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

Homemade Gnocchi

Martha Stewart

Although this recipe includes a pesto sauce, you can also serve the gnocchi with butter and cheese, pomodoro sauce, or ragu.

Baked Penne with Sausage and Creamy Ricotta

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 2 hrs 15 mins

Creamy Pasta with Tomato Confit and Fresh Goat Cheese

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 1 hr

Creamy Semolina with Roasted Mushrooms

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 45 mins

Cheesy Mixed Pasta Casserole with Mushrooms

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 1 hr 15 mins

Pappardelle with Porcini and Pistachios

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 45 mins

Baked Orecchiette with Pork Sugo

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 4 hrs

Easy Bolognese

Family Circle

A combination of turkey bacon and beef give this pasta sauce real staying power while a splash of red wine deepens the flavor.

Orecchiette with Marinated Eggplant, Burrata and Chiles

Food & Wine

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."

Total: 1 hr 30 mins

Red-Wine Spaghetti with Walnuts and Parsley

Food & Wine

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?

Total: 40 mins

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Food & Wine

Spaghetti and meatballs is a crowd-pleasing classic Italian-American dish. The mixture of beef, veal, and pork makes the meatballs really flavorful.

Total: 1 hr 45 mins

Smoky Pork Pappardelle

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 3 hrs 45 mins

Zucchini Linguine with Herbs

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 30 mins

Tortellini Emilia

Better Homes and Gardens

Just make a simple cream sauce to pour over the pasta for this cheesy casserole recipe.

Butcher's Ragu with Fusilli

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 2 hrs 20 mins

Pasta with Smothered Broccoli Rabe and Olives

Food & Wine

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.

Total: 1 hr 40 mins

Butternut Squash Ravioli Filling

Better Homes and Gardens
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