Make That a Grande: Extra-Large Italian Food

Food Network Magazine knew Italian food was big in the States, but it didn't know just how big. Check out these supersized Italian classics.

Photo By: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine

Photo By: Lara Robby/Studio D ©Hearst Communications inc., 2010

100-Layer Lasagna from Del Posto Ristorante, New York City

Height: 6 inches, Weight: 8 pounds
This mammoth lasagna is actually 130 layers, "but no one believes us," says Chef Mark Ladner. "So 100 seemed like a nice even number." Mark starts with a layer of Bolognese, besciamella (Italian white sauce) and marinara, then adds a sheet of super-thin pasta, then repeats — and repeats. Assembly takes a full hour and a half, then the lasagna has to cool for up to three hours before he can serve it. Each diner gets a tall sliver from the towering 8-pound piece.

Giant Meatball from Lavo in New York City and Las Vegas

Diameter: 6 inches, Weight: 1 pound
This mega meatball, made of beef, veal and sweet Italian sausage, boils in sauce for three hours — six times longer than Lavo's regular-size meatballs. When servers bring one to the table in a skillet, they have to quarter it so it's easier to tackle. Most diners share one with the table as an appetizer, but the real fans order it for themselves as one big spaghetti topper.

Jumbo Pizza Slice from Pizza Mart in Washington, D.C.

Length: 16 inches, Weight: 1 pound, 6 ounces
This slice came to be because a pizza-shop owner needed to use up leftover dough, but soon the novelty took off with the late-night crowds, and the store started selling 1,000 slices on busy weekends. Owner Munir Chisti has continually increased the size; the 12-inch jumbo slice has now outgrown its medium pie-size box. The up-sizing started a battle among pizza joints — Munir's brother owns a rival shop — but Munir says he's done competing. "We can't go any bigger than this," he says. 202-234-9700