Italian Recipes


3 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup sliced carrots

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 can (16 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 medium-size zucchini (6 ounces), quartered lengthwise, then sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 box (9 ounces) frozen cut Italian green beans

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups small pasta shells

1 can (16 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1. Bring broth, water, onion, carrots and garlic to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart pot. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender.

2. Add crushed tomatoes, zucchini, green beans and pepper. Return to a boil, add pasta, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Stir in beans.

Spaghetti and Meatballs


8 ounces lean ground beef

8 ounces lean ground turkey

1/4 cup plain packaged bread crumbs

1/4 cup crushed canned tomatoes (from sauce)

1 large egg white

1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)

1 medium-size green bell pepper, coarsely diced (1 1/2 cups)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes (1/4 cup used in meatballs)

1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper

12 ounces uncooked spaghetti

1. Mix Meatball ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Roll into fifteen 1 1/2-inch balls, using 2 tablespoons meat mixture for each. Refrigerate.

2. Sauce: Heat oil in a heavy 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic and basil. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Add meatballs, reduce heat, cover and simmer gently 15 minutes, turning meatballs a few times. Uncover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer until sauce is thickened and meatballs are no longer pink in middle.

4. Meanwhile bring a large covered pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain; serve with meatballs and sauce.

Spinach Lasagna

3 cups (24 ounces) nonfat ricotta cheese

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, reserve 2 tablespoons for top

Whites from 2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 jar (26 ounces) fat-free spaghetti sauce

9 curly-edge lasagna noodles (about 10 ounces), cooked and drained according to package directions

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

8 ounces reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups), reserve 1/2 cup for top

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Have a 13x9-inch baking dish ready.

2. In a medium-size bowl, mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan, egg whites, salt and pepper until blended.

3. Spread 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of baking dish. Cover with a layer of cooked lasagna noodles.

4. Spread 1/2 the ricotta mixture over noodles, then half the spinach and shredded mozzarella and half the remaining sauce.

5. Continue layering with more noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, spinach and mozzarella. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.

6. Sprinkle with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

7. Cover and bake 30 minutes then uncover and bake 20 minutes or until bubbly around edges.

Rigatoni with pesto

2 pounds rigatoni pasta


2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves

1 cup tightly packed Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves

1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

2/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/2 cup chicken broth or water

2 large cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

For garnish: basil sprigs, sliced tomatoes

1. Cook rigatoni according to package directions until firm-tender. Drain, rinsing under cold water. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

2. Meanwhile process all pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Scrape into bowl and toss with pasta to mix and coat.

Italian Tomato and Herb chicken


2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs

1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

4 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves (4 pounds)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow or red bell pepper, cut in thin strips

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon garlic

1 can (16 ounces) crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Mix coating ingredients on a large plate. roll chicken in mixture, pressing lightly to it adheres.

2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add chicken and cook 5 to 6 minutes over medium-high heat, turning once, until golden.

3. Remove chicken. Add bell pepper and basil and oregano (if using dried). Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, salt and tomatoes.

4. Return chicken to skillet. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is opaque in center and juices run clear when meat is pierced. Stir in basil and oregano (if using fresh herbs) and Parmesan cheese.


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