The Best Recipes on the Internet: Italian Essentials

Don't be a slave to search results—we gathered a team of bloggers, culinary historians, and cookbook authors to pick 25 Italian recipes that really work.


Welcome to "The Best Recipes on the Internet," a new series where we ask experts to sift through the endless recipes available online and tell us which ones really work. Running point on the project is Cara Eisenpress, a passionate home cook and author of In The Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes From Our Year of Cooking in the Real World. First up: Italian!

The neighborhood Italian joint is a cornerstone of the dining scene in countless cities across the country, and Italian cuisine is the staple of home cooks. But when you feel like making something as ubiquitous as bolognese, how can you know which recipe to follow? Rather than abandoning you to trawl the Internet’s infinite cookbook for carbonara that turns out gloppy, or lasagna that always falls apart, we turned to a panel of experts and asked them to curate a list of the best recipes for 25 quintessential Italian dishes.

For this edition, we looked to people who love Italian cuisine, including a culinary historian, a blogger from the Tuscan countryside, and a journalist who has dedicated hours to interviewing Italian chefs in their home kitchens. From this brain trust, we leared that minestrone is not simply a soup made of leftovers, and that Marcella Hazan can do no wrong when it comes to pasta.

Instead of taking a chance on a random pesto, read on for recipes you can count on for gelato, spaghetti, pork roast, risotto, and other essentials of Italian home-cooking, chosen by the following experts:

Cathy Barrow, blogger at Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen and author of forthcoming Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry
Kristina Gill, Rome-based food and drinks editor at, and a photographer specializing in food and travel images
Linda Prospero, former journalist and creator of Ciao Chow Linda, a blog about Italian cooking
Adam Roberts, author of Secrets of the Best Chefs
Giulia Scarpaleggia, Tuscany-based blogger at Juls' Kitchen
Domenica Marchetti, author of five books on Italian cooking, including The Glorious Pasta of Italy (Chronicle Books, 2011). She blogs at
Cara Eisenpress, home cook; editor at Big Girls, Small Kitchen; and First We Feast contributor

Click to start the list
  • antony levine

    Have you ever been to Santa Monica? There’s a delicious italian restaurant in Santa Monica called Via Veneto that is to die for. Just sharing the info…being an italian foodie an all. : )

  • Candied Nuts

    Philippine pili nuts from the Bicol region in the Philippines is a great Filipino or Philippines food orsnack. Pili nuts are very healthy and nutritious indeed, being a source of energy, potassium and iron.They also have protein, dietary fiber / fibre, and calcium as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. I know they have no cholesterol, no trans fat, and the unsalted ones have no sodium. What is great about the pili nut snack or treat is that they are so crisp, rich, and delicious.

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