24 Old-School Recipes Your Italian Grandma Used to Make

24 Old-School Recipes Your Italian Grandma Used to Make

PureWow

There’s a time to keep things light and healthy—to make sure you’re meeting your macros and getting all of your superfoods. Then there’s a time to let tradition take over…and to us, that means homey, hearty and smothered in cheese. When we’re in the mood for real Italian cooking, we blast the Sinatra, open a bottle of Chianti and turn to these recipes. 

Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

One-Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs

It doesn’t get any more classic than this (or any easier!). The entire meal gets cooked in the same pan, so there’s only one dish to do. And did we mention it’s ready in 30 mintues?

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Credit: Gimme Some Oven

Slow-Cooker Lasagna

OK, Nonna probably didn’t make her lasagna in the slow cooker. But this has all of her homey flavors, with none of the fuss.

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Credit: Two Peas and Their Pod

Garlic Bread

Coterie Member Maria Lichty knows not to skimp on the garlic…or the Parmesan cheese. Grandma would be so proud.

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Ricotta Gnocchi

Ingredient list: clouds, angel dust, and a lot of sage and brown butter. Best of all, there are no fancy gadgets required to make this at home.

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Credit: Erin McDowell

Kale Minestrone

There’s nothing more comforting on a cold or rainy day. Tomatoes, pasta, kale, Parmesan, kidney beans, celery, carrots and herbs simmer on the stove—to serve, add a healthy dollop of pesto on top.

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Credit: What’s Gaby Cooking

Chicken Rigatoni With Vodka Sauce

Three of our favorite things, in one ultra-cozy dish. (Thanks, Coterie member Gaby Dalkin.)

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RELATED: 30 Clean-Eating Recipes the Whole Family Will Devour

Credit: Carlsbad Cravings

Chicken Parmesan with 5-Minute Marinara

Serve over pasta to soak up more of that delicious sauce (and because everyone deserves a carb coma sometimes).

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Pasta Alla Norma

We don’t know who Norma was, but we love her combination of smoky eggplant, crushed tomatoes and fresh basil.

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Credit: Half Baked Harvest

Pesto Bolognese Lasagna

Hello, Sunday dinner. (Even better, the slow-cooked Italian Bolognese sauce can be made in advance if you’re short on time.)

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Slow-Cooker Pasta e Fagioli

This soup is truly a meal in a bowl—packed with protein, veggies and tons of flavor.

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Credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Amaretto Cheesecake

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say this almond graham cracker crust rivals your grandma’s. Don’t forget the homemade whipped cream (and a cappuccino, of course).

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Credit: The Modern Proper

Pesto Chicken Bruschetta

Instead of crunchy pieces of bread, this bruschetta recipe uses grilled chicken as the base—making it a full (and gluten-free) meal.

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Cacio E Pepe

This simple dish has gotten uber trendy, but it really is an Italian classic. And when it’s done right, there’s absolutely nothing better.

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Credit: Foodie Crush

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Coterie member Heidi Larsen packs this summery pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil and plenty of garlic—just the way we like it.

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Credit: Pinch of Yum

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Our go-to for every picnic or potluck invitation we get. (And don’t forget to make a double batch—it also makes a fantastic midnight snack.)

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Credit: dinner at the zoo

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

The very best appetizer, whether you’re throwing a big party or just celebrating the fact that you made it through another Tuesday.

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Easy One-Pan Baked Ziti

Basically like a giant hug in a pan. Oh, and the secret ingredient? Bacon, naturally.

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Credit: The Mom 100

Bolognese Sauce

Pro tip from Coterie member Katie Workman: Make a double batch and freeze half for easy weeknight meals.

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Credit: Mom On Time Out

Easy Stuffed Shells

Throw in some Italian sausage or ground beef if you have it hanging around in the fridge. Add a crunchy green salad and dinner is done.

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Credit: I Am A Food Blog

Meatball Subs

Fantastic for game day (or any day, TBH). The cheese-to-sauce-to-meatball-to-bread ratio is especially on point here.

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Using store-bought gnocchi makes this Sunday dinner totally possible on a Wednesday night.

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Italian Wedding Soup

Packed with beans, pasta, kale and sausage meatballs, this soup is basically the definition of hearty. And we are here for it.

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Italian Bruschetta Bar

We love a good cheese board as much as the next girl, but this recipe truly takes it to another level.

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Credit: Liz Andrew & Erin McDowell

Tiramisu

It’s safe to say that we’re in for any dessert that has coffee, booze and a creamy mascarpone filling. 

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