Do you need easy Italian recipes that you can cook up fast that are delicious and inexpensive? Below are three very simple Italian recipes that do not require much time to prepare and only use several ingredients that you may even have on hand.
This is the beauty of Italian cooking. You do not need a ton of ingredients to cook up a delicious meal. The key with cooking great Italian food is to use fresh quality ingredients, like fresh herbs and fine olive oil. And the number one most important ingredient in any type of cooking is of course Love!
Enjoy and Buon Appetito!
EASY ITALIAN MARINARA SAUCE RECIPE
Here is a great recipe for marinara sauce using canned tomatoes. This marinara sauce is delicious over your favorite pasta, on top of pizza and over mussels and shrimp. The beauty of this sauce is that it can be used with a number of other recipes, so it's a great starting point in Italian Cooking and it is very easy to make.
You can use either fresh or canned plum tomatoes for this recipe, however using fresh tomatoes requires more time and preparation, so I prefer to use canned. If you do plan on using fresh tomatoes, make certain the tomatoes are ripe and in season.
For the canned tomatoes, I prefer Rienzi brand tomatoes. I have tried a number of different brands of canned tomatoes and Rienzi has the best flavor amongst the supermarket brands, in my opinion.
Marinara Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (More or less depending on how much you like garlic)
1 35 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes with liquid
Salt to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste (You can use black pepper if you wish)
10 - 12 fresh basil leaves , torn
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1) Open your can of tomatoes and crush them by hand into a bowl and set aside.
2) Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add your garlic to the oil and cook until soft and lightly browned. Be sure to watch the garlic to make sure it doesn't burn.
4) Carefully add the tomatoes along with their liquid into the pan with the garlic and oil. Use caution when adding the tomatoes to the hot oil. The oil can splatter. Add the oregano.
5) Stir the mixture and bring to a boil. Season with a bit of salt and red or black pepper. Lower the heat so that the sauce is reduced to a simmer. Break up the tomatoes as it cooks with a spoon until your sauce is chunky. You want the sauce to simmer until thickened, about 20 - 25 minutes.
6) Add your fresh basil a few minutes before the sauce is done. Taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper if needed.
7) Serve over your favorite pasta.
EASY ITALIAN PESTO SAUCE RECIPE
Let's learn how to make pesto sauce.
This is another very easy and delicious recipe that can be served over your favorite pasta, grilled chicken, mussels or as a topping for pizza. For those of you who want your basil pesto sauce without pine nuts, you can leave them out or substitute the pine nuts with walnuts.
For a nice variation on this recipe, try adding sundried tomatoes to the pesto mixture before blending for a delicious tomato pesto sauce.
This recipe should only be used as a guide. Not everyone has the same preferences. Some do not like a lot of garlic or olive oil flavor for example, so it is recommended that you experiment until you find the right recipe.
Pesto Sauce Ingredients:
4 cups fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts (the nuts can be lightly toasted in a dry pan before blending for added flavor)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (more or less depending on your taste)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender except olive oil. Add a little oil at a time and process until sauce reaches desired consistency. Ready to serve in your favorite dish.
EASY PASTA WITH GARLIC, OIL AND FRESH HERBS
This is another quick and easy Italian recipe with only a few ingredients. It is important that you do not burn the garlic with this recipe otherwise it will become bitter.
1 pound of spaghetti
3 - 4 garlic cloves chopped (more or less, depending on how much you like garlic)
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1/4 Cup of Chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
A pinch of red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1) In a large pot, bring about 6 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 - 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain but make sure you reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
2) While the pasta is cooking, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and saute until light brown in color. Remember to pay close attention to the garlic to make sure it doesn't burn. Remove from heat.
3) Stir in fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, and few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water. Mix until combined.
4) Transfer the drained pasta to a large serving bowl and mix in the remaining olive oil and pasta water.
5) Add the garlic and herb mixture into the pasta and mix well.
6) Taste and add salt and red pepper if desired.
7) Serve immediately. Top with grated cheese if desired.
There you have it. Three great easy Italian recipes that you can whip up in a flash and please everyone. I hope you enjoy these easy Italian recipes. Happy Cooking!
Ralph Serpe is a passionate home cook and webmaster of http://www.chefability.com/ , a free cooking site for aspiring chefs and home cooks. Visit today for more great Italian Cooking Recipes .