4Italian food is a favorite among so many people. Nothing can compare to the delicious pasta entrees and the aroma of their freshly baked breads. Italian recipes offer some of the most flavorful dishes in the world.
One of the greatest things about Italian foods is how often they call for the use of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can eat. Including 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your diet a day can have tremendous effects on your mental and physical health.
If you’re looking to kick up your dinner routine with some delicious Italian dishes, while also including more olive oil in your diet, then we have 4 of the tastiest Italian recipes to share with you.
1: Homemade Pesto Sauce
Pesto sauce is a delicious alternative for using on pasta, pizza, and sandwiches. Surprisingly, it’s very simple to make at home. Here’s what you need:
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons pine-nuts
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of your food processor and start to run. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture as it’s running. That’s all you have to do. Once it’s ready, you can store it in an air-tight container for a week, if it lasts that long.
2: Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is a traditional and delicious Italian salad. It is one of the easiest summer salads to make.
- 3-4 teaspoons olive oil
- 2-3 tomatoes
- 4-6 basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1-2 rounds of fresh mozzarella
- salt and pepper to taste
The first thing you need to do is cut open that garlic clove and rub your serving dish with it. Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella rounds so they are 1/4 inches thick. Interleave the tomato and mozzarella slices, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Finally, chop the basil leaves and sprinkle them on top, then drizzle with the olive oil.
3: Classic Bruschetta Bread
Bruschetta bread is the tastiest way to kick off an Italian meal. A good-quality olive oil can make this one of the most delicious breads you will try. To make it you will need:
- You favorite Italian bread
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh tomatoes, preferably roma
- Several cloves of garlic
Start by cutting the garlic cloves in half and setting aside. Then cut your tomatoes into small chunks. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and mix with a slight amount of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Grill your bread slightly before adding the tomatoes. If you want, you can add olive oil to your bread before grilling. Once the bread is grilled to perfection you can rub it on both sides with a garlic clove.
Scoop your desired amount of tomatoes on the bread and it’s ready to eat.
4: Aglio E Olio
Aglio E Olio is an Italian pasta dish made up of spaghetti, olive oil, and freshly minced garlic. This simple dish is a delicious pasta entree for anyone who wants a lighter pasta entree. Here is the recipe to serve 4-6 people:
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
- Optional: Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt generously. Add pasta to your water and cook it for roughly 8 minutes (or until it reaches al dente).
While the pasta is cooking, you should start to combine your minced garlic, salt, olive oil, and pinch of red pepper flakes in a small skillet over heat. Cook until your garlic turns a golden color. This should take roughly 8 minutes.
Once everything is ready you can drain the pasta. Then mix it with the garlic and oil. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and it’s ready to serve.