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Lidia Bastianich makes 3 easy and impressive Italian comfort foods

Ready to impress some guests? Lidia Bastianich makes crispy pork chops, spicy penne pasta and a chocolate-almond tart.
/ Source: TODAY

Cookbook author, restaurateur, cooking show host and legendary Italian chef Lidia Bastianich is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share a few of her favorite entertaining recipes. She shows us how to make penne pasta with a spicy tomato sauce, pan-fried pork chops and a sweet chocolate tart accented with almonds.

This pasta dish is called "al brucio" because of its spicy flavor. The original recipe does not include ricotta, but the cheese truly helps balance out the spiciness of the sauce. You can also top it with a spoon of burrata at the very end, or even a slice of fresh mozzarella.

Lidia Bastianich's Pork Chops Milanese

In Milan, a chop usually means veal, but with the rise of good animal husbandry here in the U.S., there are all kinds of options available, so I prefer to use Berkshire pork for this recipe.

Lidia Bastianich's Almond and Chocolate Tart

This is a deliciously moist dessert that is easy to make and keeps well for several days. The crackly, flourless top gives way to a rich, fudge-like interior that chocolate-loving guests will absolutely adore.

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