Easy Italian Recipes

Most of the easy Italian recipes on my site have been adapted by me to be prepared in 30-45 minutes for quick meal prep. I love cooking and naturally seem to add my Italian flair to many things I make.

Some Italian recipes are best slowed cooked, but these were created when my time was limited as I was raising my children. Now my children are grown and I actually have more time for cooking, but I still stick to these simplified recipes.

Here are a few quick Italian dishes you can fix for a weeknight meal.

Easy Italian Recipe: Quick Weeknight Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour or more
Serves: 4-6

This simple sauce only has 3 main ingredients and is heavy on the garlic. It’s an easy Italian dish perfect for a weeknight.

2 large (28 oz.) cans pear tomatoes with basil
1-2 bulbs garlic (not cloves, whole bulbs!)
2 large bunches of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mince all garlic and chop all basil.
Put the tomatoes in a 3-5 quart pan.
Add the garlic and fresh basil.
Simmer on medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or longer if desired)
Serve over any pasta noodles of your choice.

Easy Italian Side Dish Recipe: Vegetable Risotto

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Risotto is a great side dish since the rice takes on whatever flavor you’re cooking with. For this easy Italian recipe, just add some fresh or frozen vegetables to the cooked rice for an easy side. Risotto is made with arborio rice and results in rice with a creamy texture.

vegetable risotto

2 cups Aborio rice
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2-3/4 cup white wine (or additional broth instead)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen vegetables, thawed

Heat the broth in a medium-size sauce pan until boiling.
Add rice to boiling broth.
Cook covered for 15 minutes; stirring frequently.
Add vegetables and white wine (or additional broth) as needed to keep the creamy texture.
Cook an additional 10 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Quick Italian Dessert Recipe: Toasted Pound Cake with Citrus Cream

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4-6

This recipe is borrowed from Giada De Laurentis and is slightly modified. It’s a super easy, quick Italian dessert for any night of the week.

1 (10.75 oz.) frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into 1 inch slices
2 tablesoons melted butter
1/3 cup honey

8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large oranges segmented, for garnish

Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Spray a baking sheet and arrange pound cake in single layer on pan.
Combine the melted butter and honey. Brush mixture on pound cake.
Toast for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

For the citrus cream, in a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and beat together with mixer for about 1 minute or until stiff peaks form.

To assemble, spoon citrus cream on the cooled pound cake slices. Garnish with orange segments and serve.

I hope these easy Italian recipes have helped you fix a delicious meal for your family.