Ciao Down! Southern Spins on Italian Food
Comforting Italian food intersects with Southern styles to create an array of delicious hybrids. Braised greens, tender beans, and a deep, abiding love of pork are just a few of the ties that bind two of the world's most soul-satisfying cuisines.
In this first recipe, we love the complex depth of flavor chicken livers lend (think dirty rice), but feel free to leave them out. Remember, the key to a creamy risotto is to stir, stir, stir. All that action releases the rice's natural starches, which make the sauce thick and velvety.
- Recipe: Winter Mushroom Risotto
Smoked ham hocks are inexpensive and give the dish rich flavor; substitute with ham steak if you prefer. This dish defines easy, relaxed cooking, so don't stress over measurements.
This fast became a Test Kitchen favorite and our new go-to chicken and dumplings because it's the easiest gnocchi we've ever made. Simply use a zip-top bag to pipe the pillowy mounds straight into the simmering water.
- Recipe: Chicken and Gnocchi
Pancetta, or cured pork belly, is the same thing as bacon without the smoke. Find it in the deli case of most supermarkets. Native to Italy, San Marzano tomatoes are known for their sweet flavor. Consider trying them in place of regular crushed tomatoes in the sauce.
Recipe: Baked Ziti with Sausage