Special Feature: Italian America

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on December 6, 2011

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

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.

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

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