Rustic Italian Recipes That Are Easier Than They Look

There’s a delicious cuisine in every corner of the globe. However, there’s one that holds dear in the heart of different from all parts of the world is the flavorful, hearty Italian cuisine. True enough, a recent survey that asked 25,000 people from 24 countries found 84% of them ranked Italian food as their favorite cuisine.

Its dishes go beyond just spaghetti and meatballs, as the rich flavors and textures can be tasted in rustic Italian meals. At its core, this style of cooking uses simple ingredients and combines them together to perfectly balance every flavor profile. Plus, it emphasizes the tools used in its recipe to make them as hearty and comforting as possible.

But don’t fret if you think this beloved cuisine dishes are hard to create, as we’ve rounded up some easy rustic Italian recipes that you can easily do at home.

 

 

Pizza Margherita

With its simple yet stunning toppings of fresh tomatoes, basil, and cheese, a pizza margherita is a testament to rustic Italian cooking. This Neapolitan thin-crusted pizza elevates the flavor of each ingredient to create a light yet delectable dish. To really satisfy your taste buds, be sure to prepare this dish in a wood or gas-fired oven — just like how the Italians make it.

Ingredients

• A 6-inch round of pizza dough, stretched
• 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
• 1 2/3 of fresh mozzarella
• 3 basil leaves, torn
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt

 

Directions

1. Heat your pizza oven to the highest for about an hour.
2. Stretch your pizza dough until its smooth and thin, and transfer onto the tray.
3. Starting at the center, spread the tomato sauce over the dough by using the back of a spoon until it’s evenly spread.
4. Add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over the pizza.
5. Divide the mozzarella into large chunks and put them on top of the tomato sauce.
6. Spread basil leaves across the pizza.
7. Then, sprinkle a dash of salt.
8. Place the pizza into the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling.

 

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Chicken and Rice

While it may sound modest, a rustic Italian chicken and rice dish is a classic, filling meal. By incorporating a delicious tomato sauce and fresh vegetables, a chicken and rice dish achieves the signature hearty feeling of Italian cuisine. Not to mention, it’s very easy to make because half the work can be done with small rice cookers when you’re working on the chicken and sauce. Ready to dig in? Here’s what you need to know.

Ingredients

• 2 small boneless chicken breasts
• 1/4 cup of balsamic vinaigrette
• 3/4 cups of fresh tomato sauce
• 1/2 zucchini, cut into thick slices
• 1/2 onion, sliced
• 1/2 red pepper, sliced
• 1/3 cup of brown rice, cooked
• 1/4 cup of parmesan

 

Directions

1. Prepare rice. It should be finished in the rice cooker for 25-35 minutes.
2. Add vinaigrette on a skillet on medium height.
3. Then, cook chicken breasts for 5-7 minutes.
4. Place vegetables and stir until the vegetables have a tender texture to them.
5. Add in the pasta sauce and cook for a minute or until it’s hot.
6. Scoop out rice and place onto a plate.
7. Top the rice with the chicken, sauce.
8. Finally, sprinkle the cheese and enjoy.

 

 

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Though restaurants commonly serve carbonara with a rich cream sauce, this famous pasta dish from Rome actually contains no cream at all. Rather, it relies on the creaminess of eggs to create its appetizing sauce. And don’t forget to cook that the pasta should be Al Dente to have a real, rustic spaghetti alla carbonara.

Ingredients

• 16 ounces of spaghetti, cooked
• 3 eggs
• 2 teaspoons of olive oil
• 10 tablespoons of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
• Salt
• Pepper
• 1 pound of cured pork cheek (or bacon if unavailable)

 

Directions

1. Grab a large skillet and add olive oil. Set it to medium heat.
2. Once hot, add the pork and cook for 5-10 minutes or until it’s crispy.
3. Cook spaghetti in a large pot with salted water.
4. Drain the water but leave the pasta in the pot. Stir every 5 minutes.
5. Transfer the pork onto a plate with paper towels to take out the oil.
6. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with five tablespoons of cheese and pepper to taste.
7. Add the mixture over the pasta. Stir until it becomes rich and creamy.
8. Place the pork in the pot.
9. Add the remaining cheese and stir well.
10. Mix everything until cooked and serve.

 

Article specially written for www.alfaforni.com by Alyssa Corr