Easy and Casual Italian Recipes for Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, why not gather the family and surprise dad with a casual, homemade afternoon meal.

Father’s Day is all about dad, so perhaps he would like to spend the morning playing golf or bocce, going to the gym or just relaxing with friends. When he returns, surprise him with one or two of the recipes below, which are easy enough to get kids involved in the cooking and tasty enough to inspire rave reviews from the whole family. Consider adding some of your own salads and sides to make the meal complete. We have also provided some wine and beer pairing suggestions, as well as a delectable Espresso Chocolate Mousse with Orange Mascarpone Whipped Cream for dessert.

No matter what you choose to do or make this Father’s Day, be sure your dad or husband enjoys a day filled with laughter, great food and lots of love.

BLTs with Gorgonzola Aioli

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Ingredients Preparation
For the aioli:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • Freshly ground pepper

For the sandwiches:

  • 4 ciabatta rolls, lightly toasted and cut in half
  • 16 strips good-quality thick-cut bacon, cooked and cut in half
  • 3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves Bibb lettuce
Make the aioli: Combine the mayonnaise, gorgonzola, hot sauce, garlic, and pepper to taste in a small bowl and stir well.

Make the sandwiches: Lay the bottom 4 slices of the ciabatta rolls on a cutting board. Spread 2 to 3 teaspoons or so of the aioli on each slice, then top each with 8 half-pieces of bacon, a few slices of tomato, some red onion and a single piece of lettuce. Top each with top of roll. Slice the sandwiches in half.

Stuffed Double-Cut Pork Loin Chops

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Ingredients Preparation
4 bone-in, double-cut loin chops (have your butcher slit a pocket into each chop)

Stutffing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 6 cups Cremini mushrooms, very thinly sliced
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese

Breading:

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
For the stuffing: In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and butter, and when the butter melts and foams, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently for 6 min. Add the shallots, sage and 1/2 of the pancetta and cook for 3 min more. Remove to a plate to cool, spreading out evenly. Once cool, add the Fontina. Reserve the extra pancetta for garnish.

Pat pork chops dry and stuff with the cooled filling and secure the opening with toothpicks. Reserve any remaining filling for the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the breading: In a shallow pan or bowl, add the Italian seasoning, pepper, breadcrumbs and flour. Mix well. Add the eggs to a second shallow bowl and beat.

Dredge the chops through the egg, then lay in the breading and press to adhere. Repeat with all the chops.

In a large sauté pan, add the oil and, when shimmering, add the pork chops, cooking until golden brown, about 5 min each side. Hold gently with tongs and cook the edges as well. Place on a baking pan fitted with a wire rack and place into the oven. Cook until the meat registers 135 degrees F on a thermometer, 10 to 15 min. Remove and lightly tent with foil.

For the sauce: In the same pan that the chops were cooked in, add the shallots and any remaining mushroom filling and cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 min. Deglaze the pan with the stock and scrape any bits from the bottom. Whisk in the mustard, lemon juice and salt.

Remove the chops from the baking pan, remove the toothpicks and place on a serving platter. Top with the sauce. Garnish with the parsley and the remaining pancetta and serve immediately.

Smoky Pork Calzones

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Ingredients Preparation
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella (about 2 cups)
  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Put a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into quarters; cover with a towel.Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons paprika and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in the bell pepper and cook until slightly softened, about 2 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir once or twice to cool slightly.

Pat and stretch each portion of dough into a rough 8-inch round. Pile the pork mixture and mozzarella on one side of the rounds, leaving a 1/2-inch border, then fold the dough over the filling. Pinch and crimp the edges to seal. Mix 1/2 tablespoon olive oil with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika; brush over the calzones. Cut a 1-inch vent in each.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the calzones. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the greens with the vinegar and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the calzones.



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