Italian food is some of the most flavorful and comforting food to date, and it’s best served authentic. For people who grew up eating authentic Italian food, the Americanized version can be quite different than the real thing. So, some Italian comfort food is much appreciated every now and again. Here are a few of the classics and their components.
- Pasta alla Norma “Nuda”
Pasta alla Norma “Nuda” is a classic with a dash of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese instead of the ricotta salata garnish. Hence, the name “nuda” which means naked. The dish is composed of tomatoes, grilled eggplant, and a dash of red pepper flakes over a bed of pasta. The rustic flavors feel warm and comforting.
- Melanzane Alla Parmigiana (Eggplant Parmigiana)
Nothing beats a good authentic eggplant parmigiana. This is typically made with layered eggplant slices drenched in red sauce and mozzarella cheese. It melts in your mouth as you bite into it with every slice coated in the sauce to make it dense and not liquidy.
- Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi
Gnocchi can be difficult to make, but in the hands of a professional, it can be a beautiful thing. It’s flavored with a nutty sage-butter sauce with a slightly crispy crust. It’s fantastic for a late night meal on the weekend when you want to curl up with something flavorful and complex.
For something a bit more simple, Ribollita is a clean and comforting soup. It’s unique in that you make it the night before you want to eat it then reboiled before serving. Why? It tastes better the day after. This Tuscan dish is infamously served alongside day-old bread and cheap vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, and cavolo nero.
- Penne ai Quattro Formaggi (Mac ’n’ Cheese)
Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of cheesy pasta. However, the authentic style is not drenched in Velveeta. Rather, Penne ai Quattro Formaggi is made of Gorgonzola, Taleggio, Gruyere, and Parmesan cheese mixed with large pasta.
- Pasta Primavera
Another popular Italian comfort food, pasta primavera is typically made with fresh seasonal vegetables covered in buttery pine nuts and a flavorful sauce. It’s served with a few basil leaves and maybe some parmesan cheese to bring you back to your days as a child when you first tasted the authentic Italian comfort food.
- Orecchiette al Ragu di Braciole (Pasta with Beef Ragu and Braciole)
If you want something a bit more meaty, try Orecchiette al Ragu di Braciole. Orecchiette translates to “little ears” which comes from the small rounded shape of the pasta. The pasta is mixed with a flavorful sauce then mixed with beef ragu that rests inside of the orecchiette to give you that delicious flavor in every bite!
If you’re interested in trying a wintery drink, visit Quattro where you may find some of these great authentic flavors and other Italian comfort foods such as Orecchiette Puglesi, Salsiccia, Rapini, Peconino Romano with ear-shaped pasta, homemade sausage, and rabe/romano, or Tagliatelle allo Zafferano al Profumo di Mare with shrimp, calamari, scallops, clams, mussels, tuna, swordfish, and salmon. Call us today to book your reservation!