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Welcome to Italian-American Week, when were taking a bit of a break from our usual stories to focus on the important stuff: red sauce, stuffed pasta, porchetta and the chefs and home cooks making it all happen.

One of the best attributes of Italian food is how easy it is to tailor your dinner to how much time you have to make it. Boil a pot of pasta, heat up some sauce and you’ve got a meal on the table. Tonight, however, you’re taking on a very worthy challenge. Below are eight challenging recipes sure to destroy your kitchen…as well as your guests’ previously held notions that Italian cooking is boiling pasta and heating up sauce. Ready to stuff, layer and braise? 

More Italian-American Week on Food Republic: