20 Romantic Dinner Ideas from Italy for Valentine’s Day

Imagine a Valentine’s Day infused with the essence of Italy – a night where love dances in the air, and every bite is a testament to passion. Welcome to our curated collection of “20 Romantic Dinner Ideas from Italy,” a guide that promises to transform your Valentine’s celebration into an unforgettable Italian escapade. Our recipes and videos set you up for success!

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, these Italian wonders, ranging from classic risottos to heartwarming pastas, are crafted to inspire and delight. So, don your apron, light some candles, and let the allure of Italy transform your dining table into a tableau of amore. Buon appetito, and let the journey of love begin!

Romantic Dinner Ideas: Seafood

#1 Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

Succulent and easy—with our tips and video guide! Better than what you’ll find in almost every Italian restaurant outside of Italy! Serve with a glass of fine Vermentino wine!

Italian Spaghetti with Clam Sauce Recipe
Finally! Restaurant-quality Spaghetti with Clam Sauce that you can easily make at home. Our tested recipe will make it easy.
Italian Spaghetti with Clams

#2 Baked Sea Bass for Lovers (with Potatoes and Tomatoes)

What’s more romantic than traveling vicariously to the popular island of Sardegna where sea bass is always the catch of the day? If working with whole fish isn’t your thing, just sandwich the herbs and aromatics between two cleaned filets. Sea bass is so mild, it appeals to almost everyone. Fast and easy and oh so tasty.

Baked Sea Bass with Herbed Roasted Potatoes
A whole sea bass roasted with a blend of fresh Italian herbs, tomato and laid on a bed of crispy roasted potatoes. Substitute any type of sea bass (spigola or branzino). Seriously good eats from the Italian island of Sardinia (Sardegna)!
Check out this recipe
Sea bass with roasted potatoes and tomatoes.

#3 Spaghetti with Mussels and Tomatoes

Even easier than Spaghetti with Clams (mussels require virtually no prep), this classic Italian pasta recipe is a way to keep things light and tasty so you have plenty of energy for the rest of the evening.

Italian Pasta with Mussels and Tomato Recipe
A classic Italian Spaghetti with Mussels and Tomato! An easy and economical seafood pasta recipe you can whip up in minutes.
Check out this recipe
Spaghetti with Mussels and Tomatoes

#4 Penne alla Vodka with Salmon (Smoked)

A SUPER easy pasta dish that will knock your socks off! There are two ways to make a classic Italian vodka pasta recipe—this is the salmon variation. Vodka is an easy way to elevate sauces to the next level. This recipe is incredibly easy and will transport you to the passionate 1980 disco scene of Italy.

Penne alla Vodka with Salmon (Smoked) —1980’s Disco Vodka Pasta Recipe
Amazing! Indulge in the best Penne alla Vodka with Salmon recipe. Rich, creamy vodka sauce + delicate smoked salmon.
Check out this recipe
Penne alla Vodka with Salmon

Romantic Dinner Ideas: Meat Lovers’

#5 Penne alla Vodka with Pancetta

Prefer to a meat-lovers’ version of the famous Penne alla Vodka? Look no further than this recipe with tomato and pancetta, popular during the 1970’s in Italy.

Penne alla Vodka Recipe with Pancetta
Here, we show our Penne alla Vodka recipe with pancetta. Creamy and decadent, this is an unforgettable dish!
Check out this recipe
Penne alla Vodka with Pancetta

#6 Truffle Pasta

If there’s ever a time to indulge in a truffle-infused dish, it’s Valentine’s Day! If you can’t find or afford fresh truffle, feel free to use a truffle-infused product to take this Norcia Pasta recipe to the next level.

Pasta alla Norcina Recipe (Truffle Pasta with Sausage and Ricotta)
A traditional truffle pasta recipe from Norcia in Italy! 'Pasta alla Norcina' has truffle, sausage, onions and a creamy ricotta cheese sauce.
Check out this recipe
Truffle pasta with sausage and ricotta!

#7 Best Italian Steak Recipe

A super easy way to indulge in your carnivorous appetites for Valentine’s Day! The famous ‘Tagliata’ is easy to prepare in a pan. Be sure to follow the tips and watch the video to master this easy recipe.

Best Italian Steak Recipe: Tagliata (In a Pan)!
One of the best Italian steak recipes in Italy has to be the Tagliata! Tagliata is a sirloin steak cooked to perfection (usually, rare) and plated as thin slices (tagliata means cut in Italian).  It’s a traditional Tuscan dish.
Tagliata—one of Italy’s best steak recipes.

#8 Beef Wellington

We know, this is not an ‘easy’ recipe, but it’s a great dish to tackle as a couple for Valentine’s Day. While not ‘Italian,’ this recipe does sing with Italian flavors: prosciutto and mushroom! Our video recipe makes it easy to make this famous dish step by step.

Foolproof Beef Wellington Recipe
Beef Wellington ( 'Filetto in Crosta alla Wellington' in Italian) is one of the world’s most famous dish for meat lovers. In this foolproof Beef Wellington recipe, we add a classic Italian flavor!
Check out this recipe
We’ll show you how to make Wellington just like this—or however you prefer it done!

#9 Ragù Bolognese with Tagliatelle

Ragù Bolognese is a popular recipe for most every Italian holiday. It’s very easy, and while you slow cook it, you and your love can finish the bottle of wine that doesn’t go in the Ragù 😉

Authentic Ragu Bolognese Sauce Recipe
This Ragù Bolognese Sauce recipe is the traditional recipe that originated in Bologna, Italy. It is used in many beloved Italian dishes such as a Tagliatelle Bolognese, Spaghetti Bolognese, as a sauce for polenta and as an ingredient in the Sunday classic: Lasagna Bolognese. 
Check out this recipe
Tagliatelle with Ragù alla Bolognese

#10 Spaghetti Carbonara

One of the most popular Italian recipes in the world, make Valentine dinner special by enjoying it just as they do in Italy! Worried about raw eggs and foodborne illness? Don’t be! You can either use store-bought pasteurized egg yolks, or cook the egg sauce as we explain how to do in our recipe for Seafood Carbonara!

Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
The quintessential dish of Rome. Although Spaghetti Carbonara is one of the most imitated recipes in the world with a multitude of variations, the original recipe calls for just a few ingredients: Italian guanciale (pork jowl or cheek), Pecorino Romano, black pepper and fresh eggs. This recipe uses only traditional ingredients and and is made without the cream, onion or peas often seen in Italian restaurants abroad.
Spaghetti Carbonara

#11 ‘Papalina’ Pasta

Don’t let the name fool you, the so-called ‘Pope’s Pasta’ is a lesson in passion and decadence! With a creamy egg sauce, onion, prosciutto and parmigiano cheese, this pasta dish will make it hard to concentrate on your Valentine.

Papalina Pasta Recipe
A dish that was allegedly invented to feed Pope Pius XII's request for a 'lighter' and more refined version of the traditional Carbonara! Fettuccine alla Papalina has prosciutto, butter, onion and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Check out this recipe
Creamy Papalina Pasta

Romantic Valentine Dinner Ideas: Vegetarian

There’s nothing wrong with keeping it light and easy for Valentine’s Day dinner. These Italian Vegetarian recipes fit the bill. If you are looking for something cheesy or creamy to make for Valentine dinner, you’ll likely find it here.

#12 Butternut Squash Risotto

We can’t understand why more people aren’t interested in making risotto! It’s not hard!! We promise 🙂 We’ll show you how to make restaurant-quality risotto in a few simple steps. Finish it with butter, Parmigiano or even gorgonzola cheese.

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
Creamy, decadent butternut squash risotto finished with fine sweet Italian gorgonzola cheese (aka: 'Gorgonzola Dolce'). The secret to this perfect risotto is to 'sfumato' the toasted rice with white wine to infuse it with flavor. Don't like gorgonzola? You can also finish it off with butter and/or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Check out this recipe
Butternut Squash Risotto

#13 Fettuccine ‘Alfredo’

Believe it or not, this classic dish is one of the fastest and easiest you can make from the Italian vaults. It’s so easy, restaurants in Italy usually don’t bother to put it on the menu. However, if you make it the right way, it’ll be better than anything you’ve ever had at a restaurant.

Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
Learn how to make Fettuccine Alfredo without cream using just 3 ingredients: pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and butter.
Check out this recipe
Fettuccine Alfredo

#14 Butternut Squash Ravioli

Prove your love with homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli, or make it as a couple! This is a traditional recipe from Mantova Italy and has some fun ingredients. We think it will be the best ravioli you’ve ever tasted!

Butternut Squash Ravioli | Traditional Recipe from Mantova
The BEST and most unique butternut squash recipe in Italy! This traditional recipe from Mantova, Italy has a few special ingredients that will win you over.
Check out this recipe
Butternut Squash Ravioli

Valentine Dinner Ideas: Desserts

#15 Tiramisù

After a delicious Italian main course, you’ll want a ‘pick me up’ (the Italian translation of ‘Tiramisù)! No raw eggs, no worries.

Tiramisù without Raw Eggs Recipe
Mascarpone cheese, eggs, coffee—all of the decadent deliciousness of the traditional tiramisu but without raw eggs.  As more Italians have become concerned about food safety, various no-raw-egg recipes for tiramisu have popped up in Italy. This is our tested recipe, which we feel arrives closest to the perfection of the traditional dessert.  
Check out this recipe
Tiramisù—serve in a glass dish or as a cake (shown here)

#16 Italian Hot Chocolate

Yes, there is such a thing as an Italian hot chocolate and it is an easy, decadent end to a delicious Valentine dinner.

Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe
This Italian hot chocolate recipe makes a thick, rich hot chocolate in the European style! So easy to make and so decadent.
Check out this recipe
Hot chocolate, italian style!

#17 Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate Lava Cake—so easy and you’ll definitely want to reach for the Italian chocolate brands we recommend.

Easy Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe
Our easy Chocolate Lava Cake recipe is also, thankfully, one of the most decadent! While some chocolate lava cake recipes require separating and whipping eggs, this recipe uses only whole eggs and takes just minutes to make.
Check out this recipe
Chocolate lava cake

#18 Sicilian Cannoli

Finish Valentine dinner with the flavors of Sicily!

Sicilian Cannoli

#19 Zuppa Inglese

This dessert is a great date night dessert for lovers who love to cook 🙂 Layers of sponge cake… two types of silky pastry cream… liquor. What’s not to love? Serve it in a trifle bowl if the cake seems too difficult.

Zuppa Inglese Recipe
This Zuppa Inglese recipe is the perfect festive layered cake for a birthday or holiday. It features layers of sponge cake (pan di spagna) soaked in liquor and filled with layers of silky chocolate and vanilla pastry cream. One of the most beloved Italian desserts that you can make with the Italian sponge cake (pan di spagna). 
Check out this recipe
Zuppa Inglese

#20 Italian Almond Cake

This Italian Almond Cake is a Tuscan classic. Simple, butter, delicious!

Italian Almond Cake Recipe
This traditional Tuscan cake is deliciously simple. Eggs, flour, butter, lemon and almonds come together in perfect harmony.
Check out this recipe
Italian Almond Cake Recipe

Valentine Gift Ideas for Italian Foodies!

We’ve got SO MANY gift ideas for the foodie or cooking enthusiast. Click the links to learn more:

Italian ‘Made in Italy’ Mortar and Pestle

Fine White Marble Mortar and Pestle, Made in Italy!

Made in Italy Ceramic Gifts

Artisan ‘Made in Italy’ espresso cups

‘Made in Italy’ Hand Crank Pasta Machines

These are the most affordable models of pasta roller/cutter machines as they are hand crank. Amazon Affiliate links:

►Marcato: https://amzn.to/3tuia4X

► Imperia: https://amzn.to/48iEb5B

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means at no extra cost to you, PIATTO may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a qualifying purchase.

About the author

Classic recipes from Italy and beyond. Traditional Italian Cooking and Mediterranean Diet recipes!

PIATTO™ Recipes bring traditional Italian food recipes to your table with our tested, step-by-step recipes and videos. You'll find the best Italian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Always tested, always delicious.

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