ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Italian Cooking: How to Prepare an Italian Feast Using Simple Recipes

Updated on June 15, 2012

Italian Cooking

Italians love to cook and eat good food. Dinners are important in an Italian family. Many courses means more time to sit and enjoy each others company. Today I will teach you how to make a big Italian feast for your loved ones using basic ingredients and simple recipes. We will start off with a little bruschetta and minestrone soup. Our main dish will be chicken Parmesan and dessert will be tiramisu. Sound good? Great, let's get started.

Aperitivo & Antipasto

And we begin. Your antipasto, or appetizer, is usually a finger food. It can be a hot or cold appetizer. Commonly served are a variety of cold cuts such as salami, prosciutto or pepperoni, various cheeses, bread and olives. Traditionally an aperitivo, or liqueur, is served alongside the antipasto. Usually a bitter liqueur like Campari, this drink will increase your appetite for the meal to come. The bitterness also stimulates the gall bladder, which helps you to digest the meal. Let us try my favorite Italian appetizer: bruschetta.

Bruschetta
Bruschetta | Source

Bruschetta

You will need:

  • 4 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one loaf of French bread

Cut the end off of tomatoes and take out seeds. Dice tomatoes and let drain in strainer. Dice onions and mince garlic. Chop basil leaves. Mix everything together in a bowl. To serve: cut bread into one inch rounds. Put a little bruschetta on top and toast lightly in a 400 degree oven for about five minutes. Enjoy!

minestrone soup
minestrone soup | Source

Primo

After the antipasto comes the primo. This course is a little more food, not a lot. Pace yourself. Usually this course includes a little pasta or soup. My favorite Italian soup is minestrone. It is the simplest soup to make because the recipe can be varied in so many ways. Substitute any meat, any beans or any vegetables and herbs you have around. This is my favorite minestrone recipe. Let's try some, shall we?

Minestrone

  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 2 large cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stew meat
  • 1 zucchinni
  • 2 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 large can kidney beans
  • 1-2 cups uncooked pasta. Tiny pasta like orzo is best.
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

Chop up all the vegetables. Heat broth in a large pot until simmering. Add canned tomatoes, chopped vegetables, and herbs and spices. Simmer until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked (15-20 min). Add canned beans and pasta, cook until pasta is ready. Serve with a little parmesan cheese on top if you like.

Secondo & Contorno

And now it is time for the main meal. Hopefully you have a little room left? The secondo is the most complicated portion of the meal. It is usually a meat or seafood dish. It is served with the contorno, or side dish of vegetables or a salad. Lets try a little chicken Parmesan. We will start with the marinara sauce:

Marinara sauce

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • one onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 32oz cans of tomatoes
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper

Heat up a little oil on a large frying pan on medium-low. Cook onions until clear, then add garlic and cook another two minutes. Add tomatoes and spices. Simmer on low until it thickens, about a half hour.

That was easy, right? If it seems too much trouble, just go ahead and buy a jar of ready made sauce. Paul Newman`s Marinara sauce is the best store bought one I've tried.

chicken parmesan with bowtie pasta
chicken parmesan with bowtie pasta | Source

Chicken Parmesan

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 5-7 chopped basil leaves
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 cups Marinara sauce
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound pasta

Preheat oven to 350. Add 2 Tbsp oil to pan and brown the chicken. Coat a casserole dish with the remaining oil. Pour one cup of the sauce on the bottom and add chicken. Pour the rest of the sauce on top. Top with the cheeses and herbs. Bake the chicken until it is cooked, 25-30 minutes. While chicken is in the oven, cook the pasta. When the chicken is done, remove chicken to serving plates and use remaining sauce for the pasta.

Formaggio e frutta

Now you are done the main meal. Time to clear the tables, wash the dishes and have a little formaggio e frutta, or cheese and fruit. This snack is a palate cleanser to prepare you for dessert. The cheeses served here are more of a soft, sweet cheese, like fotina or mozzarella. With the antipasto, you would have served a sharper, saltier hard cheese, like Asiago or Gorgonzola. Any fruits you like will go well with this snack.

Dolce, Caff & Digestivo

And now it is time for the dolce, or dessert. Popular Italian desserts include tirimusu, cannoli, gelato or biscotti. Coffee, espresso or cappucino are commonly served with dessert. Some might like to have an after dinner liqueor, ordigestivo. Grappa, amaretto and sambuca are popular choices. Lets try everyones favorite Italian dessert, tiramusu.

Tiramusu

  • 1 package ladyfinger cookies
  • 1/2 cup brewed espresso, cooled
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 pounds mascarpone cheese
  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Place ladyfingers on a large baking sheet. Brush with espresso and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick, 4-5 minutes. Add mascarpone, blend on low until combined. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Fold egg whites into mascarpone mixture. Line the bottom of an 8-cup souffle dish with half of the ladyfingers. Spread half of the cheese mixture on top and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp cocoa. Repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

So there you have it. An easy to make Italian feast. Invite your family and friends over and get cooking!

5 stars from 1 rating of An Italian Feast

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • daisyjae profile imageAUTHOR

      daisyjae 

      5 years ago from Canada

      You are welcome!

    • titi6601 profile image

      titi6601 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing!

    • daisyjae profile imageAUTHOR

      daisyjae 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I hope you like them, Leighsue.

    • Leighsue profile image

      Leighsue 

      6 years ago

      These look like some really good recipes. I will bookmark and try them.

    • daisyjae profile imageAUTHOR

      daisyjae 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, lilleyth.

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      7 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      I grew up with Italian grandparents in the house. Gotta have my pasta fix. Great hub.

    • daisyjae profile imageAUTHOR

      daisyjae 

      7 years ago from Canada

      They're pretty easy jojokaya, i'm sure you'll like them.

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 

      7 years ago from USA

      I love Italian food. Will try your recipes

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)