Italian Pasta Dishes
From hundreds of shapes to its homey feel, Italian pasta is one of life's greatest (and least expensive) pleasures. Italians bring us not only the pasta, but also sauces and preparations from every region. Try them all.See Popular Italian Pasta Dishes Recipes
This hearty pasta dish is studded with chunks of Italian sausage and mixed with a quick garlic-infused tomato sauce. It's then topped with dollops of fresh ricotta and a sprinkling of both mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano, which form a cheesy layer as the pasta bakes.
Terrance Brennan cooks this pasta risotto-style by stirring in rich chicken stock a ladleful at a time. As the pasta releases its starch, the dish becomes delicately milky. Instead of finishing the dish with a knob of butter, he folds in fresh goat cheese, which turns creamy in the gentle heat. Brennan uses a small, tube-shaped pasta called ditalini, but any small cut works.
In Italian cuisine, a sugo is a gravy or sauce. Here, Ethan Stowell prepares a pork sugo by braising pork shoulder until it almost falls apart, shredding it in a food processor and mixing it with a red-wine-and-tomato sauce; then he bakes it with orecchiette under a topping of Parmigiano cheese until crispy. The dish is an excellent alternative to the usual baked pasta, because it's not as heavy and cheesy but still delicious and satisfying.
F&W's Melissa Rubel Jacobson created this recipe to use up extra dried mushrooms and odds and ends of pasta. While the different pasta shapes cook at different rates in the water, they all become tender once baked.
Pappardelle with porcini mushrooms is Shea Gallante's favorite pasta: "It's great in its simplicity," he says. What makes this version extraordinary are the roasted pistachios, which add a sweet nuttiness.
It takes about only three minutes to make this thick, creamy semolina on the stove; the mushrooms cook in the oven, unattended, for 25 minutes. "This is the ultimate lazy man's side dish," says Jason Travi.
Spaghetti and meatballs is a crowd-pleasing classic Italian-American dish. The mixture of beef, veal, and pork makes the meatballs really flavorful.
For the luscious meat sauce here, Gerard Craft braises pork with apples and honey, which adds some unexpected sweetness. Another surprise: He finishes the pasta with a sprinkling of smoked salt.
This recipe, adapted from New York City pastry chef Gina DePalma, is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Who knew that basic dried pasta, simply boiled in red wine, could develop such complex flavor?
Grace Parisi treats shredded zucchini and scallions just like the linguine in this lush dish: She tosses them all in a buttery sauce with lemon thyme and tarragon and finishes the dish with pecorino cheese.
At New York City's A Voce, Missy Robbins makes this elegant, decadent pasta dish with burrata, the creamy cow's-milk cheese from Italy. She says, "I absolutely love burrata, but this recipe also includes my trifecta of favorite ingredients: marjoram, lemon and chiles."
Just make a simple cream sauce to pour over the pasta for this cheesy casserole recipe.
At Eataly's pasta and pizza counter, Mario Batali's team serves three different pasta shapes with a choice of about five different sauces ("made by some crazy dudes," says Batali). For the first time ever, he's going to let his customers match the sauce with the pasta shape. This sauce, an ever-so-slightly creamy ragu made with ground beef, pancetta and ham, is flavored with tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes.
Many Mediterranean cooks use clay pots to cook foods without added liquid. In Sicily, the method is called affogato and the pot is an earthenware tegame. In Paula Wolfert's adaptation of a specialty she enjoyed many years ago at the Ristorante Circolo Uliveto, in the Sicilian town of Trecastagni, she substitutes an easier-to-find cazuela for the tegame. She uses it to cook coarsely chopped broccoli rabe (ideally the young, leafy kind) with grated pecorino cheese, briny olives, and meaty anchovies, then folds the mixture into boiled pasta and bakes it.
For lighter winter meals, Melissa Rubel Jacobson jazzes up a basic pasta salad with peppery arugula and a lively mayo-based dressing made with garlic, lemon juice, and a trio of fresh herbs. She uses sweet grape tomatoes, which are delicious year-round.