What makes a dish a classic? Longevity in a certain cuisine is one mark. France's coq au vin for instance, qualifies ― it has the power to evoke years of tradition. But the most enduring dishes evoke not only earlier days but also notalgia for those times (high marks again for coq au vin).
People take the most comfort, of course, from the foods they grew up eating, and that list often originates in many culinary traditions. Sweet and sour pork, fettucini Alfredo, tamale pie, cassoulet ― all these familiar dishes are our classics. But "classic" doesn't necessarily entail long hours in the kitchen achieving feats with indulgent ingredients.
We've lightened and streamlined some of our favorites ― even those that seem defined by butter and cream (like fettuccine Alfredo) ― replacing fat with other satisfying flavors to bring you a modern repertoire of classics for comforting weeknight meals.