3 Easy Italian Recipes for Family Lunch

Italians love their food. One of the most important meals of the day happens to be lunch, at least for European Italians. In the United States, that might not be as true, but if you’re looking for some creative, savory Italian recipes that you can make when having your family around for lunch, try these.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi


Okay, so not everyone is going to be too keen on shrimp, especially for lunch, but this is a relatively easy recipe that has Italian written all over it.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup orzo pasta, uncooked.
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped up.
  • 7 teaspoons of unsalted butter.
  • ½ teaspoon salt.
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic, minced.
  • 1 pound of fresh, peeled shrimp.
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

How to prepare:

Cook the pasta per the directions on the box. Don’t add salt or fat as it might direct you, though. Place orzo in a medium bowl and then add parsley and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cover it to keep it warm.

Next, while the orzo is cooking, you’ll want to melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the shrimp and ¼ teaspoon of salt and then add the shrimp to the skillet. Saute for 2 minutes.

Melt the rest of the butter in another pan and add garlic. Cook this for 30 seconds. Make sure you stir it constantly. Add in the shrimp, juice, and pepper. Add the shrimp over the orzo and you’ve got a tasty family lunch everyone will love.


Zucchini and pasta with toasted almonds


What you will need:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes cut into halves.
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced.
  • 2 tablespoons of shallots, minced.
  • ¾ teaspoon salt.
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil.
  • ¼ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 package of refrigerated linguine.
  • 3 cups of zucchini, chopped.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon bottled garlic.
  • ¾ cup chicken broth, preferably lower sodium.
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh meant.
  • 3 tablespoons of toasted, sliced almonds.
  • 1/3 of a cup Romano cheese.

How to prepare:

Take the cherry tomatoes, shallots, fresh thyme, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and sugar and mix it all together in a medium bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil and toss it to make sure the oil gets over the rest of those ingredients.

Cook your pasta based on the directions on the package, leaving out adding salt and fat. Make sure you drain this well.

Take a large, nonstick skillet and place it over medium-high heat. Add the other 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl it to coat the entire surface. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté this for 30 seconds.

Add in the zucchini and sauté for another three minutes. Zucchini should now be crisp and tender. Add in the chicken broth and bring it to a simmer. Stir in the pasta and 1 ½ tablespoons of mint. Make sure it mixes in well.

Remove it from the heat and stir in the tomato mixture. Take 1 ½ cups of the pasta mixture and place it into four different bowls. Take the remaining mixture of mint and sprinkle it over the pasta. Add cheese and almonds to taste.


Creamy Italian Soup


What you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon dried thyme.
  • 1 onion, chopped up.
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped.
  • 2 cups of water.
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced.
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach thinly sliced.
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • 1 can of chicken broth.
  • 2 cans of white kidney beans.

How to prepare:

In a large saucepan, take the oil and bring it to medium-high heat. Add in the onion and celery and cook for between five to eight minutes. Cook this until it is tender. Add in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Make sure you stir it continually. Add in the beans, chicken broth, thyme, pepper, and 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove 2 cups of the bean and vegetable mixture using a slotted spoon and set it aside.

Take a blender and at low speed, blend the rest of the soup in small enough batches that won’t make a big mess. You may want to remove the center part of the blender lid so that steam can escape. Once blended, pour it back into the stockpot.

Bring this to a boil and stir occasionally. Add the spinach and cook for another minute or two until the spinach begins to wilt. Stir in lemon juice and then remove from heat, adding Parmesan cheese if you prefer to taste.


Written by G. T. Hedlund