Every culture has a few different dishes that everyone should be able to cook. These Italian staple meals are a few that we cook multiple times throughout the year. Some, we cook every single week.
Is it monotonous? No. Chicken cutlets are so versatile that they can be used in multiple dishes. Sunday sauce is an event, not just food. I don't have any other dish I can get on the table as fast as spaghetti with garlic and oil. These dishes are staples because they are simple and delicious.
Chicken cutlets are always a go-to as one of our Italian staple meals. Monday night is chicken cutlet night. Then we can have them for our lunches throughout the week on salads, sandwiches, or just a high-protein snack.
The great thing about chicken cutlets is that they taste great fresh, they taste great cold, and they don't lose their flavor if you reheat them!
Meatballs are one of my favorite things to make because I always make three times as many as I need. Then I freeze them so I can have them ready for the next time I want to make a sauce and need some meat to add to it!
Meatballs are a crowd favorite and these meatballs are competition-winning. People used to call me Vinny meatballs. To be fair, I think it was because I sort of look like a meatball.
Sunday sauce is a classic Italian staple meal. Everyone has a "secret recipe" their grandma passed down to them and while they may have an old recipe, Sunday sauce doesn't have any secrets. Just time and patience.
Sunday sauce does take a large portion of the day to cook, but it's a day that we always used to spend with family. Whether my brothers and I were fighting in the basement, watching football in the living room, or all grazing in the kitchen, Sundays were a family day. So, it was a good excuse to stay home.
This has to be an Italian staple meal. My mom used to make us spaghetti with garlic and oil at least once a week sometimes more.
When we were all playing sports, working, and coming home at different times, my mom would still want to get something on the table for us. She'd toss together a caesar salad and some spaghetti with garlic and oil and have it on the table in 15 minutes. She fed us 90% of the days of the year, and the pizzeria 2 minutes down the road covered the rest.
Marisa grew up always having lentil soup in the fridge and lentil soup was a household favorite. Soup is a healthy and nutrient-packed meal to eat fresh or keep in the fridge.
We'll add lentil soup to our lunches or dinners. It's one of the only ways our son will eat vegetables. Sometimes, we'll just have a big bowl as our whole meal with some crunchy Italian bread.
Having meals that I cook every week, like chicken cutlets or Sunday sauce, brings so much structure to my life. My Italian staple meals are a way I make sure that I have easy nights of cooking. Working full-time and trying to cook something different every night is impossible.
Find meals that work for your house and you know last in the fridge for a while. Don't let your family say they don't like leftovers. Every one of these foods is just as good leftover as it is fresh. The purpose of the Italian staple meals is to make your life EASIER! Try some of these out and add them to your weekly repertoire.
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