Italian Side Dishes: Classic and Comforting Companions to Your Main Course

June 11, 2024

Real foodies know that a meal isn't complete without some delicious side dishes to complement the hearty main course, especially if you're having Italian food.

From chunky chips to a refreshing garden salad, Italian side dishes spice up your meal and are perfect for gathering occasions.

Are you planning to cook some simple Italian side dishes to pair with your meal for your next cookout agenda? Check out these simple and easy-to-make recipes!

How to Make Italian Side Dishes

House-Cut Chunky Chips

House-Cut Chunky Chips
House-Cut Chunky Chips

Name something better than chips! Chunky chips it is. This Italian dish is suitable for any meal pairings or simply as a snack. The key to getting crunchy results? Double fry method. Here's a quick recipe for this dish:


  • 4-5 large potatoes
  • 4-6 cups rapeseed or vegetable oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper


  1. Wash and peel the potatoes.
  2. Cut them into chunky blocks.
  3. Soak the potato in cold water for about 30 minutes to remove excess starch. This helps them become crispy.
  4. Drain and pat the potato wedges dry with a clean towel.
  5. Heat oil in a pan for the first deep frying. Fry the potato blocks until the outer parts are pretty solid.
  6. Remove the potato blocks from the pan and let it cool a bit.
  7. For the second deep fry, heat oil for around 180°C and re-fry the potatoes until they are golden brown.
  8. Remove the potatoes from the pan and let them cool slightly before serving.
  9. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy your house-cut chunky chips as a delightful Italian side dish!



Arugula or rocket salad is the ideal option if you're looking for a peppery, spicy side dish to pair with any main course. Here's a simple and delicious recipe for an arugula (rocket) salad, perfect as an Italian side dish:


  • 150g (5 oz) rocket leaves (arugula)
  • 15g (0.5 oz) shaved Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese
  • 2,5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (e.v.o.o)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, mix the e.v.o.o, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper until they are well blended.
  2. Put the rocket leaves in a salad bowl.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese over the rocket leaves.
  4. Pour the prepared dressing and gently toss to coat the leaves evenly.
  5. Sere it on a plate and enjoy it right away.

This arugula salad pairs well with various Italian main courses, like pasta, pizza, soup, and sandwiches. 

Garden Salad

Garden Salad
Garden Salad

Looking for a refreshing twist to your meal? Garden salad comes to the rescue. You can basically toss any greens and vegetables into your garden salad. Here's our best recipe:


  • 1 cup cherry toms, halved
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup olives (black or green), pitted and halved
  • 4 cups mixed leaves (such as lettuce, arugula, and spinach)


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, and mixed leaves in a large salad bowl.
  2. For the dressing, whisk together the salt, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and pepper until well combined.
  3. Pour the mixed dressing over the garden salad and ensure that all the ingredients are coated evenly.
  4. Serve immediately, and enjoy your fresh salad!

Garden salad is the perfect summer side dish for your summertime cookouts.

Piccolino's Italian side dishes recipes are quick and easy to make, perfect for any occasion. From refreshing garden salad to peppery arugula, these side dishes pair well with any meal. Interested in trying out these tasty recipes? Make a reservation at Piccolino Woodfired Pizza and Homemade Pasta now!

Chef Andrea Fioriti holding pasta as he looks down on the table
A yellow illustration of the Italian map
"We take pride in an authentic approach to making woodfired pizza, and are responsible for some of this city's best house-made pasta and gnocchi dishes. We are also the very proud creator of a Melbourne first and our now most talked about dish, the Spag Bowl"

Andrea Fioriti ~ Head Chef & Owner

Call us today (03) 9041 0809