Comfort food: Seven delicious recipes to cook at home

They can sweeten our mood, even if they're a savory snack like an anchovy bruschetta. And they have the power to lighten our thoughts, even if they contain the calories of a double cheeseburger with egg and bacon...
Everybody has a favorite food – a recipe they always turn to when they’re in need of a bit of comfort. It’s what’s become known as comfort food, a term first coined in the United States to refer to those dishes that seem able to fill us with nostalgia or sentimentality. They are our go-to dishes, those reliable friends that we turn to when things get tough, when we need some comfort, when we feel the need to evoke childhood memories and when we are simply struck by an irresistible craving that we can’t say no to – or just don't want to.

Comfort food is all about flavors that we associate with some of our most important life experiences – moments that warm our hearts. In some cases, these foods really do have “comforting” properties that can reduce stress, while others simple have a power to make us feel “comfortable” – foods that make us feel at home when we’re traveling, for instance.

Homemade comfort food: cook your way to comfort

While it’s true that the perfect comfort food is served to us without us having to lift a finger, how can we satisfy our cravings when we have nobody to cook for us and our favorite restaurants are miles away? The only solution is to cook for ourselves – especially if we can do so in a couple or with a group of friends. That way, whatever the end result, the experience will provide us with real succor for the soul.

According to various studies, cooking has a beneficial effect on the mood: it helps us to be more positive and happy because it reduces stress, improves self-esteem, allows us to discover new skills and talents and distracts us from our day-to-day worries. And when we cook with a partner or a group of friends, it can strengthen relationships and create more harmony with others. Americans call this “share-cooking", because at its heart it really is all about sharing – sharing flavors, creativity, knowledge, mistakes and, of course, plenty of laughs.
Maybe the end result won’t be the same as if your grandma or a top chef had been in the kitchen... but that doesn’t matter: enjoying a dish we’ve invested effort and passion into making ourselves, at home, provides a unique sense of satisfaction that nurtures our body and soul.

The art of dough: Ligurian focaccia

Whether it’s freshly baked by a Ligurian bakery a few meters from the sea or just come out of your oven at home after hours of effort, Ligurian Focaccia is a foolproof way to revitalize our bodies and put a smile on our faces.

Carefully following all the various steps to make traditional Ligurian focaccia at home is a great meditative exercise. The process of making the dough helps to reduce our stress, the wait for the dough to rise helps us to improve our patience and, finally, we need to be fully switched on to check when the bread is cooked to perfection.

On the sofa: fish club sandwich

Deciding to enjoy our favorite foods in a setting that makes us feel good is the perfect way to double our enjoyment. Our Fish Club Sandwich is a delicious, easy-to-prepare recipe that is quick to put together and lends itself to being enjoyed in total comfort on the sofa, in front of our favorite TV series.
A few, simple, quality ingredients – enhanced by a flourish or two – will make every episode magical, even when you don't agree with the screenwriters.

Childhood nostalgia with Sunday roasts

Taking the stairs two – no, three – at a time while the smell of roasted meat and potatoes gets stronger and stronger. We've all got those memories of Sunday lunch with the grandparents. Well, the good news is that it doesn’t take much to recreate those delicious memories – all you need is some carefully chosen ingredients and around two hours of free time to pass by adding wine and warm water as and when required.

Our Roast with Walnut Sauce is the ideal recipe to re-evoke those childhood memories and take you back to those joyful Sunday lunches. A few good friends round the table and our Fratelli Carli Walnut Sauce are the secret ingredients for a memorable lunch with a family feel.

We all love getting flowers – especially fried zucchini flowers!

Fried food is the ultimate comfort food virtually everywhere in the world. How many times have you been gripped by a hankering for something delicious and fried? Even the thought makes you feel a little bit better. Virtually everything works well when fried and often it’s all we need to get that smile back on our faces. Remember when you were presented with a plate of chips as a child? You were happy for the meal to end there and there – with chips, and happiness. Being able to produce good fried food is an art, but when we opt for the best ingredients we’re already halfway to producing some truly delicious food, like these Zucchini Flower Fritters.

The sea is just a few grains of rice away

How many times have you woken up hoping you were on holiday by the sea? How many times have you opened the curtains, hoping to be met with a beach view and breathe in that fresh sea air? We all get that nostalgia for holidays...

Where’s the nearest beach? Just a few minutes away! Well, that’s all the time it takes to sear some prawns, open a tin of Fratelli Carli White Tuna Fish in Olive Oil and boil some rice. Quick and fresh, this Special Summer Rice dish dish is easy to prepare and will satisfy your appetite while evoking those holiday vibes.
All you need is to take a mouthful of rice and close your eyes and you’ll be transported to a beautiful, sheltered beach with the sound of waves lapping at the shore.

Put a smile on the face of a loved one with a plate of trofie

What to do when people we love are feeling down? There are many ways to show our love, but one of the best is to cook them their favorite food. Heading to the stove and preparing a meal that will put a smile on the face of a loved one has multiple benefits. It makes us feel useful and proud that we’ve made somebody we love happier – or at least brought a smile to their lips.

Whether it’s a simple plate of tomato pasta or something more adventurous, like Trofie with Walnut Sauce and crispy speck, the most important thing is the thought you've spared for the person you're cooking for.

Sweet finish: a cake that feels special

When we talk about comfort food, we can't not talk about something sweet. Soft, creamy, rich... a single spoonful is enough to get those smiles back on our faces. Even when it’s one of those sweet treats we only allow ourselves on special occasions.

But who said that we have to wait for a birthday or another special event to bake a yummy cake?
This Fruit cream cake with wild berries is a deliciously sweet creation that will transform a rainy, gray afternoon into a colorful treat or provide the perfect finish to a dinner with friends or family.
At the end of the day, what could be more comforting than a slice of cake with whipped cream and fresh fruits of the forest?