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Master These 10 Dishes to Become an Italian Food Expert

Your crash course in the most essential Italian recipes, as chosen by Giada.


When people think of Italian food, their first thought is almost always of pasta. But there are thousands of recipes from every corner of the country, many of which are recognizable in a word - think pomodoro, milanese, carbonara - that are truly unique to their home. And while I've made it my job to share as much of Italy's culture and cuisine as I can with the world, I wanted to get back to the basics.
This is my course in Italian food 101: the 10 essential Italian dishes that I believe every cook should know. For each iconic dish, I'm breaking down exactly what it is, why it's important, and how to make it perfectly every time. Every lesson will add new skills to your repertoire, making you look - and feel - like a superstar in the kitchen.
Each week, we'll be tackling a new recipe. Let's get cooking!
 

1. Chicken Cacciatore: juicy chicken braised in a hearty tomato sauce fragrant with capers and basil.
 

2. Parmesan Pomodorothe building-block sauce of Italian cuisine, perfection in just a few simple ingredients.
 
3. Basic Pizza Dough: a just-right chewy-crisp crust makes this ideal canvas for every pizza creation.
 
4. Chicken Piccata: a rich butter-lemon sauce dresses up chicken breasts for a bright, briny, beautiful result.
 
5. Eggplant Parmesan: always-crispy fried eggplant smothered under tomato sauce and gooey cheese.
 
6. Tiramisu: the ultimate pick-me-up, a rich blend of creamy mascarpone, cookies, and an espresso-rum kick.
 
7. Sartu di Riso: an iconic celebration dish of golden, crispy rice wrapped around an abundant meat filling.
 
8. Lasagna Rolls: the classic cheesy casserole gets an elegant update that's perfect for dinner parties.
 
9. Simple Bolognese: a meaty ragu that delivers slow-simmered flavor in less than an hour.
 
10. Ziti Stufati: gather the family around this baked pasta made with love and lots of tiny meatballs.
 

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