Spending more time at home over the last year and half has inspired people to get creative in the kitchen. Extra time to plan meals and cook lent itself well to elaborate dinners and fancy desserts. But as the hustle and bustle of everyday life returns, we crave one thing in the kitchen: simplicity. If your weeknights are getting busy again, or if you just flat-out don’t feel like laboring over a meal, these delicious pasta dishes can be on your table in under 35 minutes.
This simplified version of a restaurant favorite will make everyone at your dinner table happy — including you. Cajun jambalaya pasta has a welcome spice that adds a kick to shrimp and chicken. The recipe calls for linguine, but if you don’t have it handy, any pasta shape will do.
Cacio e pepe is one of the most well-known pasta dishes around because it's so tasty and so easy to make. With nothing more than the ingredients they could carry in their sacks (dry pasta, cheese and black pepper), shepherds created cacio e pepe some 2,500 years ago and it continues to make appearances at the dinner table today. Snag the recipe from NYC restaurant institution Lupa for the ultimate rendition.
Traveling from Italy to Greece, this penne pasta with black olives, feta and spinach will be your go-to during summer. Cold pastas and pasta salads are warm-weather must-haves, and this one is no exception. The creamy feta coats the penne while the olives and sun-dried tomatoes add salty, sour elements.
The easiest way to use up leftover chicken is to throw it into a pasta dish. For this recipe, linguine is tossed in a light sauce made with white wine, heavy cream, lemon zest and garlic. The chicken is added on at the end with capers.
Just because you’re short on time doesn’t mean you can’t make a great sauce for your pasta. Brighten up your red sauce in ways that the jarred stuff just can’t by using fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes, lemon and basil.
The Mediterranean diet has been revered as the best diet for four years in a row by the U.S. News & World Report — maybe it’s because it includes eating pasta and drinking wine. This one-pan pasta utilizes the ingredients of the Mediterranean, like olives and feta, to make a rich and inviting capellini-based meal.
Let's hope the great bucatini (also known as perciatelli) shortage of 2020 is behind us because it’s the star of this pasta dish. Fresh vegetables like button mushrooms, plum tomatoes and sliced red bell pepper also make an appearance. This is a light dish where simplicity creates an effortless dimension.
Butterfly pasta, also known as farfalle, is tossed with simmered cherry tomatoes, minced garlic and fresh herbs, and topped off with grated parmesan cheese. The recipe, which is customizable to your palate, can be made easily based on what you already have in your kitchen.
Pasta salad is one of those dishes that never goes out of style. Whether it’s served as an entree for weeknight dinners or as a side to burgers, pulled pork sandwiches and more cookout favorites, pasta salad is king.
Being able to make a good alfredo sauce from scratch is something that would earn your grandma’s praise — after all, who knows more about pasta than your own nonna? Although her alfredo sauce might take time and ingredients to perfect, this creamy, pesto-infused recipe keeps things down to 30 minutes.
The connection between seafood and Italian food is a timeless one; the Mediterranean coastline provides the many regions of Italy with a bounty of fish and shellfish. The love affair is highlighted in this recipe for linguine and clams. The combination is tied together with a light sauce made of olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic.
Although orzo looks like a large grain of rice, it’s actually a short-cut pasta. It appears in this recipe with shrimp and cherry tomatoes. Toss it in a homemade vinaigrette to keep the dish light and refreshing for summer evenings.
Spaghetti carbonara is a traditional Roman pasta dish that uses ingredients you probably already have on hand. Six ingredients is all it takes to make an authentic Italian dish for dinner tonight.
Sure, cream cheese alfredo might not be the most authentic Italian dish you can make, but it sure is good. The richness created from the blend of milk, butter and cream cheese is *chef’s kiss* when simmered in minced garlic and served over bowtie pasta. Your kids will love it.
Beef is one of the easiest ways to add protein to your meals while sticking to a budget. The juicy meat adds an extra layer of flavor to this one-skillet pasta dish.
If you’ve never cooked with garlic scapes, it’s the time. Often harvested during the early months of summer, the flowering stems of garlic can be transformed into a flavor-bursting pesto. Add the scapes to a blender with olive oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and serve over some type of spiral pasta, like rotini.
Revered by some as one of the most famous pasta dishes in Rome, Spaghetti all'Amatriciana is set apart from the rest by guanciale (cured pork jowl). If the ingredient isn’t available to you, bacon will do the trick.
You didn’t think we forgot about baked feta pasta already, did you? The viral TikTok recipe is still fresh in our minds. This recipe takes a few liberties by incorporating shrimp into the dish.
The mother of all weeknight dinners is this herbed beef Italiano. Made in just one pan, the dish is a blend of hearty and refreshing flavors, from the veggies down to the rotini pasta. It serves six — perfect for the whole family and then some! If you have any beef leftover after making the dish, check out more of our incredible beef recipes perfect for busy weeknights.
As implied by the straightforward name, this pasta with tomatoes and basil is, indeed, made with tomatoes and fresh herbs. The sauce can be made with either fresh or canned tomatoes and the pasta of choice is up to you! Easy recipes like this one is one of the reasons why pasta dishes frequently appear among our 50 favorite recipes for weeknights.
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