Americans are in love with Italian food. Not just the pepperoni pizzas of our childhood, not just all the superb dishes we've discovered in the years since then—risotto and osso buco and bruschette and panna cotta—but a whole approach to cooking and eating that has gradually transformed our kitchens. As we've adopted many Italian dishes as our own, we've come to embrace the underlying reverence for seasonal, local ingredients and the simple ways Italians have devised to highlight them. Italian food has become American food.
Over the years Gourmet has published many hundreds of Italian and Italian-American recipes. For this special edition of Gourmet Italian Kitchen, we've combed the archives and chosen 82 of our all-time favorites. We've keyed them with user-friendly tags to help you pinpoint the ones that are right for you, whether you're vegetarian, planning a party, craving a light meal, or feeding a passel of kids. We've added a Kitchen Notebook section to give both novices and experienced cooks a framework of essentials. And we've laced the recipe pages with insider tips from our test kitchen.An Italian feast isn't composed of one big entrée surrounded by a supporting cast of lesser sides. Instead, it's an unfolding sequence of complementary dishes, to be lingered over one by one. To that end, we've also included an Entertaining section with three regionally inspired menus, each an illustration of the Italian art of pacing and balance. They happen to make perfect company-worthy dinner-party fare, so we've added game plans to help you budget your time, as well as wine pairings to round out the meal. We hope you'll feel the passion that went into these recipes and be inspired to serve them at your table. For at its heart, Italian cooking springs from a generous spirit: It celebrates the most glorious ingredients available right here and now by joyfully transforming them into something delicious to serve to your family and friends.