With Father’s Day 2020 just around the corner, what better way to celebrate dad than with authentic Italian food that the whole family can get involved in making? The Italians are well known for having big family gatherings during meal times. Food brings us all together and teaming up for some fun in the kitchen will be a great Father’s Day celebration!
We have rounded up some of the most popular traditional Italian dishes to do just that.
Looking for great ideas for things to do for Father’s Day? Try some of these easy Italian recipes!
Traditional Italian pizza
Time:1 hour 30 minutes Difficulty: Moderate
When you mention Italian food, the first thing that usually comes to mind is good old pizza! Pizza shops all over Italy offer up tasty slices and when you visit the country, you’re bound to come across some delicious authentic pizza. There are tons of different toppings to try that you might even have a hard time choosing!
Below is a quick and simple recipe to make a traditional Italian pizza base and sauce from scratch. This gives you the freedom to top it with whatever you choose! That way there is something for everyone. Put dad’s pizza-making skills to the test and younger kids can get involved too!
For the pizza sauce:
3 large cups of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato purée (add more for a stronger taste)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dough:
1 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
For the toppings:
You can use any toppings you’d like such as mushrooms, mozzarella, pepperoni, bacon, feta… the list is almost endless!
For the pizza sauce simply add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse it. Pulsing allows you to gauge how smooth or chunky you’d like the sauce to be.
For the dough, using a whisk mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water together in a small bowl. Set aside to prove (allow for the dough to rise) for 10 minutes. During this time the yeast should bubble and expand.
Add the flour to a food processor or mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment. Stir in the salt.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour and pulse if using a food processor or stir with the mixer on low, then increase to medium speed until the dough comes together in a ball. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Stop occasionally to scrape down the edges. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water, and if too wet, add a tablespoon more flour, until it’s just right.
Remove the ball of dough from the mixer/food processor and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few minutes until soft and elastic.
Coat a large glass bowl with the olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 1 hour to rise.
Preheat the oven with a pizza stone in the middle to as high as it will go (280-350 degrees C in most cases).
The pizza dough should have doubled in size and be light and pillowy. Transfer to a floured surface and cut into quarters.
Tuck the corners of each piece of dough under itself and gently roll into a ball. Cover with the towel and let rest another 10 minutes.
The dough is now ready to use! Use your fingers and/or a rolling pin to shape the dough into disks. For a very thin and crispy crust, roll as thin as possible, for a crust with more chew, roll to about ½ inch thickness, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge that is slightly thicker.
Top with the pizza sauce then add any toppings you wish!
Transfer to the hot pizza stone.
Bake until the crust is golden and crisp, about 10-15 minutes depending on how hot the stone is, and enjoy!
Authentic Italian fettuccine alfredo pasta
Time: 30 minutes Difficulty: Easy
A trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without visiting the birthplace of the fettuccine alfredo, where you can enjoy the Italian dish just as it was made back in 1920, at the famous Alfredo alla Scrofa. Bring the delicious tastes of Rome into your own home with this authentic fettuccine alfredo Italian dinner recipe. It’s creamy, hearty and delicious!
Recreate this simple dish so the family can experience the warm and comforting feelings it evokes!
3 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (divided in half)
1 cup butter (divided in half)
450g dried fettuccine
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the fettuccine al dente. Make sure to reserve the pasta water.
In a medium-sized pan add 1/2 the butter, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and a full ladle of hot pasta water. On low medium heat, whisk together to make a cream.
Add the drained pasta, another 1/2 ladle of hot pasta water (if the sauce is too thick add another ½ ladle of hot pasta water), the remaining butter and parmesan cheese, gently toss together on low heat (for about 1 minute) and serve immediately, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Easy peasy Crostini
Time: 20 minutes Difficulty: Easy
Back in the day, this humble snack was born from the need to use up stale bread. Savvy Italians found that by toasting the bread in olive oil and adding fresh seasonal toppings, a delicious, rustic dish was created! Crostini are really quick and easy to make. Make it fun for the whole family by picking out some inventive toppings!
2 ripe tomatoes diced
5 fresh basil leaves shredded
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of salt
1 Italian style baguette sliced
1 whole clove garlic
Combine the diced tomato with fresh basil, dried oregano, a pinch of salt, 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and chill.
Slice the baguette into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Cut off the end of the garlic clove and rub the garlic onto each side of each piece of bread.
Drizzle both sides of the sliced bread with a little olive oil (or use a brush to brush it on).
Toast in a hot skillet until browned on both sides.
Top hot bread with cold tomato mix and serve immediately
Other topping combinations include grilled eggplant and mozzarella, salami and parmesan cheese, olive pate and sundried tomato.
Classic Caprese salad
Time: 10 minutes Difficulty: Easy
This classic Italian salad is seen as a tribute to Italy thanks to the red, green and white colours of the dish matching the Italian flag perfectly! This simple yet fresh salad packs a tasty punch due to the combination of flavours. This is the best Italian dish to whip up with dad if you are short on time but are still after something authentically Italian!
3 large ripe tomatoes (heirloom or plum tomatoes are best), sliced
250g fresh mozzarella (buffalo is a good option), sliced
a handful of fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic reduction (optional)
Cracked salt and pepper
Add a slice of tomato to a platter, then add a slice of mozzarella on top, keep alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella until you’ve used up all the ingredients.
Place fresh basil leaves in amongst the layers.
Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic reduction on top of the tomatoes and mozzarella.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve immediately and enjoy.
Time: 30 minutes Difficulty: Easy
A traditional Italian Father’s Day meal wouldn’t be complete without a delicious dessert! This is where the famous Tiramisu comes in. Tiramisu means “pick me up” and this dish will definitely cheer you up with its light and delicate sponge and cream plus an added little kick from the Marsala! This is the perfect way to end of an Italian inspired Father’s Day feast.
500g mascarpone cheese
200ml Espresso or strong freshly brewed coffee cooled down
3 tablespoons dark chocolate, grated
4 egg yolks
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons caster sugar
7 tablespoons coffee liqueur
1 tbsp cocoa powder
7 tablespoons Marsala (can substitute it with brandy, port wine, sweet sherry)
Divide the egg yolk and egg whites in two separate bowls and add 3 tablespoons of caster sugar to each.
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy.
Using an electric whisk beat the egg yolks until pale and thick.
Add 4 tablespoons of the Marsala to the egg yolks followed by the mascarpone and mix together until smooth.
Next, add one-third of the whisked egg whites to the mascarpone mixture and gently fold it in as you would with a cake batter. Continue with the remaining whites a third at a time until it’s completely incorporated.
Mix the espresso and 3 tablespoons of Marsala in a shallow bowl and dip in the ladyfingers. You want to dip them into the liquid quickly (around 3-5 seconds) whilst turning to soak each side.
Lay the ladyfingers in a glass or ceramic dish until you have one even layer. You can break some biscuits to fit your dish.
Next, add half of the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits and spread out in an even layer, top with some grated dark chocolate.
Continue with another layer of ladyfingers and mascarpone as directed above. Finally, dust with cocoa powder and chill in the fridge for roughly 6-8 hours.
If you have been stuck wondering what to do for Father’s Day you have your answer – spoil dad with an amazing Father’s Day meal! Make it together or surprise the family. From light and delicious starters and salads to hearty pizza and pasta, these recipes are sure to make Father’s Day 2020 a memorable feast full of Italian classics!
Once you have had your fix of your own home-made Italian food, you may find that you have a taste for the real thing. A trip to Italy will showcase even more mouth-wateringly good, authentic Italian dishes!