Everyone knows that pasta is one of the simplest ingredients to make an easy meal look gourmet. And now, with the internet, there are so many ways to dress up your pasta to make it even tastier!
Maybe you're just curious for a meal, or perhaps you received a pasta gift basket that you need to cook up! Below are five different ways to serve up some delicious meals using pasta as a base.
Choosing a Recipe
Go with your gut
When making a pasta, think about who your potential eaters are going to be. If you're serving adults, then more likely than not, they will enjoy the spicier, or different spins on the pasta.
However, if you're cooking for your children or a younger crowd, the safe bet is to make the basic meal or consider a meal that doesn't differ too much from the norm. That doesn't mean cookies, you can still go with pasta!
1. Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce
This recipe is courtesy of Tastykitchen.com, it makes for a great new meal for the not-so-picky eaters!
Blend basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper. While blending, drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. Set aside.
Warm cream and butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add pesto and stir.
Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Pour pesto cream over the top and toss. Add diced tomatoes and toss quickly. Serve immediately.
This recipe came from Allrecipes.com where they literally have tons of of different recipes for prepared meals and pasta ideas including recipes for making your own pasta noodles. Definitely worth checking out!
3 cups uncooked tube pasta
6 bacon strips - diced
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 1/4 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese - cubed
1/2 cup butter or margarine - cubed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels. In the drippings, saute garlic until tender. Add the milk, cream cheese and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and bacon; heat through. Drain pasta; toss with sauce.
This recipe was actually contributed to the Food Network site by Guy Fieri. The yummy recipe integrates bacon and tomatoes into the meal instead of the usual ingredients in plain spaghetti.
2 tablespoons kosher salt
16 ounces spaghetti pasta
1 pound thick-cut bacon or pancetta - chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion - diced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons garlic - minced
2 cups Roma tomatoes - diced
1/4 cup red wine
4 tablespoons basil -chiffonade
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large stock pot, boil 3 quarts of water, when boiling add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, add bacon and saute until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate and remove 3/4 of the bacon fat from the pan. Add extra-virgin olive oil, onions, and red chili flakes. Cook until onions are translucent, add garlic, cook for 2 minutes then add tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes, then deglaze with wine.
Drain pasta and add to the tomato mixture pan. Add basil and bacon. Toss with Parmesan, and add salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese Recipe
The recipe is straight from the WomansDay.com website, and it looks incredibly delicious. It takes the traditional mac and cheese recipe and adds a little flair!
16 oz castellane (long pasta shells) - penne or rigatoni
2 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups 1% lowfat milk
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese - shredded (2 cups)
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles - drained
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn - drained
2/3 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
Top with: Salsa and cilantro sprigs
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook as package directs.
Meanwhile, make Sauce: Put flour and salt in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk until blended. Whisk over medium-high heat 5 minutes, or until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add chiles and Mexicorn; stir over low heat 2 minutes, or just until hot.
Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately, topping with salsa and cilantro.
5. Ravioli with Broccoli Sauce
This recipe comes from JustPastaRecipes.com. This recipe not only incorporates the tasty pasta factor, but also your green vegetable; broccoli.
Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper. Saute until garlic is lightly browned, 5-7 mins. Add cream; cook 20 min. to thicken, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into 1-1/2" flowerettes. Place in separate pan, cover with water and cook until tender, drain and set aside. Add cheese to sauce mixture, stir to blend. Prepare broccoli as directed, drain. Add broccoli to sauce and pour over ravioli.