Check out Perfect Pasta Dishes, Cookbook-Style!
Perfect Pasta Dishes
For me, pasta really is perfect. Left on my own, I would have some form of pasta for dinner every night (as the husband could tell you). That’s the reason pasta is perfect: there are so many forms! Pasta is made in countless shapes and sizes, prepared with different flours or rice or vegetables, topped with anything you can possibly imagine, served hot or cold.
These twelve recipes are a place to start, beginning with three for the perennial favorite: spaghetti. Kids (and kids-at-heart) will love Spaghetti and Waffled Meatballs. Yes, the meatballs are cooked in a waffle iron! Eating a Paleo diet? Try the recipe for Paleo Spaghetti Carbonara, which has no gluten, wheat, grains, legumes, or dairy – the “pasta” is spaghetti squash. Or you can use zucchini noodles, as did the recipe-tester. Spaghetti with Roasted Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, and Sage is a simple and simply gorgeous dish, made with whole-wheat spaghetti. Additional vegetarian options include Make-A-Scene Pasta, with Italian-style guacamole, Gemelli with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives, and Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce.
If I had to choose my favorite pasta (but please don’t make me), gnocchi would be at the top of my list. Options here are Fresh Crab and Corn Parisian Gnocchi with Pancetta (a recipe well worth the time), or you can make your own Brown Butter Gnocchi (the truffle oil is key). Looking for salads? Throw both rotini and tortellini into Garth’s Pasta Salad, which – yes – is from the country superstar Garth Brooks. For an Asian twist, change things up with the rice noodles in Chilled Peanut Chicken Noodle Salad (hint: creamy peanut butter).
But let’s wrap up this collection on a traditional note, because there’s nothing much better than the classics: Classic Lasagne, with a recipe streamlined to serve just two; and Classic Red Sauce, from Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos’s fun new cookbook Extra Virgin: Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen (an excellent source for all things pasta).
I know the word perfect can cause problems. We’re told that nothing is perfect and that looking for perfection will, by definition, cause disappointment. I disagree. That’s true when you’re looking for perfection in just one place. Pasta, encompassed in all its glorious forms, is perfect.