Cozy Up to These 7 Italian Classics

Mamma mia—sweater weather sure did sneak up on us! In the colder months ahead, we’re excited to bundle up and make Italian our soul-filling staple. After all, pasta dishes are prime hibernation food, especially when you can keep pasta and cans of San Marzano style tomatoes on hand.

Trust us when we say that San Marzano style tomatoes will be your best friend when preparing these Italian comfort food recipes. Packed in a thick juice, this meatier variety adds great texture to homemade stews and sauces. Not to mention, their vine-ripened sweet flavor really elevates the marinara in your dish. Serve up any one of these seven recipes and you’ll see what we mean.

1. Slow Cooked Sunday Meat Sauce

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As the days get colder and darker, meat lovers will seek refuge in this savory slow-cooker recipe. Beef, pork, and Italian sausage create a thick meat sauce with the help of robust tomatoes. Serve it up on Sunday and let the leftovers take things from there.

2. Pasta Pomodoro

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With just seven ingredients, this elegant Pasta Pomodoro is actually pretty simple. Fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and meaty tomatoes do wonders for easy spaghetti or bucatini. Pair this lighter dish with a bottle of medium-bodied red wine and you’ve got yourself one cozy night in.

3. Penne Alla Vodka

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Penne Alla Vodka is another meatless recipe that’s as flavorful as it is filling. Thick tomatoes are seasoned with crushed red pepper for added spice, while heavy cream and Parmesan just melt in your mouth. Wipe up any extra sauce with fresh bread and you’ll be doing the dishwasher a favor.

4. Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

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Utensils-schmensils. When Italian typically calls for forks and knives, sometimes we need Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches for easy, cheesy goodness. Topped with rich, homemade tomato sauce and mozzarella, this herb-seasoned chicken sandwich puts a tasty spin on an Italian classic.

5. Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine

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“Diavolo” might mean “devil” in Italian, but seafood and pasta are still a match made in heaven. In this dish, we recommend channeling your inner Italian grandmother and hand-crushing your San Marzano style tomatoes. This way, your sacred sauce will be smoother, thicker, and even more ready to join shrimp linguine in holy matrimony.

6. Marinara Sauce

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A good Marinara Sauce is one of the most essential and versatile tools in a cook’s arsenal. You can use it for pizza and pasta, or for dipping breadsticks, chicken tenders, or skewers. In this recipe, garlic cloves and vine-ripened tomatoes are simmered into a marinara that can be made smooth or chunky depending on your dish. Salute!

7. Lasagna Bolognese

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Making lasagna might take more time, but the reward is well worth the wait. This recipe seamlessly combines the flavors of beef, pork, pancetta, veggies, wine, and tomatoes with a rich béchamel sauce. On those slower and colder days, a layered lasagna might be the warmest way to indulge in self-care. And we could all use more of that.

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