Have you ever eaten a meal of pure elegance at an Italian restaurant, wondering if you would ever have another meal of equal deliciousness again? If so, we bet you were the embodiment of the chef’s kiss emoji afterward!
Now just imagine bringing that level of grace to your kitchen… Right?! It’s not a wild thought, because you can bring Italy to you.
And no, we’re not talking about making pizza or pasta dishes. While those are some fantastic, easy-to-make weeknight meals, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty, rarely discussed, but best Italian recipes.
By the end of this article, you’ll be saying, “Grazie! Grazie!” for these two authentic Italian dishes. If you want to know how to cook Italian food, read on.
Caponata with Pine Nuts
Originating from Sicily comes this caponata and pine nut recipe. The best thing about caponata is that while it’s a mixture of eggplant and other vegetables seasoned in virgin olive oil, you can really get creative.
For this recipe specifically, you’ll need:
- 2 globe eggplants
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more if needed
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 thinly sliced Fresno chiles
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, you will:
- Cut eggplants into 3/4-inch pieces and toss with 2 tbsp. salt into a strainer set above a bowl; chill for at least 3 but up to 10 hours
- Combine eggplant pieces, small fennel bulb, and vegetable oil in a pot over high heat and stir until eggplants are browned and fennel is soft
- Transfer vegetables onto paper towels to drain and cool; while this is happening, toast pine nuts over medium-low heat and toss occasionally until golden brown
- Transfer nuts to a plate, then heat virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, adding the onions, garlic, and Fresno chiles, cooking until tender; stir in paprika, then add crushed tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar; boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Lastly, add eggplants, cranberries, and nuts; toss until glazed
- Potato Gnocchi
As one of the basic Italian recipes, potato gnocchi is pretty simple to make. Keep reading!
- 6 or 7 scrubbed medium russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more if needed
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for working surface
Got your ingredients? Here are the steps you’ll take:
- Preheat oven to 350º; puncture potatoes with a fork, then bake directly on the oven rack until very tender
- Scrape potato flesh into a medium-sized bowl, discard the skins, then pass flesh through a food mill or ricer and let cool
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, sprinkle 3/4 cup flour and 1 tbsp. salt over them; then, knead potatoes until the texture is sticky and dough-like
- Lightly flour your hands and working surface; section dough into 6 portions and roll each portion into a long rope, then cut into 1-inch pieces
- Cook gnocchi in four batches, each time in a large pot of salt and boiling water until all pieces float
Make These Best Italian Recipes Today
While we are still in the midst of a pandemic, traveling to another country doesn’t sound like a great idea. Now you can bring the delicacies from Italy right to the four walls of your kitchen!
Potato gnocchi and caponata are two of the best Italian recipes you can make. Not only are they relatively simple to put together, but you can change whatever you’d like ingredient-wise to make your taste buds happy.
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