Authentic Antipasto Recipes and Italian Starters

Make these authentic antipasto recipes the Italian way. In Italian cooking the local people use few ingredients, but they are selected with care, making sure that only the freshest of ingredients possible have been used and presented it in such a way that you look foreward to what will follow next on the menu. I live in Italy, and never get tired of Italian food!

The joy of Italian cooking, or la Cucina Italiana, is the simplicity of the dishes. My favorite 2 Italian starters have very few ingredients; in fact they only have 2 main ingredients, but are classics and well loved.

This is so typical of food in Tuscany, particularly, as for many hundreds of years it was an area of great poverty and hardship. Meals were made based on left-overs and just a couple of ingredients, and yet these are the dishes we have come to love.

An Easy Italian Starter - Prosciutto con Fichi (Prosciutto with Figs)

I really can't call this one a recipe, because it really is too simple a starter.

Wash some ripe black or green figs (I prefer the black skinned variety), and cut into quarters but not all the way down to the base. Place slices of prosciutto on a plate and add the figs. You're done!

Melon with ProscuittoAntipasto Recipes - Prosciutto con Melone (Prosciutto with Melon)

Slice up a rock melon, removing skin and pips. Cut into either chunks or leave as slices and add them to a plate of sliced prosciutto.

Garnish with either capers or green olives, and serve with some lettuce on the side.

Who doesn't know bruschetta? This is a simple way of using those sun-kissed tomatoes of Italy, and lovely olive oil. I love the Tuscan oil which is green, and peppery. This next recipe is a classic.

Antipasto Recipes - Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

1 ciabatta loaf cut into 2 cm slices

olive oil for brushing

1 clove of garlic, peeled

2 cloves of garlic, roasted and crushed

a handful of tomatoes, finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

seasoning to taste

Grill the sliced bread lightly and then brush each with a little olive oil. Rub the bread with a little bit of the raw garlic. Slice the roasted garlic and place on top. Mix the rest of the ingredients into a little bowl. Season to taste and pile onto the bread slices. Serve.

I love smoked salmon. I could eat it morning, noon and night.  Here is a antipasto recipe that is eaten throughout Italy.

Antipasto Recipes - Carpaccio Salmone

350 g smoked salmon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons capers
black pepper, ground
extra capers for garnish

Combine oil, lemon juice and capers in a bowl. Mix well. Arrange smoked salmon on individual plates and drizzle dressing over the salmon. Season with ground black pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately otherwise the lemon juice will 'cook' the salmon.

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