Hidden gems: 17 of my mom’s best Italian recipes

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Bring the best of Italy to your kitchen with these 17 treasured recipes from my mom. Whether you’re looking for a comforting dinner or an impressive dish for a special event, these recipes have got you covered. They’re easy to follow and guaranteed to satisfy, making them a must-try for any home cook. Enjoy the timeless flavors and family traditions with these exceptional Italian recipes.

Cod piccata on a plate with asparagus and rice.
Cod Piccata. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Baked Tomatoes with Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese

Baked tomatoes with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese garnished with parsley.
Baked Tomatoes with Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Warm, melted cheese on top of juicy tomatoes sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what you get with Baked Tomatoes with Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese. It’s a simple dish, really, but it brings a burst of flavor that might surprise you. Pair it with anything, or enjoy it on its own; it’s versatile and oh so comforting.
Get the Recipe: Baked Tomatoes with Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese

Minestrone Soup with Sausage

Minestrone Soup with Sausage in white bowl with spoonful.
Minestrone Soup with Sausage. Photo credit: Little Bit Recipes.

Ever wanted a hearty meal that warms you up from the inside? Well, Minestrone Soup with Sausage is that meal. It takes the classic veggie-packed minestrone and ups the ante with savory sausage, making it a richer, more filling experience. Perfect for those cozy nights, it’s a bowl of wholesome goodness you won’t soon forget.
Get the Recipe: Minestrone Soup with Sausage

Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu

a plate of slow cooker lamb ragu over pappardelle pasta surrounded by a block of parmesan, a white linen, and torn baguette.
Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu. Photo credit: Two Cloves Kitchen.

Imagine setting up dinner in the morning and coming home to a meal that’s ready to eat. That’s the beauty of Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu. This dish slowly simmers to perfection, blending flavors in a way that only time can achieve. It’s rich, it’s tender, and it practically melts in your mouth, making every spoonful a little celebration.
Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu

Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken

Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken inside cast iron.
Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken. Photo credit: Low Carb – No Carb.

Chicken can be bland, but not when you give it an Italian twist like in Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken. This recipe takes the comforting familiarity of baked chicken and combines it with the beloved flavors of tomato and mozzarella. It’s a simple yet satisfying meal that brings a piece of Italy right to your dinner table. And who doesn’t love a bit of cheese on their chicken?
Get the Recipe: Tomato Mozzarella Baked Chicken

Rosemary Sourdough Bread

Rosemary sourdough bread on cutting board.
Rosemary Sourdough Bread. Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh bread, and Rosemary Sourdough Bread takes it to another level. This bread combines the tanginess of sourdough with the fragrant aroma of rosemary, making every slice a treat. It’s perfect for dipping, toasting, or just enjoying by itself. Honestly, it’s so good, you might just forget about the main dish.
Get the Recipe: Rosemary Sourdough Bread

Ratatouille with an Italian Flair

Italian ratatouille in a glass casserole dish.
Ratatouille with an Italian Flair. Photo credit: Honest and Truly.

You might think you know ratatouille, but Ratatouille with an Italian Flair is something else. This version adds an extra layer of flavor that’ll make you rethink this classic dish. It’s packed with vegetables, making it as nutritious as it is delicious. And with that Italian flair, it’s like a little vegetable celebration on your plate.
Get the Recipe: Ratatouille with an Italian Flair

Tuscan White Bean Skillet with Kale

Tuscan White Bean Skillet with Kale. Photo credit: Two City Vegans.

Tuscan White Bean Skillet with Kale is a dish that’ll make you feel good about what you’re eating. It’s a hearty, one-pan meal that brings together the rich flavors of Tuscany in a healthy way. Kale and white beans offer texture and nutrition, making it a go-to for a busy weeknight. Plus, it’s so easy to make, you’ll have dinner ready in a snap.
Get the Recipe: Tuscan White Bean Skillet with Kale

Air Fryer Flatbread Pizza

Two flatbread pizzas on a tray.
Air Fryer Flatbread Pizza. Photo credit: Splash of Taste.

Who knew you could get crispy, delicious pizza without a traditional oven? With Air Fryer Flatbread Pizza, you can. This recipe lets you whip up a personal pizza in no time, combining convenience with that homemade taste. It’s perfect for when you need a quick, satisfying meal without the fuss.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Flatbread Pizza

Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo

A bowl of olive garden creamy shrimp alfredo pasta served in a black bowl with a spoon.
Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo. Photo credit: Dinner By Heather.

Craving that restaurant-quality Alfredo without leaving the house? Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo has got you covered. This dish captures the creamy, savory goodness of the classic dish, with shrimp adding a nice bit of luxury. It’s a way to bring a piece of the dining-out experience right to your kitchen.
Get the Recipe: Copycat Olive Garden Shrimp Alfredo

Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

A green salad tossed with balsamic dressing in a white bowl with a jar of salad dressing beside it.
Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette. Photo credit: fANNEtastic food.

Let’s talk about taking your salads to the next level. Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette is how you do it. This dressing balances the tang of lemon with the rich sweetness of balsamic, making any salad an instant hit. It’s easy to whip up and keeps your greens far from boring.
Get the Recipe: Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cod Piccata

Cod piccata on a plate with asparagus and rice.
Cod Piccata. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

If you’re looking for a light yet flavorful meal, Cod Piccata is the way to go. This dish combines the delicate taste of cod with a tangy sauce that compliments every bite. It’s a simple, elegant meal that’s perfect for a special occasion or any day you feel like treating yourself. And it’s quicker to make than you might think.
Get the Recipe: Cod Piccata

Air Fryer Pesto Chicken Sandwich

Air fryer chicken pesto sandwich on a white plate.
Air Fryer Pesto Chicken Sandwich. Photo credit: Thriving In Parenting.

When you’re in a rush but still want something delicious, an Air Fryer Pesto Chicken Sandwich is a fantastic choice. It’s quick, it’s tasty, and it has that perfect crunch you’re looking for. The pesto adds a fresh, herby flavor that turns a simple sandwich into a gourmet treat. Plus, it’s healthier than fried, and who doesn’t love that?
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Pesto Chicken Sandwich

Easy Meat Sauce

A pot of tomato sauce with a spoon in it.
Easy Meat Sauce. Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Some days, you just need a classic comfort food, and Easy Meat Sauce fits the bill. This is a no-fuss, delicious sauce that’s perfect for spaghetti nights when you want something homemade but not complicated. It’s rich, meaty, and full of flavor, ready to top your favorite pasta. Plus, it freezes well, so you can have a homemade meal any day of the week.
Get the Recipe: Easy Meat Sauce

Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Two bowls of Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Soup in front of an instant pot.
Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Soup. Photo credit: Call Me PMc.

On a chilly day, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Soup. This soup brings the comforts of dining out home, replicating a favorite Italian restaurant dish. It’s loaded with beans, pasta, and veggies, making it a hearty meal that fills you up and warms you through. And it’s surprisingly easy to make.
Get the Recipe: Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Air Fryer Cheesy Pepperoni Breadsticks

A wooden cutting board with pepperoni breadsticks and dipping sauce.
Air Fryer Cheesy Pepperoni Breadsticks. Photo credit: Ginger Casa.

Let’s be real, cheese and pepperoni are a match made in heaven, and Air Fryer Cheesy Pepperoni Breadsticks prove it. These breadsticks are the ultimate snack for movie night, game day, or just because. They’re crispy, cheesy, and just a bit spicy, making them impossible to resist. Best of all, they come together in no time with the help of your air fryer.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Cheesy Pepperoni Breadsticks

Chicken Piccata

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

Looking for something that’s both light and packed with flavor? Chicken Piccata is your answer. It’s a classic Italian dish that’s easy enough for a weeknight meal but special enough for guests. The sauce is the real star here, turning simple chicken into a dish you’ll want to make again and again.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Piccata

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Ricotta Cookies decorated with Christmas sprinkles.
Italian Ricotta Cookies. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Imagine a cookie that’s soft, fluffy, and just slightly sweet. That’s what you get with Italian Ricotta Cookies. These cookies are a traditional treat that’s perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a holiday, a party, or just a regular day. They’re simple to make but so delicious that they’ll disappear before you know it.
Get the Recipe: Italian Ricotta Cookies

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