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 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 cheesy version any night of the week. Get the recipe Classic Easy Lasagna »

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 »

Easy 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. Get the recipe for Easy Chicken Parmesan »

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.
This hearty version of San Francisco’s signature seafood soup comes from Sotto Mare in North Beach.

Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Stromboli

Get the recipe for Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Stromboli

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. Get the recipe for Penne alla Vodka »

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.

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.

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.

Pizza Margherita

The Neapolitcan classic reworked for home ovens. See the recipe for Pizza Margherita »

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. Get the recipe for Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta) »
Calzones don’t always have to be baked—this ham and ricotta version is deep-fried.

Lobster Fra Diavolo

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

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.