I like to pair dishes, like a Margherita pizza, with bold, unconventional flavors, like coriander and nigella seeds.
A Vat of Simple Tomato Sauce, Garlicky or Vegetable
Whether you flavor the tomatoes with garlic or with celery, carrots, and onions, this sauce will become a kitchen staple. There are many nights when I open the fridge wondering what to cook, and I sigh with relief when I spy a quart of this sauce.
Pollo Fritto per Hanukkah (Fried Chicken for Hanukkah)
Potato latkes and jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot are the most widely known Hanukkah dishes in America. But in Italy, the focus is decidedly on pollo fritto— crunchy, oil-kissed fried chicken.
Porchetta-Style Pork Kebabs with White Beans
These pretty kebabs made with pork tenderloin and rosemary branches create similar flavors to traditional Italian porchetta in a fraction of the time.
Lidia Bastianich’s Rigatoni with Italian American Meat Sauce
This recipe is a traditional Italian American favorite for Sunday lunch. It makes enough sauce for 4 pounds of pasta. If you have a big crowd, you can use the whole batch, but if you only want to cook 1 pound of pasta, don’t worry—the rest of the sauce will freeze well for several months. On a Sunday, this brings everyone in my family to the table.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Cake
This light olive oil cake can be served alone or accompanied by pears poached in red wine or brandy-soaked cherries or prunes, but the success of the cake depends on using a top-quality olive oil.