As college students, dinner can become a hassle. Making the trek to the dining hall after a long day of school and work can be daunting when all you want to do is watch Netflix in your bed. After studying abroad in Italy, I thought that mouth-watering homemade Italian dishes would be a thing of the past. I couldn’t be any more wrong.

Many Italian recipes take 20 minutes or less and are often super easy and inexpensive. Try these recipes to make in your dorm room to reward yourself after a difficult day of studying.

1. Cacio e Pepe

italian recipes

Photo by Marissa Laliberte

Translated as “cheese and pepper,” this Italian classic couldn’t be easier to make. All you have to do is toss pasta, shred some Parmesan cheese, sprinkle some pepper and add a drizzle of olive oil to al dente spaghetti to create a cheesy dish worthy of Instagram.

2. Penne con Prosciutto Cotto, Piselli e Panna

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Photo by Daniel Schuleman

Pasta with ham, peas and cream (or cheese, as in this recipe) creates the perfect one-pot meal to satisfy your pasta cravings. Pro Tip: add some truffle infused olive oil to take this pasta dish to the next level.

3. Orecchiette con Cime di Rape

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Photo by Katherine Baker

Translated as “pasta with broccoli rabe,” this regional dish from Puglia is both easy and super healthy. This spin on the classic will not only leave you satisfied, but will also provide plenty of veggies, which us college students have a hard time incorporating into our meals. Don’t be afraid to add some extra protein with roasted chicken or Italian sausage.

4. Risotto con Zucca

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Photo Courtesy of https://feastingfreds.wordpress.com

Risotto couldn’t get any easier with this no-stir risotto. Made with Japanese sushi rice instead of the classic arborio rice used in Northern Italy, this dish is college student friendly as well as economical. Don’t skimp on the vegetables either. Risotto is a great vehicle for mushrooms, string beans, peas and even corn.

5. Pomodoro, Cipolla e Basilico One-Pan Pasta

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Photo by Abigail Wang

Put water, pasta, onions, tomatoes and basil into one pot of boiling water and your dinner will be done by the time you’re finished reading the next chapter of your book for lit class. As a fan of adding more vegetables to my pasta dishes, take some raw broccoli and add it to the water 5 minutes before the dish is done.

 6. Pizza

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Photo by Maia Vernacchia

Resist the urge to order that cheese pizza from Dominos and make your own. This 2 ingredient pizza crust is sure to leave you (and your wallet) happy after a tough week of schoolwork. Once the crust is done, the toppings are up to you.

My favorite homemade creation is a pizza with red sauce, fresh mozzarella, black olives, mushrooms, peas and prosciutto.

 7. Sugo Siciliano

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Photo Courtesy of http://www.yummly.com/

Eat like a mafia member with this quick pasta sauce. I recommend using canned San Marzano tomatoes as the base to your sauce. They’re a special kind of Italian tomato that are sweet and dense, so your sauce will have the perfect texture and flavor to satisfy those tastebuds.While the sauce simmers, cook some spaghetti and enjoy in no time at all.

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