When you have fresh pasta (that you either made yourself or bought), you really don't need to do much to it because it's already going to be so good. That's the reason why this recipe works so well. Add a little olive oil and you're in business. Great for a weeknight meal or when you don't really feel like doing much at all.
- 1 pound fresh tagliatelle pasta
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- Zest of ¼ lemon
- 2 sprigs parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the pasta in a pot of well-salted boiling water (should taste like the sea), for about 4-5 minutes, or until reached your desired level of doneness. Drain and immediately combine with some olive oil, tossing well. Add the remaining ingredients, toss, and season to taste.
57 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes
These easy pasta recipes are the secret to a comforting, restaurant-worthy dinner without any fuss. Sure, there are days when you want a project, when you want to follow an elaborate recipe, adding an array of spices and deglazing the pan over and over. It can be calming, even meditative, to cook that way. But sometimes you need something simple, something fast. Something really, really good. These 57 pasta recipes will be your guide.
History of cacio e pepe pasta
Cacio e pepe has its roots in transhumant shepherding . In Roman times shepherds had to make long journeys with their flocks, and they needed to fill their saddlebags with long-lasting foods packed with calories that would give them strength for the journey. Among the foods that the shepherds brought with them were dried tomatoes, bacon, pecorino cheese, hand-prepared and dried spaghetti, and black peppercorns.
Black pepper is a spice that stimulates heat receptors, and therefore it helped shepherds to fight the cold. The seasoned pecorino was chosen for its long shelf life, and spaghetti for its high levels of carbohydrates and calories.
Cacio e pepe pasta thus became a dish spread throughout the Lazio countryside as well as the Umbrian and Abruzzo pastures, until it became a typical dish of Roman taverns.
How to Make Pesto Pasta
To make Pesto Pasta, you start by cooking 1 pound of pasta in a big pot of salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Next, you transfer the pasta to a big bowl and top with 1 cup of pesto (homemade or store-bought).
You then toss the pasta with the pesto until evenly coated. At this point, if the pasta looks a bit dry, you can splash in some of the reserved cooking liquid to loosen it up. You want the pesto to form a creamy sauce that clings to the pasta, but you don’t want to see water pooling at the bottom of the bowl.
To finish the Pesto Pasta, you simple transfer to a plate and top with grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
Pasta: It's possibly the world's most perfect comfort food. What could be more soothing and satisfying than a gooey bowl of mac and cheese or a plate of creamy spaghetti carbonara laced with chewy, smoky bits of pancetta?
It's also possibly one of the world's greatest convenience foods. Pasta is quick to cook and can serve as the base of a million and one quick and easy dinners. Just add a bit of protein (leftover chicken, diced ham, a can of chickpeas, or olive oil-packed tuna), some vegetables (frozen ones work great here), and a little bit of sauce (red sauce, pesto, cream, or the quick fresh tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and a few glugs of good olive oil that's shown here) and dinner is done.
Of course, one of our other favorite things about pasta is that it's such an excellent vehicle for cheese&mdashfluffy piles of finely grated Parmesan luscious sauces loaded with cheddar and Gruyère sweet, creamy dollops of fresh ricotta. But high-quality pasta is truly exquisite even without burying it mounds of cheese, so it's worth your while to spring for the good stuff. Choose pasta that's made with 100 percent semolina flour, and look for a rough texture, which will grab the sauce better and is usually an indicator that the pasta has been made in small batches.
There's also a huge selection of gluten-free and wheat-free pasta in most grocery stores now, made from rice, quinoa, chickpeas, corn, or almond flour. A common complaint about non-wheat pastas is that they can be mushy, so watch that cooking time carefully and begin tasting it a few minutes early so you can drain it as soon as it's perfectly al dente.
Now, let's get a pot of water boiling and whip up something delicious for dinner! The recipes ahead are guaranteed to inspire many incredible meals.
The 6 Fastest Italian Dinners on the Planet
Mario Batali's no-layering, no-stress dish treats lasagna noodles the same as any other pasta. The chef boils the sheets until they're al dente and then tosses them with a five-minute tomato sauce flavored with olive paste (which you can buy or easily make) and pitted green olives.
Jenny Rosenstrach, who writes the blog Dinner: A Love Story, which inspired a book with the same name, counts this quick seafood pasta as one of her go-to weeknight suppers. All you need is spaghetti, an onion or a shallot, garlic, olive oil, littleneck clams and a half-cup of white wine. Fresh herbs, tomatoes and corn are nice but definitely not necessary.
There's no reason to make a salad or anything else when you have this dish, which combines tender rigatoni, browned sausage and crisp broccoli rabe in a bright pesto sauce. Although whizzing walnuts, basil, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor takes just minutes, if you're really pressed, store-bought is more than fine.
Chicken meatballs are lighter than beef or pork, and deliver deep, savory flavor, thanks to fennel seed, black pepper, parsley and white wine. This recipe calls for baking the golf-ball-size rounds in a 450° oven for 14 minutes instead of frying them, which makes cleanup about a zillion times easier.
We're all about repurposing leftovers, but one use that had escaped us&mdashuntil now&mdashis pizza. Pita, pizza dough or wheat tortillas all work for the crust top them with whatever extras you have. A container of tomato sauce? Just add mozzarella and red chili flakes. Roasted vegetables? Layer shaved Pecorino Romano over them. Any kind of cooked greens, from kale to spinach? Throw on some sliced Spanish chorizo and crumbled blue cheese.
Photo: Food & Wine/Frances Janisch
There's no point in taking shortcuts when it comes to this buttery, garlicky Italian-restaurant classic&mdashit's inherently speedy. The shellfish cooks in 10 minutes, and the ingredient list is blessedly short: butter, garlic, herbs, and lemon zest and juice. Add a loaf of crusty bread and you've got supper.
Quick and Easy Sundried Tomatoes and Garlic Pasta
We all LOVE pasta right?! And what's better than a quick and super easy recipe for the midweek! We both love making this on Mondays - because who likes Mondays right?!
This recipe is done in only 20 minutes!! But tastes like you've spent hours making it. Make the recipe with store-bought sundried tomatoes or make some delicious ones at home - either way this will become your go-on pasta recipe!! Trust me, your friends will beg you for the recipe!
Hi guys!! Here's a brand new recipe for you guys! We came up with the idea for this one after we had made a whole bunch of super DELICIOUS sundried tomatoes while making Sundried Tomatoes and Garlic Butter Bruschettas. SO good!! ?
So yeah, we had a whole bunch of these in a jar and one fine lazy Monday evening, we came up with an idea for this pasta recipe. And once we made it, we instantly fell in love with it! It's tangy with a spice kick and starts just right!!
So it's officially been two months since we both moved to Malaysia . YAY! We're definitely loving this place and absolutely adore the positive vibes from everyone in this country.
There is one thing about Malaysians that I absolutely love. They have the habit of saying 'CAN' to just about everything. If you ever ask them if something can be done or if it possible to do it, they always respond positively and say 'can/can can' - meaning that yes you can/yes we can. This short form is used extremely frequently by the locals here and it just goes to show their outlook towards life. Makes me personally feel like, really, anything is possible if you just want to set out to do it.
So coming back to the recipe for today, this pasta recipe is my go-to apart from the 5 ingredient pasta recipe we posted last year! Both these recipes are super delicious and simple - just the way we like it!
Today's chef tips are all about flavors and what else you can add to this recipe to enhance it according to your taste. Get ready for this recipe to become your new favorite!!
5 Fast Pastas for Long Days
These recipes come together in the time it takes for the noodles to cook.
Some people are perfecting their laminated pastry, their sourdough boules or, at the very least, simmering through their stash of dried beans.
But others of us are relearning multiplication tables or bouncing a baby on one hip while fielding emails with a nondominant hand. The cooking projects may call us, but they’ll have to wait. Good, fast, easy: These are the priorities.
Still, pasta is a sure thing. Boil the water, cook the noodles, crack a jar and top with cheese. But that’s not why you’re here. You want something quick to twirl your fork around, something good and interesting.
Enter a hard-working troupe of interchangeable ingredients: Bacon or other cured pork products render a salty, punchy fat for cooking. Nuts are toasted right in olive oil for flavor and crunch. Whole grain or Dijon mustard help create a silky sauce. Worcestershire brings the funk. Butter plays base.
The only recipe in this collection that isn’t loaded with vegetables — a 20-minute cheater’s Bolognese — gives you just enough time to whip together a side of roasted broccoli (450 degrees, olive oil, salt and pepper).
Most of the recipes here clock in around 15 minutes of active time, that is, actual hands-moving, stirring, tossing, pay attention time. With distractions — kids, email, the headlines — they’ll realistically be done in about 30. They require some chopping, but not a ton. They all come together using just two burners on the stove, one big pot and a large skillet.
The goal of these recipes is to maximize your inactive time. In the case of pasta, that means using the time it takes for the noodles to cook, about 6 to 12 minutes, to make your sauce. Suggested pasta cooking times will vary from brand to brand. These recipes offer a ballpark range, but refer to the box or bag for the best results.
A few other moves will set you up for pasta quickness. As soon as you’re ready to cook, fill up your biggest pot, put a lid on it and set it over high heat. You’d be surprised how many minutes have been wasted watching uncovered pots come up to a boil over medium heat. Cover and crank it.
And clear the decks. This is an essential step for all quick-cooking recipes, not just the ones here. A tidy work space is an efficient one. Clear school work off the counter, stack any breakfast dishes in the dishwasher or drying rack, and wipe down your cutting board if necessary.
Now prep your ingredients. Don’t worry if you don’t have the exact ingredients each recipe calls for. Use broccoli rabe or cauliflower in place of broccoli use any sturdy leafy green instead of spinach or kale swap chopped cabbage (it truly lasts for ages) for brussels sprouts, and for goodness sake, use whatever shape pasta you have or want.
15 Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce Recipes
P asta is always a great last-minute meal idea. If you’re anything like me, you always have a variety of dried pasta around – spaghetti, penne, linguini etc. All that you need then is a quick and easy pasta sauce idea!
I’ve gathered up 15 easy, delicious and quick pasta sauce recipes for all tastes and you’re sure to find one that matches ingredients that you have around.
Here are a few tips for perfect pasta, every time …
&bull Use a big pot and lots of water
&bull Salt pasta water well! The water should taste like the ocean.
&bull Cook pasta just until al dente
&bull Save 1 cup of pasta water before draining
&bull Cook the pasta with sauce for a couple of minutes. As pretty as spooning sauce over cooked pasta looks, if you’re after a great pasta dish, try cooking the pasta together with the sauce for a few minutes. If the pot gets a bit dry, add some of the pasta water that you saved before you drained the pasta to loosen it up.
1. Amatriciana Sauce
1/4 lb. pancetta, diced (can substitute bacon)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
796 ml (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
Brown pancetta, then add onion and cook until softened. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and Parmesan. Simmer at least 15 minutes. Garnish with more Parmesan and chopped fresh parsley or basil.
2. Vodka Rose Sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 lb. prosciutto, cut into thin strips
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup vodka
1 can, 796 ml (28 oz) diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1/4 cup 35% (whipped/heavy) cream
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano or basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook the prosciutto and onion until soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring 45 seconds. Add vodka and cook, stirring until evaporated. Add the tomatoes and simmer sauce 20-30 minutes until reduced. Add cream, herbs and salt and pepper, to tasted.
3. Arugula and Almond Pesto Sauce
8 whole almonds
1 cup (packed) baby arugula
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 large clove of garlic, peeled
Pinch to 1/4 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
One Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
Place arugula in a food processor or mini chopper. Process until finely chopped.
Scrape down the sides of the processor and add the almonds. Process until almonds are finely chopped and scrape the sides again. Add the Parmesan and process. Add 1 Tablespoon oil and process. Add the second Tablespoon of oil and process until mixture is fully mixed. Move the pesto to a small bowl, taste, and add salt to your liking and add a squeeze of lemon juice. To serve, toss a few tablespoons of mixture with your prepared pasta, or in the case of delicate pastas like ravioli, paint the glaze on with a pastry brush.
4. Pasta al Limone
1 garlic clove, for rubbing
Lemon juice from 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to season
1 cup parmigiano cheese, finely grated, plus extra for sprinkling
Bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
Cut garlic in half and rub exposed area along the interior of a large serving bowl. Discard the garlic.
In the bowl, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil while stirring. Stir well until the ingredients have emulsified. Mix in salt and parmigiano cheese. When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the serving bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle with parmigiano cheese, parsley and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
5. White Wine, Mushroom and Cream Sauce
1 tray sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup cream
Salt & pepper, to taste
In a skillet over medium heat, saute sliced mushrooms with 2 small minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 1/4 cup white wine and cook until just evaporated. Stir in 1/2 cup cream and heat gently until thick. Season with salt and pepper. Combine with pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
6. Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Large jar roasted red peppers, packed in water and vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small onion rough chopped
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 ts. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Empty jar of roasted peppers into your food processor and run until smooth. Strain through a mesh strainer, to remove any seeds. Meanwhile, is a saucepan, cook the onions in a little olive oil until transclucent. Add garlic and spices and cook about 1 minute. Add the strained red pepper puree to the pot, cover and simmer about 15 minutes.,
7. Tomato Bacon Sauce
1/2 pound of bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped finely
8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
Salt and pepper
Brown bacon in a large saucepan. Add onion and sauté until they soften and begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Pour in tomatoes and a splash of water. Add rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 hour.
8. Alfredo Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
8 oz. (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
Salt to taste
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add heavy cream. Stirring constantly, stir in salt, nutmeg, grated Parmesan cheese, and grated Romano cheese. Stir until melted, then mix in egg yolk. Simmer over medium low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
9. Tomatoes, Chorizo and Cream
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 1/2 lb. fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of sugar
6-8oz. chorizo sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (Could also use Italian sausage)
Pinch crushed red chilies
1/2 cup heavy (whipping/35%) cream
3 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
4 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan
Heat butter over medium heat. Add rosemary and tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and sugar. Cook until tomatoes have just softened into a sauce. Add the sausage and crushed chilies. Add the cream and parsley. Simmer until sauce reduced by half.
10. Caprese Pasta
2 tomatoes, diced
1 large ball mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (120ml)
1 teaspoon oregano (5ml)
Salt, to season
4 basil leaves
While your pasta is cooking, begin to make the sauce. Mix tomatoes and mozzarella in a large bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil, oregano, salt and basil leaves. When the pasta is ready, add it to the bowl with approximately 1/2 cup of pasta water. Mix well and serve immediately.
11. Aglio Olio
4 oz. breadcrumbs
Small bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, diced
3 dried chili peppers, crushed (optional)
Salt to season
Toast breadcrumbs along with parsley in a dry saucepan until golden brown. In another pan, heat extra virgin olive oil and combine garlic and chili peppers. Cook for a few minutes or until golden brown. Do not burn the garlic. Add cooked pasta to the pan with olive oil and mix well. Add some pasta water to the pasta. Cook for another minute or until desired state of al dente.Mix in toasted breadcrumbs and parsley before serving.
12. Pasta Con Pomodorini e Pecorino
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
25 cherry tomatoes, halved
bunch of fresh basil leaves
pecorino cheese, freshly grated, for sprinkling
While the pasta is cooking, heat up olive oil in a saucepan and gently saute garlic until golden. Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft. Season with salt. Add the cooked and 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta water to the saucepan. Turn off heat. Add torn basil leaves and cook together for approximately 30 seconds. Generously sprinkle pecorino cheese and mix well. Drizzle with olive oil. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with more pecorino cheese and serve immediately.
13. Spinach Ricotta Pasta
Bunch of spinach (fresh or frozen)
5 oz. soft ricotta cheese (about 2/3 cup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Salt to season
In a pot, add spinach along with 1/4 cup of water and cook for a few minutes. Once spinach has softened, remove from heat and puree using a food processor. Add pureed spinach to cooked pasta. Stir in the ricotta, grana padano cheese and butter. Salt to season. Turn off heat and stir for another minute or so.
14. Pasta with Butter and Cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup of freshly grated Grana Padano
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Salt to season
Drain pasta and pour into mixing bowl along with some reserved pasta water. Add grated Grana Padano cheese, butter and parmesan cheese and allow the hot pasta to melt all the ingredients. Mix well and serve immediately.
15. Pasta with Ricotta and Tomatoes
15 to 20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 oz. of fresh ricotta cheese
bunch of Cilantro, Basil or Parsley, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt to season
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a frying pan and cook cherry tomatoes for 30 seconds. Drain pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Add cooked pasta and ricotta cheese to pan. Ladle in some pasta water. The sauce Should be velvety, not dry. Salt to season. Cook pasta in pan with all the other ingredients until al dente. Top with cilantro, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper (Cacio e Pepe)
Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper (Cacio e Pepe) hails from Rome and delivers big flavor in 25 minutes. A zesty, cheesy pasta dish with just five ingredients (including the cooking water used in the sauce)!
This is the pasta dish you didn't realize was missing from your life. And once you experience its delicious, brilliant simplicity, you'll know you'll be making it again and again.
For me, pasta with Pecorino and pepper is a combination of something old and something new.
I grew up eating pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese, and that's the first dish I taught my kids to cook, as soon as they were tall enough to use the stove. (My son was eight when he reached that milestone my daughter was eleven.)
So, there's something familiar about Cacio e Pepe, which hails from Rome. But Pecorino Romano, made from sheep's milk, packs a more intense, zesty punch than Parmesan.
And the pepper here ("cacio" refers to the cheese, and "pepe" means pepper), only adds to that punch.
But I had to reduce the traditional tablespoon of pepper down to &frac23 of a teaspoon for a pound of pasta. (The ingredients shown above are for half a pound of spaghetti.)
The pepper provides just enough zing without making my eyes water. Heat seekers, like my hubby, can always add more to theirs.
The other (surprising) difference is. there's no butter in authentic Cacio e Pepe. A little of the starchy water from cooking the pasta is gradually stirred into a bowl of grated Pecorino and pepper, until a sauce forms.
Then, the pasta gets mixed into the bowl with the sauce.
But don't be tempted to skip the bowl and mix everything in your pot on the stove. The heat will cause the Pecorino Romano to clump and harden into huge gobs instead of coating your pasta in a velvety sauce.
I learned that the hard way, during several rounds of testing. I also realized the amount of reserved pasta water you add can make or break this recipe.
I'm providing an exact measurement in the recipe to spare you watery results from being overzealous with your ladle.
But I do recommend saving extra pasta water to add a tiny bit more if there's any delay in eating. This is one dish best consumed immediately, before it gets dry.
Now that you know the secrets to success, this recipe will be a cinch for you! Go, make some pasta with Pecorino and pepper.
It's great with spaghetti No. 4, (not to be confused with Chanel No. 5). But it works well with linguine or farfalle too.
I'll take the aroma of freshly cooked pasta over perfume any day.
P.S. If cheesy pasta is your jam, check out my Pasta Carbonara with Shallots,my Penne alla Vodka, or my Linguine with Creamy Walnut Sauce. Serve the pasta with The Best Italian Green Salad with Homemade Dressing, and you've got a quick, easy and delicious meal.
(Recipe Source: Adapted from La Cucina, The Regional Cooking of Italy [that's my affiliate link] - I doubled the cheese, reduced the pepper by more than two thirds and specified an amount of pasta water to mix in.)