About Julia della Croce

Julia della Croce is a journalist who began her career as a restaurant critic and is now the author of more than a dozen cookbooks, including her latest title, Italian Home Cooking. Her prosaic writings and reliable recipes have appeared in the Los Angeles TimesWashington PostBoston GlobeNew York Times Magazine, Food & Wine, and Cook’s Illustrated, among other publications. Della Croce also lectures about the history of Italian cooking and culture at numerous institutions, including the Smithsonian in Washington, DC and the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in Philadelphia. She’s been named one of America’s Best Cooking Teachers by the James Beard Foundation. @juliadellacroce

A bowl filled with basic polenta next to a mug of tea, a cloth, and a spoon resting on the side of the bowl.

Basic Polenta

The perfect base for so many dishes, Italian or otherwise. Sprinkle with cheese, top with sauce or meat, drizzle with honey or maple syrup, let it cool and fry it…shall we go on?

Pot filled with pastina with butter and milk and a wooden spoon all on a towel

Pastina with Butter and Milk

We’ve got stars in our eyes…and our bowls…and our spoons. All thanks to pastina, the teensy star-shaped pasta that just may make the cutest supper in the solar system.

A square of polenta with layers of meat sauce on a plate with a fork, two glasses of wine

Polenta Cake with Meat Sauce

In this inspired Italian creation, traditional lasagna noodles are supplanted by polenta. Trust us, you’ll feel no guilt nor regret over forsaking custom.