My Favorite Italian Recipes for Summer Entertaining

With the unofficial start of summer kicking off this weekend, I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes with you so you can entertain like an Italian this season. One of the biggest secrets to entertaining like an Italian any time of year is to bring joy and relaxation into the process. When you are stressed, your food and the entire atmosphere will be impacted. Keep things simple and focus on the quality of the ingredients and they will shine on their own, just like you do!

Aperol Spritz

Nothing says summer like a crisp and refreshing spritz.  Not only will this quench your guest’s thirst, but the mix of bitter herbs in this magical Italian bitter apéritif will also jump-start their appetite for all the gorgeous food that follows. I like to serve mine with salty snacks like high-quality green olives and potato chips for an easy light bite when guests arrive.

@the_pastaqueen Italian Cocktail, How to Make an Aperol Spritz #italian #cocktail #catperson ♬ original sound - The Pasta Queen

 

Lemon Ricotta Delight

Picture this: you are walking down the quaint streets of the Amalfi Coast; the scent of lemons wafting in the air.  You hear the most beautiful singing from an open window, Italian linen curtains blowing in the sea breeze. The angelic tune is coming from someone who just sat down to enjoy a bowl of this summer sunshine. This is the best pasta dish when it feels just a little too hot to cook.  The bulk of the prep is done off of the flame resulting in a no-fuss but full flavor pasta dish.

 

Panzanella

Don’t waste that stale bread! This is the perfect recipe to feed a crowd and makes very good use of any stale bread you may have laying around. If the bread is very past its prime, soak it in water to revive it a little, then mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, tomatoes, red onions, oregano, and basil for a delicious no-cook summer salad.

@the_pastaqueen Old Italian recipe with stale bread which turns into magic! #TikTokRecipe #panzanella #italianfood ♬ original sound - The Pasta Queen

 

Sicilian Potato Salad

Upgrade your standard BBQ menu with this Sicilian take on classic potato salad.  Red onions are marinated in red wine vinegar to tame their bite then get tossed with steamed potatoes, tomatoes, capers, olives, and some gorgeous extra virgin olive oil. This goes well with any grilled meat but is especially tasty with grilled fish and shellfish.

@the_pastaqueen Sicilian Potato Salad #learnontiktok #potato #salad ♬ original sound - The Pasta Queen

 

Alfabeto

These adorable little letters are perfect for picky eaters. They’ll love to hunt for the letters in their name and will clear their plates in the process. These are perfect in my classic minestrone.

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Lumachine

Also known as ‘little snails,’ these adorable shells pair beautifully with a creamy and cheesy sauce. Try my recipe, which features an amazing creamy cauliflower cheese sauce and crispy pancetta.

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Orzo

This shape is very similar to rice, so I love cooking it risotto-style in my recipe for The Italian Rose.

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Tubettini

These are amazing in soups and stews, but I love using them to make my protein-packed Power Greens Pasta.

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Stelline

Last but certainly not least, this is the shape that has the internet abuzz. I can promise you that the version from Pasta Di Martino is far superior to anything you’ve tried before. It’s made from a bronze die with 100% Italian wheat and contains a minimum of 14% protein. This is the shape I make when a loved one is not feeling well, preferably with some nutrient-rich homemade broth like this.

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