Unique Italian Recipes

Spaghetti & Meatballs, Chicken Parmigiana, and Shrimp Scampi… what do these three Italian dishes have in common? They were actually invented in the United States, and not in Italy. If you’re looking to try something new, here are four recipes from different regions of Italy to cook in your “cucina.”

Broiled Lamb Chops with Garlic & Olive Oil

This popular Tuscan dish can also be grilled for those of you in warmer weather climates. Coat your lamb chops with garlic and oil to give them a tender taste, and serve with a side of vegetables.

Time Needed: 45 minutes

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 3/4 tsp. of black pepper
  • 8 lamb chops

Directions

  1. While heating your broiler, grab a shallow dish to combine 4 tbsp. of olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add your lamb chops and broil for five minutes. Turn over, baste with remaining oil, and cook the other side for five minutes.
  3. Your lamb chops should be done once there is a nice brown crust that should not stick to the dish. Serve and enjoy!

Pasta alla Norma

This is a popular dish in Sicily, which is an island off the Southern part of Italy. This is a good starting point if you’re looking to cook pasta in a new way.

Time Needed: 45 minutes

Serves: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds of eggplant
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil (as needed)
  • 1 tbsp. of chopped garlic
  • 3 or 4 dried chiles
  • 1 1/2 lbs. of tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. of dried oregano or 1 tbsp. of fresh oregano
  • 1 lb. of long pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley or basil
  • 1/2 cup of grated ricotta salata
  • Salt & pepper as needed

Directions

  1. Slice the eggplant at least a half-inch thick. Cook the eggplant in an oiled pan over high heat until it is soft and brown.
  2. Remove the eggplant and place on a plate.
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt to get the water boiling quicker.
  4. In the same pan, turn the heat down to medium and add garlic and chiles, and more oil if needed. Cook until garlic colors a little bit.
  5. Add tomatoes and oregano and stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cook pasta once water is boiling. You’ll also want to add the eggplant to the tomato sauce for a minute to reheat.
  7. Top with ricotta and parsley or basil and enjoy.

Calamari

Need something for an antipasto (appetizer)? This Mediterranean staple is something you might already be familiar with, and it’s easy to make!

Time Needed: 20 minutes

Serves: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 12 squid, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • 1 lemon for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit in either a deep frying pan or pot.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour, salt, oregano, and black pepper together. Dredge squid through the mixture.
  3. Place your squid in the heated oil for 2 or 3 minutes or until light brown. Dry squid on paper towels and serve with lemon wedges.

Italian Anisette Cookies

Anisette is a staple in many Italian desserts. Cookies can be a great way to introduce this Italian treat at potlucks or other functions.

Time Needed: 20 minutes

Serves: 18 servings

Ingredients

Cookies
  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. of baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. anise extract
Icing
  • 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. anise extract
  • 2 tbsp. of hot water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and white sugar. Create a well in the middle for your oil, milk, 1 tablespoon of anise extract, and eggs. Mix until dough is sticky.
  3. Pinch off dough in one-inch pieces.
  4. Roll dough into a ball and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten the top slightly.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes & dip cookies in icing while warm.

 

Recipes Inspired By:
Delish.com
cooking.nytimes.com
allrecipes.com

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