Pasta, Polenta, Panzanella: Amazing Italian Recipes Everyone Will Love

September 6, 2014

When I think of comfort food Italian is often the first that comes to mind. Nothing beats a bowl of creamy cheesy polenta or a meaty Bolognese sauce spooned over pasta or baked in a lasagne (try the unbeatable Lasagne alla Bolognese below), and the last of our tomatoes will be perfect in a creamy sauce for the Rigatoni With Sweet Sausages (also below). With fall upon us, I yearn for dishes like these that will fill our home with delicious aromas and ward off the coming chill. Read on for more comforting Italian inspiration.

The Best Authentic Lasagne alla Bolognese
This classic lasagne (shown above) with meat sauce recipe is from Eataly, an extraordinary Italian marketplace located in New York and Chicago. It’s a laborious but not difficult dish to make, but one should enjoy the process. Not every meal needs to be quick and easy.
Photo by Jameson Fink

Classic Chicken Cacciatore
Cacciatore recipes, like most recipes, can vary greatly depending on the region and the cook. In this "hunter's" chicken recipe, Marcella Hazan uses white wine, peppers, carrots and celery. Some add olives, we like to add mushrooms. 
Photo by The Culinary Geek

Tagliatelle con Vongole
A few simple ingredients are all you need to make this delicious pasta with clams dish. Use fettuccine, linguine or wider tagliatelle noodles and toss with clams, white wine, garlic, onion and fresh parsley. It's a scrumptious and easy dinner for any night of the week.
Submitted to Foodista by La Tavola Marche

Porchetta (pronounced por-ketta) is a roast consisting of loin wrapped within pork belly. It takes time to prepare, but it is well worth the effort! Tenderizing the outer skin of the belly, then allowing the skin to air dry for about 24 hours results in a crispy, "crackling" outer layer. The inner fat of the belly keeps the loin moist and juicy. When sliced and served, you get a triple whammy of flavors and textures: a crispy outer skin; an unctuous and fatty belly; and a succulent, juicy loin. This is the perfect dinner party dish that will wow guests.
Photo by Pedro Angelini

Creamy Porcini Mushroom Polenta
This creamy dish is comfort food at its best! A little cream, a little Parmesan cheese, a handful of earthy mushrooms and you have a bowl of heaven. Try it alongside the porchetta or cacciatore above.

Stuffed Baby Eggplant
These delicious stuffed eggplant - filled with tomatoes, rice, and an abundance of fresh herbs - are a meal on their own!
Submitted to Foodista by The Red Spoon

Traditional Panzanella
Panzanella, a classic bread and tomato, is a great way to use up that last remaining bit of stale bread. 
Photo by Potato Chops and Boneless Chicken

Rigatoni With Sweet Sausages In Creamy Tomato Sauce
The whole family will love this dish! Fat pasta tubes are combined with a sweet and creamy tomato sauce and sausage for a meal that's hearty and satisfying.
Submitted to Foodista by pickledplum.NET

Bow Tie Pasta with Pesto and Yogurt
Keep it light and healthy with this creamy pesto pasta recipe. Low-fat yogurt (we love to use Greek) is used in lieu of cream to keep the calories down. But this dish is still amped up with flavor!
Submitted to Foodista by Living the Gourmet

Tiramisu Bread Pudding
Submitted to Foodista by Teanna
I love this twist on the classic Italian espresso “pick me up” dessert. Teanna uses cubes of bread instead of lady fingers in her recipe to create luscious layers.