Italians are known for their love of food. And, that love of food has manifested itself into some of the most exquisitely flavorful culinary creations ever tasted. Cooking styles in Italy tend to be regional, based historically on the prevailing availability of ingredients in each area. But, regardless of whether the recipe is from Northern Italy, Southern Italy, Sicily, or any other region, if it’s Italian, it will be amazingly succulent. Here are some authentic Italian pasta recipes that can turn any kitchen into an Italian bistro. With only a few simple ingredients, a delicious Italian risotto salad can be easily created. And for the real pasta enthusiast, a healthy tomato, basil, linguine toss will hit the spot. There are even some tips for what to keep on hand in the kitchen to make creating those Italian classics easier.

Ingredient Collection

Fresh vegetable and herbs, along with a few other basics, are a must when it comes to Italian pasta recipes. While the kitchen can’t be stocked with fresh produce, there are some ways to make a kitchen more conducive to Italian cooking.

  • Grow fresh herbs. Basil, oregano, rosemary, and other easy to grow herbs will be very advantageous for authentic Italian recipes.
  • Olive oil is a must for Italian cooking. Both extra virgin and pomace oil will be essential.
  • Garlic cloves will stay fresh for quite a while, unpeeled and kept in a cool environment.
  • Dry herbs can come in handy and are actually better for some recipes.

Tomato Basil Linguine Toss

Simple and packed with flavor, this sauce is a great example of how the Italians would make use of simple, available ingredients to create wonderful dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups rough chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic – peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 ounces fresh basil – rough chopped
  • 8 ounces linguine – fresh pasta is always preferable

Method: The only time-consuming part of the process is cooking down the tomatoes. Stewed tomatoes can always be bought in a can, but they’re much better when freshly stewed. Simply cut the tomatoes into random sized chunks, put into a sauce pan, and add the water. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for about an hour, stirring often. Once it reduces to about half, the tomatoes are ready.

While the tomatoes are stewing, the rest of the sauce can be started. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan, add the sliced garlic, crushed red pepper, and sea salt. Saute only for a few minutes, just until you see the garlic starting to brown. Remove from the heat and mix in the parsley and basil. Let it sit until the tomatoes are ready. Prepare the linguine based on the package directions (likely boil for 12-14 minutes for al dente), or use your own linguine recipe. Now, the cooked, stewed tomatoes can be added to the garlic and oil and mixed together. Then, the linguine can be tossed into the sauce. Plate and top with some freshly grated Romano cheese, it’s just a simple, authentic representation of Italian cooking at its best.

Chilled Tomato & Risotto Salad

It’s a tasty, light start for any Italian feast. Roma tomatoes tossed with chilled risotto, whole milk mozzarella, mixed greens, drizzled with a reduced vinaigrette and topped with grated Parmesan.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups risotto – prepared and chilled
  • 2 cups diced Roma tomatoes (about a quarter-inch dice)
  • 3 cups diced whole milk mozzarella (cut in a larger half-inch dice)
  • 4 cups mixed greens – choose your favorite combination
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method: First, reduce the balsamic vinegar into a glaze. Bring it to a boil in a small pan. Reduce heat, and continue cooking while stirring until it is reduced by half. Cool for about an hour. Next, toss the first four ingredients together in a large bowl. Then, simply plate each salad, drizzle with the cooled balsamic glaze, and top with the grated Parmesan. It’s a wonderfully fresh Italian salad with a little pasta kick.