Italian comfort food: Pasta pomodoro, olive oil cake and more

Nothing like a recipe passed down from your nonna.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Stefano Secchi

Chef Stefano Secchi of Rezdôra restaurant in New York City is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share a few of his favorite traditional Italian recipes. He shows us how to make tagliatelle with meaty ragu, homemade pasta with tomato sauce, salad with Parmesan dressing, kale salad with apples and olive oil cake with poached pears.

Tagliatelle with Ragu Modenese

When I was working in Modena at Hosteria Giusti, I made this ragu with Laura Morandi, the nonna and rezdora (or grandmother) in residence, it was passed down from her family for generations. There is a big rivalry between Modena and Bologna that dates back generations, and food is right at the center. I'll take ragu Modenese over traditional ragu from Bologna any day.

Strozzapreti with Salsa Pomodoro

I first made this pasta in Modena during a rainy Sunday. The salsa pomodoro was so simple but just the most excellent accompaniment to the homemade pasta. Really nice Parmigiano and fresh basil help make this dish so satisfying and excellent.

I love this recipe because it takes all the wonderful cheesy and peppery flavors of classic cacio e pepe pasta and lightens it up with leafy greens. It's incredibly flavorful and a great dish to perk up your palate at the start of a meal.

Tuscan Kale Salad

Tuscan Kale Salad

Stefano Secchi

This simple salad is really a stunner. Hearty kale leaves, sweet apples and salty pecorino cheese create flavorful harmony. It's incredibly quick to make but will leave a lasting impression.

Olive Oil Cake with Lambrusco-Poached Pears

This cake is so fragrant and fruity that the smell alone will make your mouth water. Fresh citrus zests perk up the rich olive oil cake while warm cinnamon and red wine add depth to the juicy pears. It's absolutely irresistible!

If you like those tasty Italian recipes, you should also try these:

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Ariane Duarte