Italian food is one of the most delicious yet effortless cuisines you can recreate at home. With simple ingredients that can create fantastic dishes, this really is the perfect way to try out new meals even if you’re not the most advanced or confident home cook. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, with the help of Italian restaurant, Bella Cosa, we’ve put together a list of our favourite Italian recipes that you will easily be able to make at home, so give them a whirl and you may find yourself becoming a competent home cook.
Stuffed Chicken with Tomatoes
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
2 tbsp sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
200g soft cheese
4 large skinless chicken breasts
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
Olive oil, for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC/fan 200ºC/gas 7. Beat the sundried tomatoes, garlic and most of the herbs into the soft cheese before adding a pinch of salt and pepper. Cut a slit along the side of the chicken breasts, being careful not to slice right through to the other side.
- Opening the slit in each chicken breast, stuff them with the soft cheese mixture, dividing it evenly between each breast. Once stuffed and closed, place the chicken on a greased baking tray, then place tomato slices on top of each chicken breast. Season and scatter the rest of the herbs over the breasts before drizzling with olive oil.
- Place in the oven and roast for 20 mins until the chicken is golden around the edges. You can then serve as you like, but we would recommend plating up with buttery new potatoes and your favourite greens.
Preparation time: 15 – 20 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
50g pacorino cheese
3 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, peeled
50g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
- Fill a large saucepan with water and put on the boil.
- Remove the rind from the pancetta and finely chop. Grate the pecorino cheese and parmesan, mixing them together.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl and season.
- Once the the saucepan have water has been brought to the boil, add the spaghetti and turn down to a simmer, cooking for 10 mins.
- Use the flat part of your knife blade to squash the garlic cloves, enough to bruise it.
- In a large frying pan melt the butter before adding the pancetta and garlic, frying for around 5 minutes until the pancetta is golden and a little crispy. You can now take the garlic out of the pan and throw away.
- Turn the heat under the pancetta down to low and when the pasta is cooked, lift it out of the pan with tongs and add to the pancetta, keeping the water to one side.
- Mix nearly all of the cheese with the beaten eggs.
- Take the pan off the heat before pouring in the eggs and cheese. It’s important that the pan is no longer on the heat in order to avoid the eggs scrambling. Keep the spaghetti moving around the pan to make sure it is completely coated.
- Add a little leftover pasta water to the pasta to make it extra saucy and moist, just a tablespoon at a time.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving with the remaining cheese.
Easy Margherita Pizza
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
200g plain flour
7g packet easy-blend dried yeast
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
125ml warm water
50g mozzarella, grated
50g mozzarella, sliced
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
Small bunch of fresh basil, half of it chopped
- Preheat the over to 240ºC/220ºC fan/gas 9. Use a baking tray which is roughly 20 x 24cm in size and oiled well.
- Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl before stirring the water in. Knead the mixture until smooth and press into the tray.
- Spread the passata over the dough, making sure to leave a border around the edge to make the crust. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and the chopped basil over the passata as well as all of the mozzarella and parmesan.
- Bake for 15-20 mins and scatter the whole basil over the top.
These recipes provide an excellent starting point if you are trying out making your own Italian dishes. With a little patience and preparation, you can make dishes that you would expect to see in a restaurant.