Get the best of both worlds with these Southern takes on classic Italian food. They say polenta. We say grits. They say pancetta. We say bacon.
Winter Mushroom Risotto
Recipe: Winter Mushroom Risotto
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.
Braised Beans with Collard Greens and Ham
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.
Herb-Roasted Pork Loin
Recipe: Herb-Roasted Pork Loin
Seasoning and chilling the meat uncovered will help form a crust, encouraging a beautiful deep, golden brown color while cooking.
Italian Potato Salad
Chicken and Gnocchi
Recipe: Chicken and Gnocchi
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.
Baked Ziti with Sausage
Recipe: Baked Ziti with Sausage
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.
Fried Catfish with Pickled Peppers
Meatballs with Tomato Ragu and Creamy Polenta
Baking the meatballs sets their shape so they'll stay whole when simmered in the tomato sauce.