In Italian-American households across the country, Sundays culminate in platters of pasta, cutlets covered in bubbly cheese, and rich, meaty mains—all bound by a mother tomato sauce and lots of love. Try our fresh spins on classic recipes, and your family will hurry home for supper any night of the week.
The starting point for these mouthwatering recipes is our All-Purpose Red Sauce. As it’s name suggests, it’s a versatile marinara that plays well with meatballs and pasta and could also top pizza. We’re sure you’ll find myriad other uses for this soon-to-be back pocket recipe.
Gather the family (or famiglia!) for a big beefy dinner of braciola. Braciola can come from a few different cuts, often its top or bottom round or rump. Most stores sell it already thinly sliced, and sometimes pounded. You’ll fill the slices with a zesty stuffing of olives and raisins and cook them in our mother sauce, enhanced with red wine and broth.
The red sauce also stars in our revelatory take on spaghetti and meatballs. No ground chuck here! These balls are made with eggplant and white beans. Thin pork cutlets are breaded and fried for a tasty new take on the classic cutlet Parmesan. They’re topped with red sauce and mozzarella before a quick turn under the broiler.
A few of our inspired takes on classic Italian-American recipes don’t use the All-Purpose Red Sauce. There’s a quicker, lighter version of the classic beef and pork Bolognese sauce. It subs in ground turkey and mushrooms for a substantial sauce that doesn’t need to simmer on the stove for hours like Nonna’s recipe. Our lightest and fastest dinner recipe is a creamy but creamless take on shrimp Alfredo with fettucine made with a clever technique that makes the most of pasta water. There’s no tomato in Chicken Scarpiello, a chicken stew that’s made with sweet Italian sausage and pickled peppers. It’s a dish that deserves more attention. When you make it, the aroma will have everyone gathering in the kitchen ready to eat.
Recipes and food styling by Greg Lofts. Prop styling by Tanya Graff.