Bored of the pasta dishes in your dinnertime lineup? Change it up, with these easy pasta recipes that will please the entire family. Make any of these tasty (and healthy!) pasta recipes in less than 30 minutes!
Substitute whole wheat pasta in any of these recipes for an even healthier dish!
12 ounces fusilli or other corkscrew pasta
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise, or broccoli florets (or a combination)
2 carrots, shredded
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook as the label directs. Add the sugar snap peas and/or broccoli, carrots and bell pepper to the boiling water during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until the tomatoes begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water. Pour the tomato mixture over the pasta and vegetables. Add the mint, parmesan and half the goat cheese and toss to combine. Season with salt.
Divide the pasta among bowls. Top with the remaining goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil.
Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/3 pounds chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup chicken broth or stock
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente
Chopped or snipped chives, for garnish
Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the chicken to the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until lightly golden all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and return the skillet to the heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, the garlic and shallots to the skillet. Sauté garlic and shallots 3 minutes. Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and reduce liquid 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth into sauce. Stir in capers and parsley. When the liquid comes to a bubble, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to the sauce to give it a little shine. Add chicken back to the pan and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce and serve. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste. Top with fresh snipped chives.
Shrimp, Leek, and Spinach Pasta
3/4 pound gemelli, fusilli, or other short pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise then crosswise
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (raw)
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup heavy cream
10 ounces baby spinach (about 12 cups)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks have softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and lemon zest and cook, tossing frequently, until the shrimp is opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes more.
Add the cream and ½ teaspoon salt to the pasta in the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp mixture and the spinach and toss to combine.