREAMING OF: Sicily MAKE: 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."

DREAMING OF: Milan MAKE: Italian Wedding Soup

Classic Italian Recipe: Italian wedding soup
The Modern Proper

The Recipe: Healthy Italian Wedding Soup

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.

DREAMING OF: Florence MAKE: Meatballs

Classic Italian Recipe: Meatballs
Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Simple Baked Italian Oregano Meatballs

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. 

DREAMING OF: Rome MAKE: 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.

DREAMING OF: Tuscany MAKE: 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."

DREAMING OF: Siena MAKE: A Frittata

Classic Italian Recipe: Frittata
How Sweet Eats

The Recipe: Vegetable Frittata With Arugula

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.

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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