FIVE MOUTH-WATERING PASTA DISHES THAT WILL IMPRESS EVERYONE!
Italian food is a popular choice, as there is something that appeals to everyone. Of course, there are dishes like pizza, caprese salad and gnocchi, but perhaps the number one food that is nearly synonymous with authentic Italian cuisine is pasta.
Visiting our site is just like visiting an Italian grocery store, except you can do it from the comfort of your own home!
Aside from the sheer convenience this shopping experience allows, it also means that you can cut down on going out in public, which is a huge bonus during the pandemic.
On our site, you will find the highest quality pasta on the market. These pastas can be used to create healthy, flavorful authentic Italian dishes, like the ones described below.
When creating pasta dishes, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Top Italian Pasta Preparation Tips:
Prepare Your Water:
This is an important step to impart flavor into the actual pasta itself. While many people believe that adding oil to the pasta water helps prevent it from sticking together, this is actually a mistake. The oil will cling to your pasta, which means that any sauce you add will have a hard time properly coating the noodles. In fact, all you need is salt.
You want to use more salt than you might think, about one tablespoon of sea salt or two teaspoons worth of regular table salt. Don’t worry too much about the sodium content this may add to your pasta dish, as the vast majority of it washes away in the water as the pasta is drained.
Use Plenty of Water:
Be sure to use a big enough pot to allow for approximately one gallon of water per pound of pasta being cooked. If you use a smaller pot, the water can actually become thick, which gives your pasta a gummy, undesirable texture.
Taste as You Go:
After your pasta has gone in the boiling water, be sure to carefully take a piece out after a few minutes and sample it to see if its properly cooked. Most pastas are best served al dente, which means that the noodles still have a firm yet tender texture.
As soon as your pasta is properly cooked, drain it immediately so it doesn’t overcook. Once you’ve drained your pasta, be sure not to rinse it off, as this can compromise the taste. Instead, just add a little bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Another pro tip is to reserve some of the pasta water to use in creating the sauce!
Select the Right Pasta for the Dish:
Not all pastas are created the same. The different shapes of pasta mean that they pair best with certain kinds of sauces.
Pastas with ridges in their shape, like penne, rigatoni, etc. are great for heavier sauces with lots of meat and vegetables, as the little ridges in the shape help to capture the sauce so each bite is perfectly coated in the proper amount of sauce.
Here are five delicious Italian pasta dishes you can create at home using the pastas available on our site!
1. Penne Ragu:
A Ragu is a thick, meat based sauce combined with a modest amount of tomato and other minced vegetables, like celery and carrots. What is great about this dish is that its pleasing to even the pickiest palates, and it’s a great way to get some hidden vegetables into your diet!
A Ragu is most commonly made with ground beef, veal or lamb, but if you don’t eat red meat or are otherwise watching your cholesterol, feel free to use ground turkey, pork or chicken instead. If you’re a vegetarian, there are some great meatless substitutes available as well!
How to make Penne Ragu
- Simply heat some olive oil in a pan and add some shredded onion, stirring until it's soft.
- Then add some shredded carrots and celery, plus a little bit of pasta water and cook it all together until the liquid has cooked away.
- Then add your protein and a minced garlic clove, and cook until the protein is browned.
- After this step, you can get a little creative, adding wine if you desire and whatever herbs you desire.
- Then add some tomato paste and milk, and let everything cook down before adding the pasta to the sauce and topping with parmesan cheese.
2. Cauliflower Orecchiette:
Orecchiette comes from Southern Italy, and it gets its name from its ear shape.
This is a simple, fast and flavorful dish that is delicious and nutritious. Even people who don’t usually like cauliflower tend to like it in this dish. Simply cook the orecchiette while roasted the cauliflower with some olive oil and minced garlic in the over until it is brown.
If you want, you can also cook some bacon until its crispy and chop it up, but if you prefer a meatless dish, you can leave it out and still get plenty of flavor.
Combine the orecchiette with the cauliflower and bacon if you’re using it, add a little olive oil and a healthy handful of parmesan cheese then toss it all together. Serve with a fresh salad and some crusty bread for a true feast.
3. Linguini and Clams:
This is a classic dish that can be made with either a white or red sauce depending upon your preference.
A white clam sauce involves minced clams combined with a white wine, lemon and garlic sauce, while a red sauce involves the use of minced clams combined with marinara sauce and herbs. Be sure to use fresh clams rather than canned for the best flavor.
4. Pesto Tortiglioni with Spicy Sausage and Vegetables:
Similar in shape to Rigatoni, Tortiglioni has curved grooves that hold sauces well. To create this quick and easy dish, simply cook the pasta and set aside, then brown some hot Italian sausage in a pan and drain.
Combine the meat and pasta, then add some grape tomatoes and spinach then stir over low heat until the spinach is slightly wilted. Stir in some fresh pesto and shredded fresh mozzarella cheese and you’re done!
5. Fusilli with Fresh Pomodoro:
Fusilli is a corkscrew shaped pasta that is usually a hit with kids. Simple to make with a fresh, clean, minimalist taste, all you have to do is cook the pasta, then grate some large beefsteak tomatoes and cook the flesh in a pan with olive oil, basil and garlic. When the sauce starts to thicken, it is ready to serve.