Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like Italian food? It’s impossible, right? What’s not to like about a cuisine that’s incredibly diverse, offering pasta, pizza, seafood, rice, cheese and vegetables, with plenty of easy-to-follow recipes? Italy’s culinary history dates back over 2,000 years, and while contemporary Italian cuisine can be surprising and unpredictable, many of the dishes stay true to their pre-Roman roots.
There’s nowhere better to eat Italian food than in Italy, of course, but if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to a trip across the Atlantic Ocean, you can re-create the taste and smell of Italy right in your own kitchen. From lasagna and gnocchi to your new favorite tomato soup, these 12 Italian recipes will have you making the “Italian chef kiss” gesture while you’re stirring your plum tomatoes (we recommend Red Gold whole peeled tomatoes, which won the Epicurious award for Best Canned Tomatoes) into your sauce. Buon appetito!