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So you want to have some friends over but don’t have a lot of cash? No worries! Have an Italian dinner. Pasta is cheap and there are a lot of dishes you can make. You prepare the food and have your friends bring the wine. (or Prosecco… you know my love for bubbles.)

Dyanna and I recently hosted an intimate dinner party and served Italian cuisine. The dishes were amazing! The good thing about Italian food is that it’s filling, so you’ll most likely have leftovers. And that means lunch for a few days — saving you some money instead of having to purchase it.

Italian dinner prepared by Dyanna and G

1. Dyanna’s Mama’s Pound Cake

2. Sausage and Peppers, Provolone Cheese and Slider Rolls, my dish

3. Turkey Meatballs, my dish (Check out recipe below.)

4. Chicken Sausage and Turkey Lasagna, Dyanna’s dish

5. Shrimp Pesto, Dyanna’s dish

6. Chicken Marsala, Dyanna’s dish

7. Pasta

8. Risotto Balls, Dyanna’s dish

Turkey Meatballs

Meatballs are great to cook because if you don’t use them all in your dish, you can freeze them and save for later use.

Ingredients: 1.5 pounds of ground turkey, chopped onions, 1 jar of marinara sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix with your hands turkey, onions, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. Gather some of the mixture in your hands and roll into 1″ balls. Place on a greased baking sheet. Continue making balls until no turkey mixture is left.

4. Put meatballs in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. Check on them every 5-7 minutes to ensure they aren’t burning.

5. In a crockpot, add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes and seasonings and stir. Turn crockpot on low.

6. After the meatballs have been in the oven for 20-30 minutes, transfer them one by one into the crockpot. Stir to ensure that meatballs are covered in the sauce. (If you feel there is not enough sauce, either add a little bit of chicken stock to stretch the sauce or just get another jar of marinara.)

7. Let meatballs sit in crockpot for 2 hours. Check every 30 minutes.

8. Your meatballs are ready to serve. Enjoy them with spaghetti or in a meatball sub.

Note: If you don’t have a crockpot, you can prepare the meatballs on the stove. In a large pot, let meatballs and sauce simmer for about an hour or so.

– G