16 Classic Italian Pasta Recipes Everyone Should Know How to Make


Make noodle night extra special by dipping into our collection of classic Italian pasta recipes. You'll find dishes you know from your favorite restaurants, spring vacation on the Amalfi Coast, or Sunday nights spent sitting around your nonna's table.

In addition to recipes like Bolognese that require slow cooking on the stovetop, we've included classics that are much quicker to put together—like the 15-minute wonder that is our famous One-Pan Pasta. Other time-honored pastas have a short ingredient list but pack a lot of flavor, such as rich and creamy Spaghetti Carbonara and spicy options like Linguine Arrabbiata.

These classic Italian pasta recipes are popular for good reason—make them all to taste why these dishes are such favorites.

01 of 16

Fettuccine Alfredo

Missy Robbins's Fettuccine Alfredo
Kelly Puleio

This classic has a sauce made with just Parmesan and butter. Since it's so simple, it's key to use quality ingredients. Our recipe uses chef Missy Robbins' homemade fettuccine, but you can swap in store-bought fresh noodles.

02 of 16

One-Pan Pasta

one-pan pasta
Maxwell Cozzi

This is a revolutionary technique that hails from the region of Puglia. The dried pasta is cooked in a skillet—not the usual large pot—along with the other ingredients. The result is maximum flavor and minimal dirty pots.

03 of 16

Red-Wine Pasta

red wine pasta on plate
Bryan Gardner

In Italy, this distinctive dish is called spaghetti all'ubriaco or "drunken" pasta. It's a quick recipe that combines thin strands of spaghetti with a reduced red wine-shallot sauce finished with pancetta and grated pecorino.

04 of 16

Cacio e Pepe


Utterly simple, totally irresistible, and classically Roman—yes, this is that famed pasta with cheese and freshly cracked pepper. We opt for two types of cheese and add a squeeze of lemon to set our recipe apart. Don't be intimidated by the process; our step-by-step guide to cooking this classic makes it simple.

05 of 16

Pasta e Fagioli

Gabriela Herman

You might just call this "pasta fagioli," but Italians would never drop the "e" in this hearty soup made with pasta, cranberry beans, and vegetables.

06 of 16

Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara recipe
Bryan Gardner

Bacon and eggs—and Parmesan—meet pasta. Spaghetti is the traditional choice for this velvety sauce, but feel free to go alla carbonara with other noodles.

07 of 16


ultimate lasagna slice on plate with fork
Justin Walker

Like much else in Italy, there are different takes on lasagna from different regions. This version features a hearty meat sauce made with ground beef and pork sausage and layers of a rich cheesy filling. There are also versions made with greens and vegetables.

08 of 16

Pasta Puttanesca


Made with ingredients you likely already have on hand, this spicy melange of tomatoes, capers, anchovies, and olives is fast to make and lively on the palate. There's also an oven-roasted version of this sauce.

09 of 16

Pasta Bolognese


Of course, we had to include this favorite. Depending on where your nonna is from, you might call this thick meat sauce a ragu. Our version uses both ground beef and ground pork, as well as the essential milk, nutmeg, and white wine.

10 of 16

Linguine with Clams

Katherine Wolkoff

A combination of oil, clam broth, and white wine creates an almost creamy sauce for this pasta "con le vongole." The clams are left in their shells, and a generous sprinkling of parsley provides the finishing touch. If, like in Campania and the south of Italy in general, you prefer a red clam sauce, try this recipe.

11 of 16

Penne alla Norma

Panne alla Norma

Here's a hearty vegetarian penne recipe with eggplant, tomato, and ricotta from Sicily. It might have been inspired by the opera "Norma" by Sicilian composer Vincenzo Bellini.

12 of 16

Tortellini en Brodo


Legend has it that these little twists of filled pasta were inspired by the navel of the famous beauty Lucrezia Borgia as viewed through a keyhole by a curious cook. Here, they are served simply in broth, a traditional festive first course.

13 of 16

Pasta Pomodoro


Pomodoro, which is Italian for tomato, is a fitting name for this crowd-pleasing dish.

14 of 16

Bottarga Pasta

Krause, Johansen

From Sardinia comes this elemental pasta with a true taste of the sea. It's made with just the pressed dried roe of tuna or mullet roe (bottarga) and a little oil, garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs. Bucatini or perciatelli? Your choice.

15 of 16

Spaghetti with Sicilian Pesto

Bryan Gardner

Not the usual Genoese pesto, this Sicilian take uses roasted red pepper, fresh tomatoes, anchovies, capers, and golden raisins for sweetness. Toasted almonds replace the pignoli used in basil pesto but Parmigiano is a constant. It's quick to make and wonderfully flavorful

16 of 16

Linguine Arrabbiata


A fiery dose of crushed red-pepper flakes gives this pasta dish its name, which means "angry" in Italian. A simple and flavorful tomato, garlic, and white-wine sauce provides a base for the spicy seasoning.

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