3 Quick And Easy Italian Dishes To Recreate At Home

Italian cuisine is undoubtedly one of the most popular out there, with Italian restaurants in just about every town around the world. Good, authentic Italian food relies on high-quality ingredients so that the flavours can really come into their own, and there are plenty of dishes that are just as easy to whip up yourself at home!

We spoke to Bella Cosa, an Italian restaurant in Canary Wharf to see whether they have any suggestions of which dishes you should try your hand at if you’re looking to rustle up an Italian feast, so read on and get cooking.

Pizza Margherita

Making your own pizza from scratch at home is a lot easier than many people think it is, and they are nice and quick to whip up. Ignore those takeaways texting you to order pizza and whip one up yourself!

Base ingredients:

300g strong bread flour

200ml warm water

1tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

Tomato sauce ingredients:

100ml passata

One handful of fresh basil

1 crushed clove of garlic

Toppings:

125g mozzarella

One handful shaved or grated parmesan

One handful of chopped cherry tomatoes

One handful of fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 240C/ 220C fan/ gas mark 8

Stir the flour, salt and yeast together in a bowl for the base, make a well and pour in the warm water and olive oil. Mix together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft dough and then turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and set aside.

To make the sauce, mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together and season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Take the dough and separate into two balls. Roll each ball out on a floured surface into large rounds. You want your dough to be thin as it will rise in the oven. Place onto floured baking sheets.

Put a baking sheet into the oven on the top shelf to preheat. Spread some sauce over the bases and cover with toppings as desired (save the fresh basil for later). Drizzle the olive oil over and season. Bake in the oven on the preheated baking sheet for 10 minutes. Garnish with the fresh basil and serve!

Italian stuffed chicken

Ingredients:

2 tbsp chopped olives and sundried tomatoes

1 crushed clove of garlic

½ tsp dried mixed herbs

200g soft cheese

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

4 ripe sliced tomatoes

Olive oil to drizzle

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7

Beat together the olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic and most of the herbs with the soft cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut along one side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff each breast with the mixture and press them closed.

Place onto a greased baking tray, season the chicken and place the tomato slices onto the top of each chicken breast. Scatter with the remaining herbs, and drizzle with olive oil.

Roast in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the chicken is golden around the edges and then serve with a side salad.

Spinach and feta cannelloni

Ingredients:

4 large sheets of lasagne

1kg of wilted spinach

200g feta cheese

Generous pinch of grated nutmeg

Large handful of chopped olives

1 tbsp of capers

400g chopped tomatoes

25g of grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6

Place the lasagne sheets in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for five minutes. Mix the spinach, feta, nutmeg and a little seasoning together. Drain the pasta and cut each sheet in half, spoon 4 tbsp of the filling in the centre of each one and roll up.

Place the cannelloni parcels in a lightly oiled baking dish. Mix the olives, capers and tomatoes together in a dish with a little seasoning, then spoon over the cannelloni. Sprinkle with the parmesan and then cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and then serve!