Our Best Italian-American Classic Recipes

Spaghetti and meatballs, veal parm, stromboli—this is our ultimate comfort food

Nothing beats the classics; here are all the red-sauce-drenched, mozzarella-smothered, and garlic-kissed Italian-American staples we dream of.

Classic Easy Lasagna

Lasagna
Lasagna gets a bad rap for being a labor-intensive dish, but with a few shortcuts, like starting with store-bought lasagna sheets, you can make a great version any night of the week.Farideh Sadeghin

Classic Meatballs

Classic Meatballs
The key to making these meatballs is to brown them first in a skillet and then braise them in a sauce of red wine and tomatoes. Serve them with crusty bread or spaghetti to sop up the sauce. Get the recipe for Classic Meatballs »Todd Coleman

EASY CHICKEN PARMIGIANA

Chicken Parmesan
Simply bread your chicken (you could use veal or eggplant instead), fry it, layer with some easy homemade red sauce and mozzarella, and bake.Farideh Sadeghin
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Marcella Hazan's devastatingly simple tomato-onion-butter pasta sauce, if full of deep, bright, rich flavors that blend so flawlessly you'd never believe it's just three ingredients, plus a pinch of sugar and a bit of salt.Todd Coleman
Cioppino

Cioppino

This hearty version of San Francisco's signature seafood soup comes from Sotto Mare in North Beach.Barbara Ries
Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Stromboli

Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Stromboli

Most stromboli recipes call for pizza dough, but the secret to the crispy crust on this baked roll is Italian bread dough. Our version is adapted from one served at Philadelphia's Romano's Pizzeria.Ingalls Photography

Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka
Whether or not this dish of tube-shaped penne pasta lavished with a peppery, vodka-laced cream and tomato sauce was created in Italy is a matter of heated debate in some quarters; some say it was the result of aggressive marketing on the part of vodka importers. Whatever the case, it has become firmly entrenched as an Italian American classic.Landon Nordeman
Veal Parmesan

Veal Parmesan

For this Italian-American update on Sicily’s eggplant parmesan, veal—once a cheap cut—was subbed in for the purple vegetable. The tender meat is fried in crisp breadcrumbs; smothered with bright tomato sauce, provolone and parmesan cheeses, and dried herbs; and baked until the cheese is oozing and golden.Andre Baranowski
Crazy Bread

Crazy Bread

Add a little kick to this homemade version of Little Caesar's "Crazy Bread" by sprinkling on a little chile flake before dunking in hot marinara.Farideh Sadeghin

Carbone's Garlic Bread

Carbone's Garlic Bread
In a breadbasket at Manhattan's Carbone, we discovered the Platonic ideal of garlic bread. With roasted garlic butter made from freshly chopped cloves that are by turns sharp and mellow, heat from red chile flakes, and a bit of funk from parmesan, each crunchy bite of baguette, scattered with parsley and chives and bathed in olive oil, is fiercely flavorful and craveworthy.Landon Nordeman
Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

The recipe for this classic pie will work in home ovens; it's our adaptation of a recipe from chef Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco. See the recipe for Pizza Margherita »Todd Coleman
Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta)

Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta)

This hefty calzone is stuffed with ricotta and two types of cured pork, and topped with a tangy tomato sauce.Todd Coleman
Fried Ham and Ricotta Calzones

Fried Ham and Ricotta Calzones

Calzones don't always have to be baked—this ham and ricotta version is deep-fried.Farideh Sadeghin
Lobster Fra Diavolo

Lobster Fra Diavolo

This spicy seafood pasta features large pieces of sweet lobster tossed with bucatini and a fresh, flavorful tomato sauce.Todd Coleman
Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo

This extra-rich version of fettuccine Alfredo is impossible to resist. Boiling the pasta until it's just al dente allows it to soak up plenty of the creamy sauce.Maxime Iattoni