Traditional Italian recipes are beloved for a reason, but the future of food trends is about creativity and innovation. Globalization also means that we are exposed to more cultures and cuisines than ever, providing opportunity for out-of-the-box fusion cuisine ideas. Parents tell kids not to play with their food, but that’s exactly what these modern twists on traditional Italian recipes call for!
Cannoli Chips & Dip
The most iconic Italian dessert, traditional cannoli consists of very simple ingredients. This simplicity makes it easy (and fun!) to transform. The cannoli cream, made of ricotta cheese, sugar, and chocolate chips, is typically used as the filling for the shell. Create an entirely new experience by using the cannoli filling as a cannoli dip instead! Cut the dough for the shell into triangular pieces for chips that can be shared with friends. Get inspired with this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cannoli Dip with Wonton Chips from TheCookieRookie.com.
Another traditional Italian food is polenta, a specialty of Northern Italy. This cornmeal is often served in a porridge-like form, either as a dish on its own or as a bed for savory meats. However, polenta is actually quite versatile, able to be grilled, baked, or fried into other forms. One whimsical food trend is to shape polenta into sticks like golden French fries. Dip the polenta fries in ketchup, garlic aioli, and flavorful condiments. Try this recipe for polenta fries from Tasty.co.
Meatballs are best known as spaghetti’s best friend, but they can be turned into a meal in their own right. If you’re trying to lower your carb intake but still want to enjoy a hearty, saucy, cheesy Italian dish, this is for you! Go the classic route with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese with this easy, cheesy meatball bake recipe from 12Tomatoes.com. Then try experimenting with other types of sauces, like a creamy alfredo.
Tuna and White Bean Croquettes with Pesto Dip
Tuna and white bean salad is a classic Tuscan dish. Make it more snack-friendly by using tuna and white beans (cannellini beans) as filling for croquettes! Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, tuna and white bean croquettes make for a delicious, shareable, and healthy (sort of) appetizer. Compliment the croquettes with a pesto or pesto mayo dip. Follow this Food52.com recipe for Cannellini Bean Croquettes, replacing half the amount of beans with canned tuna.
Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Rolls
Another delicious way to go low-carb is by replacing lasagna pasta sheets with sliced zucchini. It’s also gluten-free! This recipe for Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups from DamnDelicious.net includes Italian sausage, but that can be omitted for vegetarian lasagna. For more healthy Italian recipes, try these 10 Pasta Recipes That Won't Break Your Diet.
Yep, you read that right! A tasty example of fusion cuisine, prosciutto sushi combines stars from both Italian and Japanese cuisine. Following BigOven.com’s prosciutto sushi recipe, combine sushi rice, grated parmigiano reggiano and romano cheese for an umami-filled experience. Throw some roasted red peppers into the mix and wrap it all with sliced prosciutto. Guests will be blown away by this modern, off-the-wall recipe and classy presentation.
Just like the reimagined cannoli recipe, lasagna dip is a deconstructed version of the traditional Italian recipe. It’s pretty straightforward, but follow this JoCooks.com recipe just in case. In an oven-safe skillet, combine all of the traditional Italian ingredients for lasagna: Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, marinara sauce, etc. Instead of layering it with pasta sheets, you’ll use crostini, bread, or crackers to dip into the cheesy, saucy dip hot out of the oven! This modern twist on a classic baked pasta dish makes a great appetizer for guests to share. Change up the ingredients to reflect these 6 Traditional Lasagna Recipes from Different Regions of Italy.
For this reimagined Italian dessert recipe, ditch the ladyfingers and pick up the cupcake tray instead! Get the same tiramisu flavor in individual cupcakes by soaking them in coffee flavored syrup and topping them with mascarpone cream, per this PrettySimpleSweet.com recipe. Tiramisu cupcakes aren’t just cute, but also easier to share with friends! Next, try these 7 Easy Italian Dessert Recipes.