Special Feature: Italian America

Over the past century and a half, Italian immigrants and their descendants have given rise to one of this country's most vibrant, delicious, and important cuisines. Whether it's served at home or from a restaurant kitchen, Italian-American food—from spaghetti and meatballs to pizza, lasagne to escarole soup—is a celebration of resourcefulness, culinary invention, and America's local bounty. Starting with an essay by John Mariani, we honor a way of eating that taps into our cravings for hearty, gutsy flavors and encourages us to savor the pleasures of the table with family and friends. — The Editors

Italian America

Italian America

The story of the rise and fall and rise again of Italian-American food is a fascinating one; it's an American story, its plot interwoven with the entrepreneurial drive, embrace of pop culture, proliferation of convenience foods, and creativity of home cooks that has informed our country's culinary spirit.Bettmann / Corbiss

Italian immigrants not only brought their own culinary influences to America, but they also brought a style of eating that celebrates food, family, and of course, friends

Sunday's Sauce by Lou Di Palo »
For one chef, classic spaghetti and meatballs inspired by his Italian grandmother is the sine qua non of dishes

Feast of the Seven Fishes by Greg Ferro »
This classic Italian-American Christmas Eve feast features seven (and sometimes more) seafood dishes

Any Way You Slice It by Jane and Michael Stern »
American pizza has evolved from a Neapolitan signature into a crazy quilt of eclectic styles

Local Favorite by James Oseland »
Heaps of local seafood make up lusty cioppino stew, a San Francisco staple

Art of Antipasti by Dana Bowen »
The contents of these elaborate before-dinner spreads, from briny olives to chunks of fresh Parmesan, are exquisite in their own right

Great Moments in Italian-American Food by Rina Oh »
From perfecting canned olives to the creation of America's first pizza joint, a timeline of Italian-American culinary history

Bowl of Goodness by Dana Bowen »
Peppery broth, sweet onions and big, hearty chuck meatballs make up a family's escarole soup

A Fresh Take by Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli »
What two Queens-born chefs learned from their Italian grandparents

Classic Combo by John Mariani »
Whether it's the sweet sausage from up north, or the hot fennel variety from Naples, when paired with peppers and onions, this dish is always a cure-all favorite.

Layers of History by Dana Bowen »
There's more to lasagne than just layers of molten cheese, hearty sauce, and tender pasta

GALLERY: Italian American Recipes »
From escarole soup to sausage and peppers, our favorite recipes from the Italian-American kitchen