Top 10 Best Italian Recipes
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
December 19, 2011
Filed Under Food
Contributed by Tim Brugger, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Italians are known for many things, Renaissance art and the Roman Empire to name but two.
While I submit these are historical milestones, they pale in comparison to what Italy, and Italians, do best: cook.
Thankfully many of the recipes and dishes Italians are noted for have made their way to our shores. Selecting the best of the best was no easy task, but here it goes; the top ten best Italian recipes.
10. Mushroom Risotto
Not necessarily one of my all-time favorites but hey, this isn’t about me. I know risotto makes it on many a best italian recipes list, so this one’s for you. The trick with this one is to get the rice just right. Not crunchy by any stretch, but you sure don’t want it mushy’ slightly al dente should be just about right.
9. Shrimp or Chicken Alfredo
Now we’re talking; a delicious Alfredo sauce lying ever so delicately on a bed of penne pasta; now that’s Italiano! Shrimp or chicken, chicken or shrimp, it’s a toss up without a clear winner and certainly no loser. Either way you can’t go wrong, and what’s incredible is as good as this dish is, it doesn’t take a world class chef to bring it to life. Give yourself about 45 minutes for prep, cook and serving time and you’re ready to dig in.
8. Italian Sausage Soup
Like most, when I think of the best italian recipes my mind wanders to entrée’s, and for good reason. But let’s not forget a first course or two, just for balance sake if nothing else. And this soup crammed full with italian sausage, garlic the requisite red wine and tortellini noodles is just the ticket. Of course, feel free to use either sweet or spicy sausage, depending on taste.
7. Pizza Pie
Ah, pizza. Like so many things in life, simplicity is what makes it so special. Add to that the ability to make a million and one different kinds of pizza from about five ingredients and everyone’s sure to be pleased. It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t like pizza, as it should be. I mean, what’s not to love? Believe it or not though, my daughter is one of the unfortunate few. When I learned this disturbing fact I nearly gave her back, but we settled on a compromise instead. She eats it when I need my pie fix, and I provide her shelter and clothing. A reasonable compromise I’d say.
6. Spaghetti with Meatballs
Though its roots may be in Italy, spaghetti has nearly become an American institution by default. You can feed 1 to 148 with no additional preparation time, and most everyone will eat until they’ve nearly exploded. Like turkey on Thanksgiving, if you leave a table full of spaghetti and meatballs without the top button of your pants undone, you’re just not trying hard enough.
5. Chicken Parmesan
There are a lot of great Italian recipes for chicken, no doubt about it. But the best of them is Chicken Parmesan. The onion, garlic and red pepper give it just enough of a kick to please even the heartiest of digestive systems, but won’t knock the socks of the culinary wimp of the family. And with only a 15 or 20 prep time, you won’t spend all day getting this ready for the crew.
It seemed almost criminal to include only one Italian dessert (the French, Danes and Swiss are their only rivals in this department) and being the law-abiding citizen I am; well, you know what I mean. Any dish with a light, crispy crust filled with a ¼ ton of cheese, sugar and chocolate is going to be a winner. Toss in a ½ cup of sweet Italian wine among the other ingredients and let the games begin.
I love a surprise, so for me I prefer not knowing what’s inside my Ravioli until I take that first, red sauce soaked bite. I’m hoping there’s some meat in there, but I’m not disappointed with some spinach, cheese or other italian goodie. Like so many of the best Italian recipes, customization is not only possible, it’s encouraged.
Oh man; nothing ends an italian feast like tiramisu. It’s the perfect dessert after what is usually a fairly heavy meal. Like anything good dessert, there are a hundred different ways to doctor it up. But you’re always safe with mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, ladyfingers, some espresso coffee, liquor and cocoa. Personally, I’m of the mind if you’re going to go you may as well go big, so toss in some heavy cream for me please.
This multi-layered dish tops the list of best italian recipes. Not that faux lasagna mind you; meatless lasagna isn’t lasagna, its glorified quiche. Mildly spicy italian sausage with more cheese than a human being should consume in a month is just about right. Some use Ricotta as the topper, others cottage cheese; there really isn’t a right answer there, it’s just a matter of taste. Me? Bust out the ricotta with hand rolled pasta and assorted tomato goodies and we’re good to go.
Have a great Italian food recipe? Post the link here!