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Holy Cannoli! 17 Italian Dishes That Deserve a Slow Clap

What makes certain dishes stand out is not always the complexity but the heart behind them. The Italian kitchen is famed for its simplicity combined with flavors that speak volumes. This carefully selected set of 17 dishes does just that, proving that sometimes, the most memorable meals are those that are prepared with passion and tradition in mind. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious food lover, exploring these commendable Italian meals will surely add excitement and a dose of warm Italian hospitality to your cooking repertoire.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup in 2 bowls with spoons.
Pasta e Fagioli Soup. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Two Chicken Gnocchi Soup copycat soup recipes on a table.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Warm up with a hearty bowl that’s perfect for chilly evenings. It’s a comforting blend of tender chicken, soft dumplings, and a rich, creamy broth. Ideal for those who love a touch of home-style cooking, this soup becomes a fast favorite in any meal plan. Gnocchi fans will appreciate how this version uses them to turn a simple soup into a filling meal.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta on a platter.
Tomato Bruschetta. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Get ready for a taste of Italian simplicity at its best. Crunchy, grilled bread meets the fresh juiciness of ripe tomatoes in a marriage of textures and flavors. It’s an iconic start to any Italian meal and shines in its ability to be both simple and unbelievably good. No plate of bruschetta ever stays full for long at any gathering.
Get the Recipe: Tomato Bruschetta

Gnocchi with Lemon-Parmesan Sauce

Gnocchi in Lemon-Parmesan Sauce on a black plate.
Gnocchi with Lemon-Parmesan Sauce. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Bring some lightness to your dinner with a dish that balances the rich with the bright. Gnocchi, known for their pillows of softness, are dressed up with a sauce that boasts a lemony tang complemented by the unmistakable depth of Parmesan. It’s a refreshing twist on a classic, ideal for those who love a hint of citrus zing in their meal. This lemon-Parmesan gnocchi proves that sometimes, the simplest combinations are the most memorable.
Get the Recipe: Gnocchi with Lemon-Parmesan Sauce

Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese Sauce on pasta.
Authentic Bolognese Sauce. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Slow-cooked and bursting with flavor, this classic sauce is a loving nod to Italian traditions. Simmered to perfection, it’s a hearty, welcoming base that turns any pasta dish into comfort food. Though it takes time, the end result is worth every minute, capturing the heart of Italian cooking. Discover why Bolognese sauce is a staple in kitchens around the world.
Get the Recipe: Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Polenta with Mascarpone

Polenta with mascarpone in a white bowl.
Polenta with Mascarpone. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

For a side dish that feels indulgent yet easy, look no further. Creamy, smooth polenta is given a rich lift with luxurious mascarpone, creating a velvety texture that’s hard to resist. This combination elevates a humble cornmeal to an elegant accompaniment. One spoonful of this mascarpone polenta, and it’s clear why this dish earns its applause.
Get the Recipe: Polenta with Mascarpone

Oven Roasted Tomato Soup

A bowl of oven-roasted tomato soup with two spoons.
Oven Roasted Tomato Soup. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

On days when only warmth will do, this herbed, roasted tomato soup answers the call. The oven brings out the sweetness of tomatoes, transforming them into a deep, flavorful soup. It’s like a hug in a bowl, offering comfort with every spoonful. Those who experience this roasted tomato soup will nod in understanding as to why it’s a standout.
Get the Recipe: Oven Roasted Tomato Soup

Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage & Broccoli Rabe

A bowl of skillet gnocchi with sausage and broccoli rabe.
Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage & Broccoli Rabe. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Skillet dishes deliver flavor and convenience, and this combination is no exception. Savory sausage and slightly bitter broccoli rabe make this a gnocchi dish that’s both balanced and bold. It’s a complete meal that pleases the palate with its variety of tastes and textures. When in need of something filling, this gnocchi skillet is a go-to choice.
Get the Recipe: Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage & Broccoli Rabe

Garlic Shrimp Scampi

Garlic Shrimp Scampi on a bed of rice in a black oval dish.
Garlic Shrimp Scampi. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Serving up this dish is like bringing the coast to your table. Juicy shrimp gets a burst of flavor from garlic, creating a sophisticated, yet simple seafood classic. It’s a dish that calls for a glass of white wine and a desire for something just a little fancy. Garlic shrimp scampi is proof that great flavors don’t require complexity.
Get the Recipe: Garlic Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi Pizza

A pizza with shrimp and cheese on top.
Shrimp Scampi Pizza. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Combine the joy of pizza with the elegance of shrimp scampi, and the result is one unforgettable meal. It’s a creative take that puts a seafood spin on everyone’s favorite comfort food. This scampi-style pizza caters to the adventurous and those who appreciate a fresh twist on a classic. Impress guests or treat yourself with a slice of this innovative blend of land and sea.
Get the Recipe: Shrimp Scampi Pizza

Pasta with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

A bowl of pasta with cherry tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, and garlic.
Pasta with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Imagine a dish where the pasta is a canvas, and the brush is a vibrant cherry tomato sauce. Fresh, juicy tomatoes burst with flavor, coating your choice of pasta in a light, summery sauce. It’s a simple dish, yet it sings of sunny days and the pleasures of a garden harvest. Pasta with a fresh cherry tomato sauce is always a crowd-pleaser, thanks to its bright and cheerful character.
Get the Recipe: Pasta with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

Chicken Piccata

Two chicken piccata on a white plate with parsley and lemon wedges.
Chicken Piccata. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Citrus meets savory in a dish that delivers a mouthwatering punch. It showcases chicken that’s made lively with a zingy touch, creating a meal that’s both comforting and invigorating. Perfect for those who like a bit of tartness to liven up their plate. Chicken piccata reminds you that a little zing goes a long way in making a meal memorable.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Piccata

Italian Chicken

Creamy Italian Chicken on a plate.
Italian Chicken. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Here’s a classic that never tires, ready to grace any table with its robust presence. This chicken dish embodies the essence of Italian cooking with its herbed, savory flavor. It’s straightforward yet packed with taste, ensuring it’s a win at any family dinner. Italian chicken is always on the list for those who appreciate time-tested, crowd-pleasing entrees.
Get the Recipe: Italian Chicken

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Pasta e Fagioli Soup in 2 bowls with spoons.
Pasta e Fagioli Soup. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Come home to the rustic warmth of an Italian favorite. With each spoonful, one is wrapped in the cozy blend of pasta and beans that this soup generously offers. It’s an emblem of Italian home cooking that nourishes both body and soul. The humble yet hearty pasta e fagioli soup is always there to remind you of the simple pleasures of the table.
Get the Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Tomato Bruschetta Board

Tomato bruschetta board on a table.
Tomato Bruschetta Board. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

When an array of toppings and crusty bread come together, it sparks conversation and appetites. The bruschetta board is a festive way to start a meal, perfect for sharing and customizing to every taste. With each bite, fresh tomato mixes with your favorite toppings for a unique experience. Gather around this tomato bruschetta board and let the communal joy of eating unite everyone.
Get the Recipe: Tomato Bruschetta Board

Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells

Giant Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells in two black serving dishes.
Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Going big in flavor and size, these shells are a pasta-lover’s dream. Let the allure of cheese filled shells invite you into a world of creamy, comforting goodness. A real showstopper on the dinner table, they promise a satisfying experience with every forkful. Giant cheese stuffed shells are all about indulgence in the best way possible.
Get the Recipe: Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells

Pasta with Ricotta & Tomatoes

Ricotta and Tomato Pasta in a white bowl.
Pasta with Ricotta & Tomatoes. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Embrace a light yet fulfilling dish that’s as simple as it is scrumptious. Tangy ricotta and sweet tomatoes come together over pasta for a meal that feels both fresh and rich. It’s a delightful balance that pleases all who seek something a bit different from the norm. Pasta with ricotta and tomatoes takes everyday ingredients and turns them into something special.
Get the Recipe: Pasta with Ricotta & Tomatoes

Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage in a serving bowl with tomatoes in the background.
Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Pasta. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

For those who enjoy a little bite with their pasta, this pairing is spot on. The spicy kick of sausage mingles with the unique taste of broccoli rabe, all nestled among your favorite pasta. This meal is a celebration of bold flavors that come together in perfect harmony. Rave reviews are common when sausage and broccoli rabe pasta makes an appearance on the menu.
Get the Recipe: Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Pasta


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