19 ‘Sopranos’-Inspired Italian Recipes That Carmela Would Love

It took you a while to realize that “ricot” meant ricotta pie and that “gabagool” is Sicilian slang for capicola. But it did not take you long to realize just how important food is to The Sopranos universe. And while we may never know Carmela’s long-held family recipe secrets, we’ve found some modern takes that will do just the trick. So gather your goomahs and capos, because these dishes will most definitely be a hit—not that kind of hit.

11 Italian Recipes That Are Whole30-Friendly

Rigatoni With Spicy Italian Sausage & Mushrooms

Don’t be afraid of the heat—PureWow Coterie member Jesse Reilly’s creamy marsala sauce offsets the spicy sausage. And if you’re doing it Soprano-style? Pair with a full-bodied red. (Whether or not it’s from a stolen crate of 1986 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is up to you.)

Authentic Italian Meatballs

Why do we think these beef meatballs would be Soprano-family approved? The bread crumbs. Take the time to find Italian seasoned bread crumbs—the herbs provide a subtle but important difference in flavor.

Easy Linguine With Clams

Sophisticated, elegant and truly simple to make! All you need is your pasta, garlic, butter, vegetable broth, seasoning and a couple pounds of clams. (Psst: We have a feeling Carmela would use Little Neck clams.)

Chickpea Minestrone

This vegan-friendly recipe will use up all those pantry items you haven’t gotten to yet—chickpeas (of course), kidney beans, diced tomatoes and that bag of peas you bought last month that’s still in the freezer.

Kenji’s Slow-cooked Bolognese

With a couple of “secret” ingredients—namely fish sauce, chicken livers and gelatin—this recipe has what it takes to be your family’s go-to Sunday gravy recipe.

Champagne And Cream Clams With Linguine

Are the Cusamanos coming for dinner? Put a spin on this classic dish with a couple of upgrades: Sub the white wine for bubbly, expand your herb game with fresh tarragon and add in some heavy cream.

Italian Spinach And Crepe Manicotti

Ooey, gooey, cheesy filling stuffed into decadent noodles and then smothered in creamy tomato sauce? Even A.J. won’t asked to be excused early. 

Easy Keto Lasagna Bake

We could totally see Carmela experimenting with the keto diet. Tony? Not so much. Thank goodness this cauliflower-based lasagna will fool even the most hard-core traditionalists.

Italian Wedding Soup

Good thing you don’t need to actually be at a wedding to enjoy this hearty, flavorful soup. Stocked with chicken meatballs and acini di pepe noodles, this is a full meal in one bowl.

Easy One-pan Baked Ziti

Pancetta, bacon, Italian sausage—it’s all cooked up in one skillet. And we’re sure Carmela would approve of the cleanup. (But don’t tell Tony we took a shortcut.)

Chicken Parmesan Grilled Cheese

Satriale’s has some competition with this epic take on a chicken Parm sandwich. The trick? Let’s just say there’s a waffle iron involved.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Whether you use sweet or spicy sausage is up to you. Ask yourself: WWCD? (What would Carmela do?)

Beef Braciole

This slow-cooked, southern Italian dish has many variations, but the gist is thin-cut meat wrapped around a savory filling. In this case, you’ll want to ask your butcher for thinly sliced beef top round to encase the prosciutto-and-cheese filling. 

Three Meat Lasagna

Coterie member Gaby Dalkin isn’t messing around with her lasagna recipe. The ragu alone includes pancetta, veal shoulder, pork loin, skirt steak and prosciutto. Make sure the Meadow in your home isn’t dabbling with vegetarianism before you serve this one up.

Sheet Pan Lemon Butter Veggies And Sausage

For those nights when Tony’s “working late” (aka getting rid of Ralphie) and you just want to curl up in front of the computer and research the stock market, this hands-off dinner is simple and delicious. This recipe calls for chicken sausage, but really, the choice is yours.

Slow-cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Coterie member Heidi Larsen’s chicken cacciatore recipe makes an Artie Bucco staple something you can cook up in your own kitchen. This recipe makes ten bone-in chicken thighs, but you can also shred the meat and put it back in the sauce for a tasty chicken ragu.

One-pot Sausage Pasta

When you only have 30 minutes to prep dinner between meetings for your spec house, this penne pasta dish is a true winner. Piled with kale, mozzarella and sausage, Coterie member Maria Lichty hits all the food groups (that we care about).

Ricotta Pie

It’s the Sicilian cheesecake that Carmela brings to, well, literally everyone. Made with ricotta, orange zest and eggs, this sweet—but not too sweet—dessert is a Sopranos favorite.

Ice Cream Cone Cannoli

The filling is traditional: ricotta, orange zest and sugar. But the shell is the most genius shortcut you’ve ever come across (sorta like finding $40K buried in the bird feed).


Executive Editor, Frazzled Mom, Bravo-Holic

Dara Katz is PureWow's Executive Editor, focusing on relationships, sex, horoscopes, travel and pets. Dara joined PureWow in 2016 and now dresses so much better. A lifestyle...