Listen, I love ordering pizza delivery as much as the next person, but that is an expensive habit. Plus it's so easy to make at home! Save money (and calories) by learning to make homemade pizza and more simple Italian classics at home. But be careful, once you get good all your friends will be looking for a dinner invitation.
Pictured recipe Brussels Sprouts & Pepperoni Pizza
Making your own pizza at home is so easy! My favorite method? Make at least a double batch of dough so you don't have to deal with the rise time every time you get a melty-cheese craving. Separate the risen dough into balls large enough for 1 pizza and freeze for future pizza emergencies. Now, the best part is you can use as many toppings as you want without that $1.50 surcharge. Go crazy—I'm talking pesto, prosciutto, every veggie in the crisper drawer and all 18 cheeses I have on hand.
2. Eggplant and Chicken Parmesan
Pictured recipe: Quick Chicken Parmesan
You don't need a deep fryer to make delicious crispy eggplant parmesan and chicken parmesan. These restaurant favorites are easy to make at home, plus it's cheaper and healthier and will be seriously impressive on date night. The key is to use dry breadcrumbs and cook in just a little bit of oil in a hot skillet or oven to get a crispy crust without all the extra grease and calories. Then with some good cheese and a delicious sauce, you're home free!
3. Tomato Sauce
Pictured recipe: Fresh Tomato Sauce
Well, you're going to need something to top that pizza and smother your eggplant parm and chicken parm, right? Plus, when you're ready to take spaghetti to the next level, this sauce will get you there—you won't believe how easy it is. This is another good opportunity to make a double batch (or even triple batch when you have a bounty of fresh tomatoes) and can it or freeze for future uses so you always have some tomato sauce on hand.
Pictured recipe: Classic Lasagna
This one-pan meal should be a regular in your dinner lineup if it isn't already. Plus there are so many ways to make it—traditional, rolled-up, in your slow cooker, in a spaghetti squash and even noodle-less!
Pictured recipe: Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs
What's a plate of spaghetti and (your now homemade) marinara without a big ol' meatball on top? Once you get down just the right ratio of breadcrumbs, meat and liquid, you'll give Grandma a run for her money. Plus, meatballs don't stop at pasta: they can be an appetizer or sandwich filler too. Vegetarian? Don't worry, we're not giving you any excuse to get out of this one. Try these.
Bonus points: All the Italian Recipes You Need
Watch: How to Make Mouthwatering Vegetarian Meatballs