Even when nonna's not around, you can still bring real Italian flavor to the table on a weeknight. These recipes are all you need—don't forget the vino!

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Tomato Soup with Polenta

Thickened with polenta and cream, this soup makes a hearty meal—just add extra Parm and some crusty bread.

Tomato Soup with Polenta
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Tomato Minestrone Soup with Croutons

An Italian classic filling enough to be a meal.

Tomato Minestrone Soup with Garlic Bread Croutons

Psghetti and Meatballs

Extra-lean hamburger and whole-wheat pasta transform an Italian favorite into a stealthily healthy meal.

psghetti meatballs

Italian Hoagies

You'll raid your deli counter while grocery shopping for these hearty sandwiches!

italian hoagies

Cacio e Pepe Mac 'n' Cheese with Chard

Two kinds of peppercorn (black and pink) balance the cheese, while adding chard lets you skip a salad.

Cacio e Pepe Mac 'n' Cheese with Chard
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Charred Eggplant & Meat Sauce with Paccheri

Broiling the eggplant speeds up the cooking—and adds a smoky, earthy element to the sauce.

Charred Eggplant & Meat Sauce with Paccheri
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Porchetta-Style Ragu

It only takes three or four days to make real porchetta! Oh, wait. THIS is one you can make fast, whenever you're in the mood.

Rachael Ray's Porchetta-Style Ragu
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Pappa al Pomodoro with Eggplant

Pappa al Pomodoro is a hearty puréée of tomatoes and toasted bread.

Pappa al Pomodoro with Grilled Eggplant

Pasta e Fagioli with Sausage

An easy, comforting soup with plenty of beans, sausage, and pasta!

pasta e fagioli with sausage

Risotto

Cut an Italian classic down to size by replacing part of the rice with butternut squash for a beta-carotene boost and more fiber.

Risotto

Creamy Three-Meat Ragu with Burrata & Pappardelle

This pasta is a total knockout—the kind of seriously delicious dinner for a night when you just want to curl up, all comfy, and conk out.

Rachael Ray's Creamy Three-Meat Ragu with Burrata & Pappardelle
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Easy Puttanesca with Shrimp & Cherry Tomatoes

Salty, spicy, slightly sweet, certainly shrimpy, super-speedy. 

shrimp cherry tomato puttanesca 1018
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Italian Egg Drop Soup with Meatballs

Slowly drizzle an egg-water mixture into the simmering soup for a unique flavor and texture.

italian egg drop soup with meatballs

Pasta with Prosciutto and Melon

We took some inspiration from a classic Italian appetizer, prosciutto and melon. But in this dish the fruit is whipped into a creamy sauce and the prosciutto is fried into crunchy flecks!

pasta with prosciutto and melon

Rib Eye Steaks with Gorgonzola Sauce & Kale-Walnut Vermicelli Rice

The name's a mouthful, the presentation is like a restaurant, and the trick is that this is eminently doable any night.

Rachael Ray's Rib Eye Steaks with Gorgonzola Sauce & Kale-Walnut Vermicelli Rice
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Red Pepper Pesto-and-Shrimp Pizzas

Make it on an Italian baguette so everyone gets their own personal pizza.

red pepper pesto-and-shrimp pizzas

Vegetable Manicotti

Use lasagna noodles in place of manicotti, or skip the rolling altogether and toss the filling with cooked pasta shells.

Vegetable Manicotti

Crispy-Skin Branzino with Brown Butter & Caper Sauce

The hardest part of this recipe is letting the fish dry out in the fridge for an hour.

Crispy-Skin Branzino with Brown Butter & Caper Sauce on White Bean Puree
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Rachael Ray's Lasagna Soup

It's like lasagna, only it's a soup, and it's lighter, and it won't take hours to make. Genius!

three bowls of lasagna soup
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Fusilli with Chicken and Tomato Sauce

Pre-cooked pulled chicken and marinara sauce means this weeknight meal can be ready in minutes.

fusilli with chicken and tomato sauce

Sicilian Sweet & Savory Bucatini with Broccoli Rabe

Anchovies and raisings? Saffron and pine nuts? It's all deeply Sicilian—and deeply satisfying.

Sicilian Sweet & Savory Bucatini with Broccoli Rabe
Credit: Photography by Joesph De Leo

Mezze Rigatoni all'Amatriciana a Modena

Otherwise known as "spaghetti with bacon and onions."

rigatoni with bacon, onion, and balsamic vinegar
Credit: Photography by Armando Rafael

Pappardelle with Brown Butter Meat Sauce & Crispy Sage

Comforting enough for fall, light enough for spring.

pappardelle with brown butter meat sauce and crispy sage
Credit: Photography by Armando Rafael

Aglio e Olio with Lemon & Pecorino Breadcrumbs

This pure-peasant pasta is weeknight heaven.

aglio e olio with lemon and pecorino breadcrumbs
Credit: Photography by Armando Rafael

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

You know, pesto doesn't have to mean just basil.

orecchiette with broccoli rabe pesto
Credit: Photography by Tara Donne