Quick, easy, and full of flavor, each dish deserves a spot in your dinner rotation.

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plates of pasta on countertop
Credit: Marcus Nilsson

Ready to expand your pasta repertoire? These recipes are so simple yet satisfying, you'll happily eat them again and again. Each sauce has just five ingredients (not including oil, salt, and pepper), and is ready by the time the noodles are al dente. The secret behind the perfect bowl of pasta? "Always undercook pasta by a minute or two, and save some of the water-it's liquid starch you can stir back in to finish cooking and give some silkiness," says editorial director of food and entertaining Sarah Carey. "Add a bit of cheese and olive oil or butter, too, even if the recipe doesn't call for it. That's what restaurants do."

Carrot-and-Feta Pasta with Cilantro Pesto
Credit: Marcus Nilsson

CARROT-AND-FETA PASTA WITH CILANTRO PESTO

Cilantro and almonds stand in seamlessly for the usual basil and pinenuts in this zesty pesto. Leftover roasted carrots and a sprinkling of crumbled feta completes the dish.

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Spaghetti and Fresh Marinara with Basil
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SPAGHETTI AND FRESH MARINARA WITH BASIL

If you have good tomatoes on hand, there's no need to turn to canned. Grate ripe beefsteaks, heirlooms, or Camparis, or a combination of all three, on a box grater, then simmer with garlic and fresh basil for an irresistible marinara sauce.

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Shrimp-and-Chipotle Pasta
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SHRIMP-AND-CHIPOTLE PASTA

Five surprisingly complementary ingredients yield a sauce that's far greater than the sum of its parts in this rich, smoky pasta: fennel, fresh corn, chipotles in adobo, shrimp, and cream.

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Mushroom-and-Dill Pasta with Creme Fraiche
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MUSHROOM-AND-DILL PASTA WITH CREME FRAICHE

Meaty mushrooms are offset by aromatic fresh dill and a spicy horseradish-laced creme fraiche sauce in this umami-packed dish.

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Fresh Cherry-Tomato Pasta Puttanesca
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PASTA WITH NO-COOK PUTTANESCA

Heirloom tomatoes meet briny Castelvetrano olives and capers in this fresh take on the classic Italian dish. Toss with a touch of pasta water and Pecorino Romano once the noodles are ready, and dinner is served.

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Anchovy and Preserved-Lemon Pasta
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ANCHOVY AND PRESERVED-LEMON PASTA

A stash of anchovies and preserved lemons in your pantry is like money in the bank. Pair them with garlic, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and spaghetti, and it's more like a jackpot.

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