Legendary chef and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich brings us into her home to share her favorite family recipes. She shows us how to make the healthy vegetable side dishes she enjoyed as a child: Roasted squash, garlicky broccoli rabe, Swiss chard and string bean salad were all staples at family dinners when she was growing up. She also cooks up the main attractions from those Sunday dinners: Saucy baked ziti, zesty seafood gratin and crispy pan-fried chicken with potatoes have all been made in her family for generations. Here, Lidia shares her delicious recipes along with details about why she and her family love them so much.
Chicken and potatoes — fried together in a big skillet so they are crisp and moist at the same time — was my mother's specialty. Growing up, my brother and I demanded it every week; then my children demanded it when they were young, and now my grandchildren are the ones asking for it at my table.
My grandchildren often request this dish. It's a Sunday family favorite!
Baked ziti is a real crowd pleaser at my family table. It is easy to assemble so it's one of those recipes that you can double or triple on those occasions when you have to feed your kids' whole soccer team.
Swiss chard has only recently become a popular vegetable in America, but I grew up on it and loved it. This was my favorite way of cooking it. Chard can be found with beautifully colored stems, which really adds to the presentation of this dish. Traditionally we used regular potatoes, but now I sometimes replace them with sweet potatoes. This dish is especially good when made in advance and reheated.
This is one of those colorful, delicious side dishes that hits my table in October and stays there through the winter months. It's seasonal and delicious and easy to make. By roasting the squash it is transformed. It becomes the centerpiece rather than a side dish.
I ate a lot of potatoes as a child, and my Grandmother Rosa had many ways of dressing them up. This was one of my favorites as a kid when my grandmother's earliest string beans were harvested. Try it as picnic fare.
I love my vegetables with oil and garlic, and broccoli rabe is one of my favorites. I like to serve the whole stems with the leaves attached; it's a vegetable that I like al dente, with a little texture to it.
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