Traditional Italian recipes—not the pastas you order from a restaurant, but the dishes like your Nona used to make in her kitchen—focus on simple foods made with high-quality ingredients like olive oil, fresh garlic, sweet basil, and ripe roma tomatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about the possibilities.

That’s why I thought it necessary to put together a collection of our favorite Italian-inspired recipes. From pasta to pizza and from meatballs to bruschetta, enjoy the best Italy has to offer…


1. Italian-Style Goulash

Just like your Sicilian Nona used to make, this ooey-gooey, Italian inspired casserole features julienned zucchini coins, sautéed with onions, garlic, lean ground beef, and Italian seasonings. Simmered so it’s just saucy enough in diced tomatoes and tossed with pasta and Parmesan!


2. Italian Baked Beans

We might scramble up some eggs for breakfast in North American, but the Italians prefer to smother fresh baked foccacia or Panini loaf with these saucy, savory baked beans. Ideal as a breakfast or brunch side dish, you’ll have the whole family saying, “delizioso”!

3. Penne Pesto Pasta

Pesto, a blend of olive oil, fresh basil, and pine nuts, is celebrated in Italy and used as a pasta sauce, salad dressing, and even a sandwich spread. This extremely versatile and simple pasta recipe can be tossed with veggies, chicken, and the pasta noodle of your choice, to grace your table in just 30 minutes!

4. Foccacia Bread Pizza

After taking a bite out this crusty, soft, flaky foccacia pizza crust, you will never go back to rolled dough again. Plus, it’s super convenient compared to making homemade dough and far superior to pre-packaged pizza dough. Top it with your choice of fresh ingredients and pop it into the oven to bake to perfection.

5. Homemade Italian Meatballs

Oh, that’s a spicy meatball! This recipe is one you’ll pass on from generation to generation. Quite simple to make, but impossible to replicate, it’s lean ground beef mixed with just the right amount of spices—such as fresh garlic, oregano, sweet basil, parsley, onion, red pepper, and don’t forget the Parmesan.


6. Chicken Piccata

This moist and tender chicken dish is prepared perfectly with a fragrant chicken broth and lemon-infused sauce. I serve it over pasta for a light, delicious, and truly satisfying weeknight meal. It’s like taking a trip to Italy in my own kitchen.

7. Tuscan Grilled Chicken & Pepper Salad

Colorfully delicious and tasty for a family feast, this Tuscan-inspired salad is jam-packed with the healthiest and freshest ingredients from the garden. Combine red, yellow, orange, and green thin-sliced peppers, lean grilled chicken, red onions, tomatoes, olives, and fresh basil, and toss it with a light Italian vinaigrette for a salad that won’t be soon forgotten.

8. Dad’s Bruschetta

So simple, yet so tasty, this classic Italian bruschetta recipe is just thick sliced ciabatta loaf, topped with olive oil, ripe roma tomatoes, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and minced garlic. It’s the ideal pairing for pasta, an afternoon snack, or a party appetizer.


Anna adores cooking, drinking wine, and listening to records, but she does a lot of yoga to balance things out ;) This explains the black bean brownie disaster of 2007 (don't bring that up). She's noshed in countries like Greece, Turkey, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, and numerous other weird, yummy places that will get her waxing all poetic about her favorite recipes.

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