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37 Recipes for Old-World Italian Food

These classic Italian foods are heavy on the Parmesan. What could be better for a dinner with the whole family?

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Great-Grandma's Italian MeatballsTaste of Home

Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs

My great-grandmother started this easy meatball recipe with our family. We use ground beef and turkey for these meatballs, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts

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Pasta Fagioli SoupTaste of Home

Pasta Fagioli Soup

My husband enjoys my version of this dish so much that he doesn’t order it at restaurants anymore. With fresh spinach, pasta and seasoned sausage, this fast-to-fix soup is a meal on its own. —Brenda Thomas, Springfield, Missouri

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Pasta Fagioli al FornoTaste of Home

Pasta Fagioli al Forno

The name of this Italian-inspired dish means "baked pasta with beans." But my busy family translates it as "super satisfying dinner." —Cindy Preller, Grayslake, Illinois

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Nana's Italian RouladeTaste of Home

Nana's Italian Roulade

My great-aunt from Sicily taught my mother how to stuff and bake a steak in a jelly-roll style. It’s unique and really special in our family. —Roseanne McDonald, Days Creek, Oregon

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Beefy Eggplant ParmigianaTaste of Home

Beefy Eggplant Parmigiana

I developed this recipe one summer when my husband planted eggplant and tomatoes. I was thrilled when this special casserole won high honors at a national beef contest.—Celeste Copper, Baton rouge, Louisiana

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Chicken Piccata with Lemon SauceTaste of Home

Chicken Piccata with Lemon Sauce

Once you've tried this tangy, yet delicate lemon chicken piccata, you won't hesitate to make it for company. Seasoned with parmesan and parsley, the chicken cooks up golden brown, then is drizzled with a light lemon sauce. —Susan Pursell, Fountain Valley, California

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Chocolate Almond PizzellesTaste of Home

Chocolate Almond Pizzelles

If you love fun baking gadgets, you'll enjoy making these crispy, almond-flavored cookies, which get their unique waffle design from a pizzelle maker. They bake up golden brown in only a few minutes. Feel free to double the chocolate drizzle if you'd like to cover the cookies more generously. —Hannah Riley, Norwalk, Ohio

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Lemony Shrimp & Mushroom LinguineTaste of Home

Lemony Shrimp & Mushroom Linguine

My husband made this for me shortly before we married. I made some slight tweaks to the recipe over the years, and he says it's even better now. The lemons are a refreshing addition. —Ann Baker, Texarkana, Texas

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Best LasagnaTaste of Home

Best Lasagna

Want to know how to make lasagna for a casual holiday meal? You can't go wrong with this deliciously rich meat lasagna recipe. My grown sons and daughter-in-law request it for their birthdays, too. —Pam Thompson, Girard, Illinois

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Italian Shredded Pork StewTaste of Home

Italian Shredded Pork Stew

Need a warm, soothing meal for a blustery night? Throw together this slow-cooked stew loaded with sweet potatoes and kale. And the shredded pork is oh-so-tender! —Robin Jungers, Campbellsport, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooker Short Rib Ragu over PappardelleTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle

An irresistible sauce gives this beef another dimension of flavor. Nearly any starchy side, such as potatoes or polenta, will work in place of the pasta. Short ribs are my crowd-pleaser weekend meal for all occasions. —Missy Raho, Morristown, New Jersey

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Shrimp 'n' Spinach RisottoTaste of Home

Shrimp 'n' Spinach Risotto

I enjoy concocting new, healthy recipes and spinach is one of the few vegetables that my husband will eat. My creamy risotto makes a great side dish, but doubles as a meal-in-one as well. —Jennifer Neilsen, Williamston, North Carolina

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Vegetable & Cheese FocacciaTaste of Home

Vegetable & Cheese Focaccia

My family eats this flavorful bread as fast as I can make it. Sometimes I add different herbs, red onion or crumbled bacon. It's one of my best recipes! —Mary Cass, Baltimore, Maryland

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Turkey Scallopini with Marsala SauceTaste of Home

Turkey Scallopini with Marsala Sauce

My family requests this entree at least once a month. The slightly sweet Marsala sauce is yummy over the turkey slices and hot cooked noodles. —Briana Knight, Ferndale, Washington

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Eggplant Zucchini BologneseTaste of Home

Eggplant Zucchini Bolognese

“I roast the veggies while the pasta cooks, making this a quick dish.” This meal-in-one blends rustic comfort with fresh flavors. Trisha Kruse - Eagle, Idaho

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Spaghetti Meatball SupperTaste of Home

Spaghetti Meatball Supper

It was such a joy to come home and find my mom making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. This recipe has always been dear to my heart. —Debbie Heggie, Laramie, Wyoming

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Homemade RavioliTaste of Home

Homemade Ravioli

I love to bake and cook, especially Italian dishes like this homemade ravioli recipe. In fact, my idea of a perfect day consists of cooking my family's favorite foods then watching them dig in!—Lori Daniels, Hartland, Michigan

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Eggplant RollatiniTaste of Home

Eggplant Rollatini

Want to learn how to cook eggplant? Here's where to start. These authentic eggplant roll-ups may take some time to prepare, but the end result is restaurant-quality. Your family will request this recipe time and again. —Nancy Sousley, Lafayette, Indiana

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Chicken Escarole Soup with MeatballsTaste of Home

Chicken Escarole Soup with Meatballs

This is an old recipe from southern Italy. My mother gave it to me when I was first married. It started out as a holidays-only dish...but my children and grandchildren love it so much that we have it every chance we get!—Norma Manna, Hobe Sound, Florida

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Pepper Ricotta PrimaveraTaste of Home

Pepper Ricotta Primavera

Garlic, peppers and herbs top creamy ricotta cheese in this meatless skillet meal you can make in just 20 minutes. —Janet Boulger, Botwood, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Spinach and Tortellini Soup

Spinach and Tortellini Soup

A simple tomato-enhanced broth is perfect for cheese tortellini and fresh spinach. Increase the garlic and add Italian seasoning to suit your taste. —Debbie Wilson, Burlington, North Carolina

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Tomato & Artichoke BruschettaTaste of Home

Tomato & Artichoke Bruschetta

A healthy and refreshing appetizer, I enjoy bruschetta anytime of year. For serving guests, I like to slice the garlic instead of chopping it for both beauty and flavor infusion. This is also a simple make-ahead dish: You can mix it up, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.—Gina Bergamino, Chanhassen, Minnesota

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Summer CarbonaraTaste of Home

Summer Carbonara

Basil and bacon make best summer buds in this smoky-sweet pasta. I pair it with a simple spring mix salad with balsamic dressing and a glass of good Chardonnay or cold iced tea. —Cathy Dudderar, Lexington, Kentucky

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Traditional Italian Wedding SoupTaste of Home

Traditional Italian Wedding Soup

You don’t have to be Italian to love this easy-to-make soup with tiny round pasta! Add homemade meatballs but use ready-made stock and rotisserie chicken.—Mary Sheetz, Carmel, Indiana

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Ricotta Gnocchi in Tomato SauceTaste of Home

Ricotta Gnocchi in Tomato Sauce

If you like trying out new dishes and enjoy Italian food, you should give this recipe a try. We think you'll agree that homemade pasta just tastes better.—Jenn Martin, Sebago, Maine

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Basil and Parsley PestoTaste of Home

Basil and Parsley Pesto

Toss this herby pesto with pasta, spread it over sandwiches or stir it into an Italian-style soup, like minestrone. —Lorraine Fina Stevenski, Land O’ Lakes, Florida

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Penne alla VodkaTaste of Home

Penne alla Vodka

This easy and impressive pasta is always on the menu when my husband and I have new friends over for dinner. Years later, they've asked me to make this Penne alla Vodka recipe again. —Cara Langer, Overland Park, Kansas

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Tuscan Fish PacketsTaste of Home

Tuscan Fish Packets

My husband does a lot of fishing, so I'm always looking for different ways to serve his catches. A professional chef was kind enough to share this recipe with me, and I played around with some different veggie combinations until I found the one my family liked best. —Kathy Morrow, Hubbard, Ohio

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Lemon Parmesan OrzoTaste of Home

Lemon Parmesan Orzo

A splash of lemon and a shower of chopped parsley make this orzo one of my family's most-requested sides. It's fantastic with chicken, pork and fish. —Leslie Palmer, Swampscott, Massachusetts

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Penne with Tomatoes & White BeansTaste of Home

Penne with Tomatoes & White Beans

I learned how to make this dish from friends in Genoa, Italy, where they're known for creating tasty combinations of veggies, pasta and beans. You can sub feta cheese to give this a Greek twist. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Sea Scallops and FettuccineTaste of Home

Sea Scallops and Fettuccine

 

This luscious and lemony pasta dish is so easy, it's become one of our weekly meal mainstays. But it's also elegant enough to serve to guests. —Donna Thompson, Laramie, Wyoming

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Turkey Portobello BologneseTaste of Home

Turkey Portobello Bolognese

This sauce tastes better the longer it simmers, which allows the flavors to fully develop. In fact, it tastes best the second day after a night in the refrigerator. Mangia! —Darrell Kau, Eugene, Oregon

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White Seafood LasagnaTaste of Home

White Seafood Lasagna

We make lasagna with shrimp and scallops as part of the traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes. Every bite delivers a tasty “jewel” from the sea. —Joe Colamonico, North Charleston, South Carolina

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Contest-Winning Easy MinestroneTaste of Home

Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

This minestrone soup recipe is special to me because it’s one of the few dinners my entire family loves. And I can feel good about serving it because it’s full of nutrition and low in fat. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon

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Shrimp ScampiTaste of Home

Shrimp Scampi

This shrimp scampi recipe looks elegant enough to serve to company, but it’s easy to prepare. The bright flavors of lemon and herbs enhance the shrimp. Serve it over pasta and wait for the compliments. —Lori Packer, Omaha, Nebraska

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Make-Ahead Spinach Manicotti

Make-Ahead Spinach Manicotti

When I invite people to dinner, many have started requesting this pasta bake ahead of time because it's that good. Plus, the manicotti is stuffed before it's cooked, making it even more convenient. —Christy Freeman, Central Point, Oregon

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Chicken CacciatoreTaste of Home

Chicken Cacciatore

This easy chicken cacciatore recipe makes a good Sunday dinner, since it's so simple to prepare. This recipe is the best because it's loaded with lots of vegetables and is a family favorite. —Barbara Roberts, Courtenay, British Columbia

 

Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.

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