Flavourful, simple and authentic, nothing beats la cucina della nonna (grandmother's kitchen), and these dishes will impress any nonna or nonno.
27 Mar 2017 - 1:47 PM  UPDATED 7 Nov 2018 - 2:26 PM

Ligurian green lasagna (lasagna verde)

Everything is made from scratch in this beautiful green lasagna. You won't miss meat at all when your fork glides gleefully through its herby, cheesy layers. Get the recipe.

Pork sausage ragù with soft polenta

"Polenta is a classic north Italian staple, typically served with rich hearty sauces such as ragù. I used to wake up on Sundays to my mum cooking polenta. It's not traditional to use pork sausage in ragù but it's delicious," says Anna Simon. Get her recipe here

Osso buco with gremolata

This favourite Italian winter dish is the epitome of comfort food. Classic osso buco is made using slices of veal shin but if you're having trouble sourcing this, beef shins will work, too. Recipe here.

Strozzapreti with pumpkin and bacon (strozzapreti con zucca e pancetta)

Literally ‘priest choker’, strozzapreti pasta has many stories behind its name. Labels aside, the combination of pasta, sweet pumpkin and salty bacon will make sure you keep going back for more. And more. Recipe here.

Pancetta and cavolo nero risotto

An extra bit of cured meat can negate the need for stock in risotto. If you don't have extra cured meat or homemade stock, don't use store-bought stock – use water instead. Recipe here.

Jam crostata

Known as 'coppi' in Naples and sfogliate in Lombard, a crostata is an Italian baked tart or pie.  The pastry works perfectly with a sharp marmalade or a not-so-sweet jam. Recipe here.

Spaghetti with small meatballs (maccheroni alla chitarra con polpettine di carne)

The real stars here are the moreish meatballs so if time isn't on your side, you can substitute store-bought fresh linguine instead of making your own. Recipe here.

Steak tagliata

'Tagliata' means ‘sliced’ in Italian, which is the common way that steak is served throughout the country. It's all about big, bold flavours, good quality beef and generosity. Recipe here.

Italian ricotta cake

Unlike regular cheesecake, Italy's version of this classic is made with sweet pastry instead of biscuit crumbs, and ricotta in place of cream cheese. They're a common sight across Italy - you can leave the fruit out, if you wish. Recipe here.

Schiacciata all’uva (grape focaccia)

This is an Italian bread that’s traditionally made when grapes are harvested for winemaking. It’s like focaccia, only covered with jewel-like grapes. It’s a little bit sweet and a little bit savoury, the perfect bread to eat with a good hunk of firm cheese. Recipe here.

Eggplant parmigiana (melanzane alla parmigiana)

It is one of Italy’s most famous dishes, yet its origins remain in dispute. But one thing's for certain: few can say no to a plate of homemade parmigiana. Make sure the eggplant has completely dried before cooking them so you achieve the right texture. Recipe here.

Risotta alla Milanese

This creamy saffron-gilded risotto is typically served with proteins such as veal, or if you are in Liguria - clams.


Have we got your attention and your tastebuds? It's all about Italian cuisine on this week's episode of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm. Check out the program page for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more.