Italian brunch ideas can range from traditional dishes to new takes on old favorites. Many Italian dishes are very flexible and can easily be combined with breakfast mainstays to create new entrees. Having simple, delicious Italian food for brunch is also a great way to use fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Bruschetta is a dish that starts with thick slices of crusty bread. The bread is grilled in a pan or toasted in the oven until it's golden brown, then topped with a variety of accompaniments. Traditionally, bruschetta is finished with a mixture of diced tomatoes, basil, vinegar and olive oil, which would make a delicious Italian brunch dish on its own. However, a sweeter option is to top the toasted bread with ricotta cheese and either fruit preserves or sliced berries. You can even set up a build-your-own bruschetta bar at the brunch with various toppings. Allowing people to make their bruschetta as they go will keep the bread from getting soggy and save time as you prepare the meal.
A frittata is a type of Italian omelet. A mixture of eggs, cheese, meat and vegetables are poured into a skillet and baked or broiled until the creation is firm and easily sliced into wedges. Frittatas can be made with a variety of ingredients, including pancetta, asparagus, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fresh basil, Parmesan, mozzarella and fontina cheese. Frittatas are a great addition to an Italian brunch menu because they are simple to prepare and customize.
Carbonara-style breakfast pasta is a simple, yet satisfying Italian brunch idea. To make the pasta, place a serving of al dente noodles into a bowl and toss them with some crumbled bacon, Parmesan cheese, butter and sauteed onions and garlic. Top the pasta with an over-easy egg and some minced fresh parsley. When the diner cuts into the egg, the yolk combines with the butter and cheese to make a sauce. Breakfast pasta is an easy dish to assemble in individual portions and is great for a sit-down brunch.
No Italian brunch would be complete without Bellinis. Bellinis are simply a combination of about two tbsp. of pureed fruit (traditionally peaches) topped off with chilled sparkling white wine in a flute glass. You can serve Bellinis pre-made in a pitcher or individual glasses, or you can set up a make-your-own Bellini bar, complete with several different types of fruit puree. Other good types of fruits to puree for Bellinis include strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.