SoMD Chronicle Recipe of the Week: Master the Art of Italian Comfort Food

(Family characteristics) Cool, crisp days call for comfort foods, like the classic flavors of traditional Italian cuisine. Whether you’re Italian by heritage or simply by heart, learning the art of Italian cooking can be easier than you think.

Perfect your pasta game. Soft, mushy, and overcooked pasta can ruin an otherwise delicious Italian dish. Aim for al dente pasta, which is soft but still firm. It’s important to note that variables such as the type of pasta, the size of your pan, and the amount of water can all affect the cooking time. Consider the package instructions as a guide and start the taste test 1-2 minutes before you expect it to be done.

Be selective about your ingredients. Many of the best Italian dishes are incredibly simple, so it’s important to select quality ingredients that allow the flavors to stand out. Made in Italy, Bertolli d’Italia sauces are available in premium red and white varieties to enhance the dining experience at home and bring the authentic, delicious flavors of Italy to your table. Each pot reflects over 150 years of authentic Italian culinary tradition using high-quality ingredients like vine-ripened tomatoes under the Italian sun, finely aged Italian cheeses, fresh cream and Mediterranean olive oil.

Let the seasonings simmer. Great things happen to those who wait. That’s why the best Italian chefs taste their sauces along the way, adding and adjusting until the taste is perfect. Then they allow the ingredients to simmer together to create a perfectly balanced harmony of flavors.

Experiment with proteins and vegetables. You can create a whole new dish for many Italian recipes by adding or swapping the protein and adding fresh produce. Try tossing juicy strips of grilled chicken and fresh steamed broccoli into alfredo pastas like this Cavatelli with Cacio e Pepe Sauce. Or, if you’re a seafood lover, reinvent this fresh tomato bruschetta chicken by swapping it out for a mild white fish like halibut, cod or snapper.

Cozy up in your kitchen this fall with more comforting recipes to

Cavatelli with Cacio e Pepe Sauce

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

  • Salt, to taste
  • A box of dry Cavatelli pasta
  • 1 jar (16.9 ounces) Bertolli d’Italia Cacio e Pepe sauce
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Plenty of salt water.

Cook dry pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving the pasta water.

Heat the pasta sauce for 3-5 minutes in a large saucepan over low heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water.

Transfer the cooked pasta to a saucepan.

Stir and mix the pasta for about 30 seconds over medium heat to incorporate it into the sauce. Add cooking water as needed for a creamier texture.

Plate of pasta and garnish with finely grated Pecorino Romano and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Chicken bruschetta with fresh tomatoes

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 28 minutes

Servings: 6

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Three tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus extra, for garnish
  • Three garlic cloves, minced
  • Two teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Six thinly sliced ​​boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • One large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jar (24.7 ounces) Bertolli d’Italia marinara sauce
  • 2 cups multicolored grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 stalks of cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Two tablespoons balsamic glaze

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, basil, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano until combined. Combine two tablespoons of the oil and chicken mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature to marinate.

Heat two tablespoons of the oil mixture in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in marinara sauce. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Arrange the chicken breasts in the dish, overlapping them if necessary. Garnish with grape tomatoes and cherry tomato stems. Pour the rest of the oil mixture over the tomatoes.

Bake, covered, for 25 minutes or until chicken is done (165 F) and tomatoes start to burst. Sprinkle with Parmesan, drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving.