In this satisfying dish, a lean cut of beef is pounded thin and rolled around a layer of grated cheese, fresh herbs, bits of prosciutto, raisins, and pine nuts. Tied, and seared, it is then left to simmer in tomato sauce for hours, until the meat is tender and infused with flavor from the stuffing.
Sgroppino, a slushy combination of lemon sorbet, vodka, and prosecco, is common in Italy as a palate cleanser, a dessert, or a pre-dinner drink. Whisk the ingredients together for a chilly, frothy twist.
Mostarda di Frutta (Spicy Mustard and Fruit Preserves)
Likened to a fruit-based relish, the complex condiment is best served with meats or cheeses that can stand up to its intensity of flavor.
Broccoli Strascinati (Broccoli with Garlic and Hot Pepper)
Regular broccoli, broccoli rabe, and romanesco all work equally well in this traditional Roman dish. The side pairs beautifully with pork chops, but it's also delightful on its own with some grated cheese sprinkled on top.
Cannelini beans, carrots, onion, squash, potato, and kale combine to make a hearty, warming soup. Served with a slice of country-style bread, the dense and slightly sweet soup is the perfect remedy for cold weather.
Briny sardines are paired with sweet raisins, sauteed onions, and flavorful pine nuts for an enticing, sumptuous cicheti. Traditionally made with fried sardines, the dish is just as delicious when the fish are broiled.
"Everyone in this region makes ragu alla bolognese," says Anna Nanni, a cook at Trattoria Amerigo dal 1934, outside Bologna in the city of Savigno. "From ten women, you'll get ten different recipes, all of them traditional." Her ragu is brightly flavored and slightly tangy, owing to the addition of canned tomatoes.
Briny capers and unsweetened chocolate add surprising complexity to this rich eggplant preparation, softened by the sweetness of caramelized onions and raisins. Served on toast, it makes a wonderful appetizer or side dish.