Want to try your hand at making some traditional Italian dishes (and some not-so-traditional)? Making your own is the next best thing when you can’t be in Italy.

We asked (begged) some family members and our Italian foodie friends to share the secrets behind some of their favorite dishes (and ours), a little bit about them, and instructions on how to make it at home.

Most of these recipes have ingredients that are easily found in the US and outside of Italy. But for more local ingredients, search online or your favorite international grocery store or aisle in your local supermarket.

In the words of one of my favorite Italy foodies — Italian Chef Lidia Bastianich — Tutti a tavola a mangiare!… Everyone to the table to eat!