If you’re new to cooking Italian food, it can be a bit intimidating to know where to start. Italian food covers a wide range of dishes, ranging from pizza to spaghetti, and lasagna to meatballs.
What’s more, Italian meals can take a variety of approaches. Some are made with fresh ingredients, while others are quick and easy dishes that avoid intense heat.
This article has a few Italian dinner ideas that are great for beginners to try out with family or friends. You can start with these and expand your Italian cooking techniques and skills as you go.
1. Gnocchi with Pesto
This recipe is made with simple ingredients like cooked sausage, fresh basil, garlic, and Parmesan. Start by browning sausage with onion and garlic.
Add the boiled gnocchi and cook until tender, then mix in your favorite pesto and parmesan cheese to make it creamy. Serve this gnocchi with pesto with garlic bread or a side salad for a tasty Italian-style meal.
2. Risotto con Pancetta
This classic Italian dish combines creamy Arborio rice with diced pancetta and flavorful mushrooms. It becomes a hearty one-pot meal when joined with a drizzle of Italian olive oil, herbs, and Parmesan cheese. The Parmesan cheese adds saltiness and aroma while the pancetta gives it a nice little smokiness.
3. Roasted Eggplant Parmigiana
Eggplants are a great meat substitute with a pleasant, mild flavor. When roasted in the oven, eggplants turn soft and with the added Parmigiana cheese it creates a unique and filling Italian dish.
The traditional topping is made from tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and fresh basil. Finally, it’s advised to either mix in any meat or add extra veggies like spinach and mushrooms.
4. Creamy Baked Polenta
This creamy and flavorful dish is a cinch to make and is sure to please everyone at the dinner table. It begins with a polenta base that is cooked in water or both stock, and other ingredients like garlic, onion, and butter are commonly added for more flavor.
Once the polenta is cooked, it’s layered onto a baking dish and seasoned. Finally, cream, cheese, and other toppings are added for a rich and creamy texture.
5. Stuffed Peppers
This delicious dish consists of bell peppers stuffed with a flavorful mixture of cooked rice and vegetables. The peppers are then steamed or baked until the peppers are tender.
To make your Italian stuffed peppers even more delicious and interesting, you can add Italian seasonings like basil, oregano, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Serve the stuffed peppers with a rich tomato sauce or a sprinkling of mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.
6. Spicy Sausage Ragu
The dish combines Italian sausage, aromatic vegetables, and a zesty tomato-based sauce that comes together in one hearty meal. Perfectly balanced with the right spices and herbs, the spicy kick makes it a favorite among adults and little ones alike.
To make this dish, choose a sausage without too much fat, diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, and bell peppers. Simmer with liquid and herbs until desired thickness and serve over a choice of pasta.
Delicious Homestyle Italian Dinner Ideas
Italian cuisine is an enjoyable way to experience a variety of flavors. Beginners should try Italian dinner ideas to get a taste of Italy’s unique dishes.
From creamy polenta to filling risottos, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Try these delicious recipes today to experience the best of Italian flavors!
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