Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American

Origins of your favorite ethnic cuisine.

I started writing Red Sauce to answer a basic question: where does it all come from. I was eating dinner with my wife at a classic Manhattan red sauce joint, probably drinking too much chianti, when we started talking about the origins of Italian American food. So different than contemporary food in Italy, I wanted to know who invented, where it came from, and why we think of it as Italian. Four years later, Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American was published.

I've been featured in national, international, and local newspapers, websites, magazines, as well as radio, podcasts, and television shows.

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From the publisher: In Red Sauce, Ian MacAllen traces the evolution of traditional Italian-American cuisine, often referred to as “red sauce Italian,” from its origins in Italy to its transformation in America into a new, distinct cuisine.


Selected Bylines

As a book critic, I've written dozens of reviews of novels, story collections, and memoirs. For a year at The Rumpus, I served as Interviews Editor overseeing an editorial and freelance team.

I regularly write about food, usually through the lens of history with a particular focus on Italian and Italian American cuisine.

My short fiction is often rooted in the speculative and near-future dystopias.

For a full list of publications, please view my CV available online here.

Food & Wine


General Nonfiction

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