Few things are more comforting than a bowl of warm pasta for dinner. And with some easy additions, you can turn even the simplest meal into a memorable occasion for your family. We've rounded up our favorite pasta and sauce recipes and the cooking tools you need so you can plan the perfect pasta night in a flash.
A no-cook tomato sauce is all about allowing the different ingredients to soak up one another's flavors. Let this one sit for at least an hour -- even three, if you've planned ahead. If your tomatoes are super ripe, skip the knife and tear them to pieces with your hands. (Whole-wheat noodles can sub in for the farro ones.)
The peppery bite of broccoli rabe mellows when joined by Parmesan, pine nuts, and red-pepper flakes. Plus, you get a solid serving of vegetables in a comforting bowl of pasta. You could also stir this pesto into lentils and sprinkle the dish with crumbled fresh goat cheese.
Whole-grain spaghetti gets striking color from a quick toss with pureed beets (a prime source of the phytonutrient betalain). Sun-dried tomatoes -- richer in lycopene than fresh ones -- lend the sauce a caramelized sweetness.
Adding toasted whole-wheat breadcrumbs gives this dish a nice crunch that balances out the creaminess of the sauce. Rather than baking the shells with the crumbs on top (which can make them soggy), toast the breadcrumbs separately, and toss a handful over each serving right before you put it on the table.
Detox Cred: With their pleasing nutty flavor, rice noodles are a nutritious, gluten-free alternative to wheat pasta. Use this pumped-up pesto to top eggs, beans, and whole grains. Broccoli's impressive amount of carotenoids sweep up cancer-inducing free radicals.