Pasta has become a weeknight favorite for many cooks; it's nutritious, easy to prepare, and delicious. Best of all, pasta recipes are extremely versatile. It can be rich and satisfying when combined with meat, light and luscious when tossed with vegetables or seafood, or positively mouth watering when layered and baked until golden and bubbling.
We use dried Italian style pasta for most of our recipes, as it is readily available. For special occasions, homemade or store bought fresh pasta is an excellent choice.
Made with eggs, fresh pasta has a delicate texture that works well with creamy sauces. Dried pasta, made from flour and water, is more economical, lower in fat, and a good match for a wide variety of sauces.
For the best taste and texture, buy dried pasta made from durum wheat flour or from semolina flour. Store dried pasta in a cool, dry, dark place for up to one year, but if it is made of whole wheat, store up to six months. Even though clear plastic pasta storage containers are attractive, do not use them. Light destroys riboflavin, a key nutrient in pasta. We recommend buying pasta that comes in cardboard boxes for the same reason. Store commercially made fresh pasta in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze for up to one month. Homemade pasta can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to one month. For the best results, don't thaw frozen pasta before cooking.
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I'm passionate about pasta. Pasta is the most versatile food: it can go from an elegant first course to a homemade dinner with nary a change. It's a terrific weeknight dinner and a stunning weekender. So carb phobes, beware. Here you will find homemade pasta recipes with pictures such classics as spaghetti carbonara, pasta chicken, as well as more innovative recipes for dishes such as gnocchi whit cheese sauce and pasta with seafood sauce and more.
In a large skillet, place the garlic and 2 talespoons of the oil. Cook over low heat until the..
Start your water boiling for the pasta. Melt the butter in the olive oil and add the garlic..
Chop the garlic and red pepper. Set aside. Chop the red onion. Over a medium flame, heat..
Cut chicken to bite size (and thin) . Heat oil in skillet , cook chicken till done, add little salt..
Start water boiling for pasta and add pasta when boiling, cook until done and then drain..
Cut the mushrooms and dried tomatoes into julienne strips. Heat olive oil in a saucepan..
In a 2 quart casserole (I usually grease it, but I'm not sure that's necessary), layer..
Heat Oven to 375˚F. Spread drained macaroni in 10"x6" baking dish; add..
Cook the noodles 'al-dente' in lots of boiling salted water. If using oriental noodles, cook..
Fry ground beef with a little oil. As beef is cooking, break it up in small pieces..
For the raviolis, in a small bowl mix together ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese..
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until only halfway cooked, according..
Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente (cooked just..
On little fire melted butter and then add onion. When the onion is gold add..
Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine..
In 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt vegetable oil spread; add onion..
Puree tomatoes, place in a sauce pan. Add olive oil, garlic and spices. Bring to..
Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and transfer to..
Boil pasta in large quantity of water until al dente. Drain well. Sauté tomato..
In a large pot, heat chicken broth; add noodles and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer..
Preheat oven to 500 F. Prepare pasta according to package directions..
Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. Preheat oven to..
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Heat the oil in a large frying over low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and..
Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan, add all the mushrooms, and cook over..
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Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly..
Place the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, egg, and flour in a bowl and mix by..
Bring 1 gal heavily salted water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the dried pasta and stir..
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. In a medium bowl, toss the..
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When very hot and almost...
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Cut the carrots, zucchini, squash.
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Prepare time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 25 minutes
Cook 1 cup orzo or 1¾ cups mini bow tie pasta as label directs. Then make one of these delicious side dishes.
In 10 inch skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 carrots, shredded, 1 medium zucchini (8 ounces), shredded, 1 garlic clove, crushed with garlic press, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper and cook 5 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta; heat through. Makes 4 accompaniment servings. Each serving: about 203 calories.
PASTA WITH PEAS AND ONIONS
In 10 inch skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 small onion, chopped, and 2 tablespoons water and cook until onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta and 1 cup frozen peas, thawed, and heat through. Makes 4 accompaniment servings. Each serving: about 216 calories.
ORANGE FENNEL PASTA
In 10 inch skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 garlic clove, crushed with garlic press, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper and cook 30 seconds. Stir in 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel and ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed. Stir in cooked pasta and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley; heat through. Makes 4 accompaniment servings. Each serving: about 181 calories.
TUBETTI WITH LEMON AND CREAM
In 2 quart saucepan, combine ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, ½ teaspoon lemon peel, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Boil 1 minute. Stir in 1½ cups tubetti (7 ounces), cooked as label directs, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Transfer to warm serving bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley. Makes 6 accompaniment servings. Each serving: about 175 calories.
Most packages list a 2 ounce serving size, but a more generous main-dish measure is 4 ounces dried pasta or 3 ounces fresh pasta per person. The cooked yield of pasta depends on its shape: four ounces of tube-shaped pasta, like penne, equals 2½ cups cooked; 4 ounces of long-strand pasta, like spaghetti, equals 2 cups cooked; 4 ounces of egg noodles equals 3 cups cooked.
To cook pasta most efficiently, start with salted water. At sea level, water boils at 212°F (100°C), the temperature at which its molecules have enough energy to escape from the surface as steam. If you add salt, the water molecules will need to pick up more energy to push the salt molecules aside and escape from the surface. In effect, adding salt forces the water to boil at a higher temperature, which means the pasta will cook more quickly.
The water should be boiling furiously before you add the pasta so that it can penetrate the pasta's starch granules as fast as possible. Add the pasta slowly so that the water continues to boil and the pasta cooks evenly.
Use at least four quarts of water for each pound of pasta. Cover the pot and bring the water to a rapid boil over high heat. Salt the water, then stir in the pasta.
Stirring ensures even cooking and keeps pasta from clumping together and sticking to the bottom of the pot. Do not add oil to the cooking water; it prevents sauce from clinging to the pasta.
The cooking time on pasta packages is only a guide, so start checking for doneness before the suggested time and check often. To test pasta for doneness, remove a piece from the boiling water, rinse it briefly under warm water, and bite into it. When pasta is perfectly cooked, it should be al dente ("to the tooth") with no raw flour taste and a tiny chalk white center. After it's drained, pasta will continue to cook from the residual heat and from the hot sauce with which it's tossed. If the pasta is to be baked, undercook it slightly, since it will continue to cook in the oven.
Drain the pasta in a colander, shaking to remove excess water. Don't rinse pasta; rinsing cools down pasta and removes both the surface starch that keeps it firm and its essential nutrients. Only lasagna noodles and pasta for salad should be rinsed.
When pasta stands, it gets cold and unappetizingly gummy. So call everyone to the table while you're tossing the pasta. To keep it as hot as possible, return the drained pasta to the cooking pot, which will still be warm, and combine it with the sauce there. Or warm the serving bowl and the individual bowls.