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Pasta recipes

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.

Buying and storing pasta

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.

About pasta

Homemade pasta recipes with pictures

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.

Fresh Tomato Sauce with Mint and Spaghetti

In a large skillet, place the garlic and 2 talespoons of the oil. Cook over low heat until the..

Spaghetti Carbonara

Start your water boiling for the pasta. Melt the butter in the olive oil and add the garlic..

Spaghetti all' Puttanesca

Chop the garlic and red pepper. Set aside. Chop the red onion. Over a medium flame, heat..

Spaghetti with Cream Corn Sauce

Cut chicken to bite size (and thin) . Heat oil in skillet , cook chicken till done, add little salt..

Pasta Chicken

Start water boiling for pasta and add pasta when boiling, cook until done and then drain..

Fusilli Michelangelo

Cut the mushrooms and dried tomatoes into julienne strips. Heat olive oil in a saucepan..

Macaroni and Cheese (Casserole)

In a 2 quart casserole (I usually grease it, but I'm not sure that's necessary), layer..

Polka Dotted Macaroni and Cheese

Heat Oven to 375˚F. Spread drained macaroni in 10"x6" baking dish; add..

Cold Sesame Sauce Noodles

Cook the noodles 'al-dente' in lots of boiling salted water. If using oriental noodles, cook..

Beef Cannelloni

Fry ground beef with a little oil. As beef is cooking, break it up in small pieces..

Cheese Ravioli

For the raviolis, in a small bowl mix together ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese..

Pasta al Forno

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until only halfway cooked, according..

Spaghetti E Scampi

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente (cooked just..

Gnocchi with Cheese Sauce

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..

Pasta Del Mar

In 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt vegetable oil spread; add onion..

Pasta Fagioli

Puree tomatoes, place in a sauce pan. Add olive oil, garlic and spices. Bring to..

Pasta Peanut Stir Fry

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and transfer to..

Pasta With Seafood Sauce

Boil pasta in large quantity of water until al dente. Drain well. Sauté tomato..

Sesame Soy Pasta and Vegetables

In a large pot, heat chicken broth; add noodles and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer..

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Preheat oven to 500 F. Prepare pasta according to package directions..

Pasta Pancake

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. Preheat oven to..

Pasta Penne Rigate

Measure whole ripe olives and reserve. Heat olive oil in heavy pot. Add bell..

Pasta with Tomato Meat Sauce

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine..

Pasta with Meat Sauce

Heat the oil in a large frying over low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and..

Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan, add all the mushrooms, and cook over..

Pasta Primavera Recipe

In 1 quart saucepan, heat cream to boiling and boil 1 minute. Remove from..

Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe

Prepare sage butter: In 2 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Continue..

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly..

Lobster Gnocchi Recipe

Place the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, egg, and flour in a bowl and mix by..

Penne Pasta with Asparagus

Bring 1 gal heavily salted water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the dried pasta and stir..

Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. In a medium bowl, toss the..

Spaghetti with Spicy Tomato Sauce

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When very hot and almost...

Vegetable Orzo Pasta Recipe

Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Cut the carrots, zucchini, squash.

Fresh Spinach Lasagna Recipe

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until..

Fresh Pappardelle with Pork

Season the pork slices and dust with flour. In a large skillet heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) of butter on..

Fried Chocolate Banana Ravioli

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, banana and chocolate chips and mix well. Place..

Easy Ricotta Squash Gnocchi

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the squash halves cut side down on a..

Three Cheese Penne Pasta

You won't miss the meat here, as the porcini mushrooms lend a meaty, slightly nutty..

Pepperoni Rigatoni Bake Recipe

Serve this simple, hearty dish with a green salad to lighten things up. In large saucepot..

Italian Brodo Recipe

Pour the stock into a soup pot or large saucepan, and bring to a vigorous boil..

Pasta with Capers Recipe

Cook the pasta as the package directs, until it is tender yet still firm to the bite. Drain..

Four simple ways to prepare pasta delicious side dishes - homemade pasta recipes

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.


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.


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.


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.

How to cook the right amount of pasta?

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.

Best way to cook pasta - preparing pasta

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.

Cook pasta in enough water

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.

Stir pasta frequently

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.

Don't overcook 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 well, don't rinse pasta

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.

Serve the pasta hot

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.

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