There is so much you can do with pasta, and also so many kinds to choose from. White or whole wheat pasta, penne, spaghetti, pasta twists, linguine… the list goes on. You can make hot recipes such as baked pasta dishes, or chilled ones like a salad. You can serve it as an entree or side dish, and there are many new pasta recipes to try.
Pasta is economical and filling, and there are plenty of wonderful Italian recipes using it. Try the big noodles to make lasagna, long pasta like linguine or spaghetti to serve with a meaty sauce, or pasta shapes to make pasta salad or to cling to a thick sauce.
Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes
If you want to make a pasta recipe in a hurry, simply cook a handful of dried pasta (per person) in boiling water until done (follow the instructions on the package) then drain in a colander, and toss with either pesto, cream cheese, sour cream, tomato sauce, or another sauce, adding in some cooked protein (shrimp, chicken etc) and diced cooked veggies. You can use leftovers or cook them fresh.
You can even add chopped veggies to the pasta during the final 3 minutes of cooking. Consider olives, anchovies, cheese, nuts, or anything else you like, along with a pinch of dried oregano or basil, and perhaps some salt and black pepper too.
Serve hot, perhaps sprinkled with some grated parmesan on top. A nice fresh green salad is another nice side dish to have with homemade pasta recipes. Here are a few recipes you might like to try out:
Many pasta dishes are also good the following day, either cold or gently rewarmed in the oven or microwave. If you are heating a pasta recipe back up in a pan (such as pasta shapes in a sauce) keep stirring it with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula and keep the heat low until it begins to simmer, then serve straight away.
Sides and Garnishes
Garnish a pasta recipe with a sprig of fresh basil or oregano if liked, to add a splash of color to the plate. A simple side salad of halved cherry tomatoes sprinkled with a little black pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar would also be good if you’re using a creamy sauce instead of a tomato sauce. If your pasta has a tomato sauce, consider a simple green salad instead for contrast.
Pasta should be cooked to al dente, which means it still has a little ‘bite’ to it. Avoid cooking it until it’s too soft. Drain it as soon as it’s cooked, perhaps rinsing it under cold water if you want to make a pasta salad or another cold pasta dish. When considering new pasta recipes to try, whichever you make, it’s best to cook it to al dente since it’s the main ingredient in the dish and therefore you don’t want to ruin it.
More Pasta Ideas
Have you seen those tiny pasta shapes? They feature in many new pasta recipes to try. They are great in soup, adding another texture as well as making the soup more filling. If you aren’t interested in conventional pasta, consider making some ‘voodles’ by julienne-cutting some zucchini, then sauté that in oil or oil with a little butter, and use this to replace the regular pasta. Some people actually prefer spiralizer pasta recipes!
The more you cook pasta, the more you will be able to come up with your own ideas for it. Don’t try to add in too many different ingredients. Sometimes it’s best to keep the dish simple so as not to end up with any clashes.
A good homemade tomato sauce with some fresh basil and a little black pepper can make a well-balanced, perfect flavored dinner, while other recipes are going to need more ingredients in there. Use your judgment when it comes to the ingredients and taste your pasta recipe as you go. There are many new pasta recipes to try if you get creative and use your imagination, or else just tweak some of ours.