The culture of Italy is warm and inviting. A journey to this Southern European peninsula and you would find yourself immediately surrounded by a lively atmosphere and a sense of familial hospitality. The same can be said of the food; meals are typically a time to come together in community, a time for sharing laughter and good company.
While international travel may not be realistic at the moment, and even dining-out options tend to be quite limited, you can still recreate this food ideology in the convenience and safety of your own home.
Italian food is synonymous with comfort food. Who doesn’t love a deliciously cheesy slice of pizza or a warm and indulgent baked pasta dish when they’re feeling down or the weather is gloomy? No matter if you’re sharing a meal with friends and family or enjoying a night to yourself, the ingredients and traditions of Italy really have a way of satisfying our hunger (and emotional) pangs.
What is your favorite Italian food? Take a look at the below list of some popular Italian dishes, then scroll down to see our take on three classics!
List of Popular Italian Dishes
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Stuffed Pasta (e.g., Ravioli)
- Florentine Steak
Italian Panzanella Salad
Panzanella is a Tuscan chopped salad using stale bread along with assorted vegetables. While the term may be used to describe any bread-based salad, a traditional panzanella is made with cubed bread, tomatoes, onions, basil, and an olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Our take on a traditional Italian panzanella uses cubed Martin’s Hoagie Rolls, baked until crisp and lightly toasted, along with heirloom and cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, EVOO, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and basil. Once tossed, let the salad sit for 15-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld, then enjoy!
Tip: Watch how to make this recipe in the video below!
Chicken Cacciatore Sandwich
“Cacciatore,” which means “hunter” in Italian, refers to a dish being braised (hunter-style) with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and herbs into a type of stew. It is commonly used to prepare chicken or similar proteins.
Our recipe remake uses a stove-top skillet over low heat to achieve pull-apart tender chicken thighs simmered with yellow bell pepper, onions, garlic, oregano, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and burgundy cooking wine. The finished mixture is then shredded into large chunks and served atop Martin’s Big Marty’s Rolls with shredded Romano cheese. A warm and comforting meal, indeed!
Baked Lasagna in a Bun
Lasagna is a type of pasta that is wide and flat, and also the name of the iconic dish made by alternating these noodles in between layers of meat sauce and cheese, prior to baking in the oven.
We’ll admit that our variation takes some creative liberties with the traditional Italian recipe (as it does not include actual pasta), but it is delicious nonetheless. The standard casserole “layers” of meat sauce (ragù or bolognese) and an Italian-seasoned blend of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses (plus cheddar cheese) are nestled into Martin’s Hoagie Rolls and baked until melty and delicious. This “easy lasagna” recipe is a great way to use up leftover pasta sauce or a fun alternative when you don’t have pasta noodles on hand.
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