30 Ultimate Italian Recipes | Midwest Living
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30 Ultimate Italian Recipes

From traditional cheesy lasagna to delicate tiramisu, here are 30 of our favorite Italian recipes.

Smoky Calzones

Frozen pizza dough speeds prep time on these calzones. Personalize the filling by substituting different cheeses or adding vegetables, such as green peppers, onions and mushrooms.

Smoky Calzones

Chicken and Sweet Pepper Linguine Alfredo

Summer squash, zucchini and sweet red pepper add color and crunch to this dish; light Alfredo sauce lowers the fat and calories compared to many traditional Italian recipes.

Chicken and Sweet Pepper Linguine Alfredo

Stuffed Italian Meatballs

Spiced Italian sausage encases melty mozzarella cheese for meatballs perfect dipped in marinara sauce, stuffed into a calzone or plopped on top of spaghetti.

Stuffed Italian Meatballs

Mama Carolla's Bruschetta

Top warm, crispy baguette slices with a slice of fresh tomato, basil and garlic for this classic Italian appetizer. Garnish with a basil leaf and smoked mozzarella.

Mama Carolla's Bruschetta

Irresistible Tiramisu

This elegant coffee dessert is a favorite Italian treat. Layer espresso-soaked ladyfingers between creamy mascarpone-vanilla filling. Air-dry soft ladyfingers before using in tiramisu.

Irresistible Tiramisu

Pizza Margherita

Margherita pizza celebrates the perfect union of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and soft mozzarella cheese. This type of crispy-crust pizza originated in Naples, Italy.

Pizza Margherita

Classic Lasagna

With its rich meaty sauce and creamy cheese layers, this lasagna is always a favorite main dish.

Classic Lasagna

Italian Wedding Soup with Escarole

The marriage of plump meatballs and hearty greens makes this soup a standout. Miniature pasta pieces and carrots dot the savory chicken broth base.

Italian Wedding Soup with Escarole

Pepperoni Pizza Pull

This warm and cheesy pull-apart bread takes just a few minutes to make. Keep the ingredients on hand, and you'll always have a quick appetizer, snack or supper bread.

Pepperoni Pizza Pull

The Original Toasted Ravioli

This fried ravioli recipe comes from Charlie Gitto's on the Hill in St. Louis. For a quick dinner, substitute frozen ravioli for fresh and serve topped with purchased marinara sauce.

The Original Toasted Ravioli

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Italian seasonings flavor boneless beef sirloin or beef rump roast in your slow cooker. Top sandwiches with Italian cheeses, assorted peppers or sliced pepperoncini.

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Blue-Ribbon Italian Sauce and Meatballs

This traditional spaghetti recipe comes from a Kansas City, Missouri, reader who learned it from her Italian relatives. The secret: Starch from a potato thickens the sauce.

Blue-Ribbon Italian Sauce and Meatballs

Creamy Artichoke Lasagna

Ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella form the cheesy base for this lasagna. Artichokes, basil and pine nuts add crowd-pleasing, nontraditional ingredients.

Creamy Artichoke Lasagna

Italian Pork with Sweet Potatoes

Mix fennel, garlic and oregano for a pork shoulder rub. Sweet potatoes cook alongside the entree in a slow cooker.

Italian Pork with Sweet Potatoes

Smoky Calzones

Frozen pizza dough speeds prep time on these calzones. Personalize the filling by substituting different cheeses or adding vegetables, such as green peppers, onions and mushrooms.

Smoky Calzones

Italian Basil, Tomato, and Pasta Salad

This layered make-ahead pasta salad highlights the flavors of olives and green beans as well as basil and tomato.

Italian Basil, Tomato, and Pasta Salad

Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Slow-cooking creates tender, flavorful chicken with a creamy tomato sauce perfect for serving on a bed of pasta. Sprinkle with fresh basil, parsley and thyme just before serving.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Cream-Filled Cannoli

Thin, crispy shells encase a sweet, creamy center with a hint of rum and sprinkle of chocolate chips.

Cream-Filled Cannoli

Chicken Veneto

Artichokes, white wine and pistachios add flavor and texture to a simple sauce spooned over sauteed chicken. This classic Italian recipe takes only 30 minutes from start to finish.

Chicken Veneto

Hot-Off-the-Grill Pizza

Make garlic and basil pizza dough, or use prepared dough to save time. Top this easy grilled pizza with sweet red peppers and thinly sliced Italian meats.

Hot-Off-the-Grill Pizza

Easy Herb Focaccia

Use premade dough to create this Italian flatbread. Sprinkle the bread with either rosemary and onion or Parmesan and pine nuts.

Easy Herb Focaccia

It's Italian Sausage Soup

This rich, spicy soup gets its name from zesty browned Italian sausage. Orzo pasta and vegetables round out the ingredients.

It's Italian Sausage Soup

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Cocoa powder and chocolate chips blend in these crunchy, twice-baked Italian cookies. They're perfect for dipping into a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet wine.

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Easy Italian Chicken

This slow-cooker creation goes together quickly with purchased spaghetti sauce, a jar of sliced mushrooms, and chopped cabbage and onion.

Easy Italian Chicken

Bartolino's Meatballs

Serve these meatballs with marinara sauce over pasta or in a hoagie bun. Both the meatballs and the sauce recipe are from Bartolino's restaurant in St. Louis.

Bartolino's Meatballs

Marinara Sauce

Spinach Pizza Bread

A loaf of frozen bread dough speeds prep time of this savory bread. Serve the spirals with a marinara sauce dipper.

Spinach Pizza Bread

Italian Rice Salad

Mix homemade garlic vinaigrette with basmati rice, artichoke hearts and fresh peppers for this make-ahead salad. "Delicious!" writes one of our website reviewers. "Will definitely be making this on a regular basis."

Italian Rice Salad

Zuppa Inglese

For this standout dessert, layer custard with orange-flavor syrup, pound cake and fresh raspberries. Top it with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

Zuppa Inglese

Linguini with Shrimp and Pine Nuts

Dry sherry flavors the broth, and crushed red pepper adds a tiny bite to this pasta dish from Bartolino's in St. Louis.

Linguini with Shrimp and Pine Nuts

Salsiccia Bread

Salsiccia is Italian for sausage, and it's a tasty part of the filling in this recipe from St. Louis' Di Gregorio Imported Foods, which also sells the salsiccia. The mixture makes a spiraling swirl down the middle of the bread.

Salsiccia Bread

Easy Cream Cheese Tart

Refrigerated piecrust gives you a head start on this smooth, rich Italian-inspired dessert. Serve with your choice of fruit preserves, sweetened whipped cream or fresh fruit slices.

Easy Cream Cheese Tart

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