In Italy it’s bruschetta all the way! The American loaf style garlic bread is a beloved, if not strictly Italian, invention of the 20th century. In England the American style is often mistaken for French since it uses French bread as the base. While we wouldn’t think of anything else to sop up our marina sauce, the manner in which it’s prepared as well as the heavy layer of cheese on top is an American preference. And if you love a cheesy garlic bread then click here for a wonderful recipe that captures everything we love about the dish.
Made with the regional Provel cheese product, a blend of Swiss, provolone, mozzarella cheeses, the gerber sandwich combines this Italian-American cheese with ham on bread for an wonderful and unique sandwich. Those outside the Midwest might never have heard of it since it is a St. Louis specialty.
Spaghetti & Meatballs
This family favorite has roots in Italian cooking for sure, but the meatballs served in Italy (called polpettes) are much smaller, contain more bread, and typically aren’t smothered with sauce. The American invention arose after Italian immigrants in the U.S. found themselves spending only about 25% of their income on food as opposed to the 75% they had been spending in Italy. As a consequence they made bigger, heartier meatballs and the dish evolved over time. You can find an updated slow cooker version of the recipe right here.
While pasta al forno is traditional in Italy, the baked ziti meal we know today is not. Nevertheless, this Italian-American dish has been a perennial favorite at home and in restaurants for literally generations. You can find a wonderful recipe for a version of this classic dish right here.