Whether you’re a full-blooded Italian — with fond memories of your Nonna cooking up old-world recipes in the family kitchen — or someone who just loves a great meal, you know nothing is better than authentic, Italian comfort foods.
But if you’re not exactly sure what you’re craving, we’ll give you a few all-around favorite Italian comfort food ideas that you can whip right up in your own kitchen — with, or without, Nonna’s supervision.
So, here are our 3 best Italian comfort foods:
A traditional, creamy, cornmeal mixture, polenta brings the word comfort to the Italian table. And it’s easy to make: The recipe is just a basic combination of 1 part polenta and 4 parts water, or chicken broth.
First, boil the water. Then, add a dash of salt and slowly stir in the polenta. Keep stirring, until there are no lumps left in the mixture. Then, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes (stir occasionally), until creamy. See? We told you it was easy.
You can serve polenta with butter, or parmesan. It makes an incredible stand-alone meal, as well as a great side dish. But no matter how you serve it, Polenta is Italian comfort food at its finest.
Gnocchi is a delicious potato and flour based, soft pasta — that’s both rich and hearty, making it a perfect comfort food.
To save time: you can buy gnocchi at the grocery store in the fresh pasta section. And to make it even more rich and comforting, why not try something different than a classic marinara? How about a delicious sage infused butter sauce?
Just cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Then, take some fresh sage leaves and sauté them quickly in a pan of extra virgin olive oil. Remove the sage. Then, add butter to the sage flavored oil, a bit of coarse sea salt, and you have an incredible, and rich, tasting sauce in just a moment’s time.
Serve the gnocchi topped with shaved parmesan. This dish is all about flavor, texture, and, of course, comfort.
Hearty as it is flavorful, lasagna has long been considered an Italian comfort food staple. Filled with layers of pasta and rich, melted cheese, and topped with your favorite sauce, what really says comfort food quite like lasagna?
And it’s not complicated to prepare. Just cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, grab a large glass baking dish, pour a bit of your favorite sauce on the bottom, and assemble layers of pasta, with a mixture of ricotta cheese, beaten eggs, spinach, and salt. If desired, you can add a layer of meat (cooked Italian sausages are excellent in this dish).
When you get to the top, add a final layer of sauce and a generous helping of mozzarella cheese. There’s no doubt: more cheese adds to the comfort level. Then, cover the pan with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbling from the bottom. Finally, remove the pan from the oven and place on the counter until the lasagna sets, before attempting to slice.
While you’re waiting for the lasagna to set, pour your favorite glass of red wine, toss the salad, and get ready for a great comfort Italian meal, worth every single bite.
If you’re craving Italian cuisine, and are in the Miami area, visit us at Serafina. We promise to make you feel right at home and fill your senses with the purest comforts of Italy.
You’ll find us conveniently located at 19565 Biscayne, Suite #1944
For reservations, just give us a call at 786.920.0989