Is there anything more satisfying than a plate of freshly made pasta? Spinning angel hair made savory with a creamy sauce or fresh olive oil is the skin of heaven on a plate – a sensory overload. And since no one makes the dish better than Italy, we rounded up some of the best Italian pasta recipes from a variety of regions, simplified by some of our favorite chefs and food bloggers. Here you’ll find refreshing cold dishes and cheesy delights, with some vegan, gluten-free, or just lighter versions of comforting favorites.
And if you really want to do what the Italians do, source your ingredients carefully. There’s a reason you feel less sluggish after eating all the pizza and pasta you want in Rome or Venice: the country’s crusts and noodles are carefully grown and harvested with little handling (and pesticides). Stop by a locally owned Italian specialty store or shop for produce from the nearest farmer’s market to enhance your plate.
Now have yourself a Negroni or an Aperol Spritz (or both!) And give it a try.
Why we love it: This extremely simple dish has few ingredients and tastes great. You literally only need 20 minutes and four things: pasta noodles, butter, fresh black pepper, and cheese. Think of it as a more sophisticated mac and cheese. The only catch: you have to serve it immediately to avoid the dreaded lumps.
Hero ingredient: It’s a tough choice between butter and cheese for this one, but we’ll go for the latter, as long as it’s freshly grated.
Why we love it: With some fresh updates from Alex Snodgrass of The Defined Dish, the beloved Italian dish feels a little lighter and fuller.
Hero ingredient: Spring greens like English peas and fresh asparagus help set this traditional dish apart.
Why we love it: Ah, the pleasure of pasta in a pot. There is magic in the simplicity of tossing everything into a bowl at once and, of course, the minimal cleaning of the dishes. Take the energy you would expend straining or sautéing and focus on stirring this complex creamy dish (on flavor, not execution).
Hero ingredient: For people with celiac disease, Cassy Joy Garcia tried her one pot gluten free Italian pasta recipe. Jovial brown rice spaghetti.
Why we love it: Speaking of the one pot craze, why not apply the ease of the one-dish recipe to another Italian favorite: Fettuccine Alfredo. Requiring only a handful of ingredients (most of which are easy to have on hand), it’s the perfect meal to whip up something satisfying after a long day.
Hero ingredient: For a lighter version of the comforting dish, Spoon Fork Bacon’s Jenny Park swapped the heavy cream for a mixture of milk (full or partial fat) and chicken broth.
Why we love it: If you’ve experienced the magic of heirloom tomatoes perfectly in season, you know the value of a recipe that truly harnesses their power. This simple dish puts tasty fruit front and center, with plenty of thoughtful seasonings.
Hero ingredient: Heirloom tomatoes, which really tastes better.
Why we love it: The simple dish is distinguished by its sour and creamy lemon sauce, but also by its cheesy taste. The Minimalist Baker doesn’t shy away from a vegan version – the perfectly lemony dish is topped with vegan Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. It is a perfect dish for spring.
Hero ingredient: It has to be the lemons. The creamy cashew-based sauce in this Italian pasta recipe features just the right amount of acidity and sourness.
Why we love it: Inspired by Stanley Tucci’s pasta filling Looking for Italy series on CNN (so lovely), Camille Styles’ food editor Suruchi Avasthi tackled this recipe, which the actor learns to make along the Amalfi Coast. Made with simple ingredients cooked with care, the tasty fried zucchini stuffed dish helped ease his wanderlust, if only for one night.
Hero ingredient: This pasta is all about zucchini (even the sauce is made with it). Avasthi sauté their greens with shallots and garlic for crunchy perfection.
Why we love it: A spicy take on the comforts of linguine and clam sauce, this easy-to-make dish uses a little pink and as many little shelled gems as your heart desires. It’s an Oliver’s recipe, so it’s as healthy and affordable as you’d expect.
Why we love it: Forever a crowd pleaser, a large plate of Italian pasta salad will always be a summer staple. And though it is often relegated to a garrison, may steal the spotlight with the perfect combination of fresh, savory and savory ingredients.
Hero ingredient: Those killer little mozzarella cubes are always a highlight of cold pasta salad.
Why we love it: There’s a reason this dish is the most popular pasta in authentic Italian food emporium Eataly. In case you haven’t mastered the art of silk egg tagliatelle yet (understandable), you can ask for the good stuff. here“To top it off, you’re your own meat-based ragout and no one will know the difference.”
Hero ingredient: Fresh eggs forever.
Why we love it: The idea of Bolognese often equates to heavy. But swap your ground beef for lentils, and the comforting dish will feel fuller than ever..
Hero ingredient: Here we are going to give it to the lentils.
Why we love it: Perfect for even the most novice chef, this authentic Italian pasta recipe focuses on perfecting fresh tomato sauce. You know you’ve done well when the balance between sweet and savory is perfect.
Hero ingredient: Fragrant crushed red pepper flakes put this dish on top.
Why we love it: Made with equal parts mushrooms, spinach, and spaghetti, this plant-friendly pasta makes eating your veggies tastier than ever. And with a pinch of pine nuts and addictive capers, you’ll want to come back to this one again and again.
Hero ingredient: Chestnut mushrooms are crucial.
Why we love it: We are always looking for ways to use summer tomatoes while they are in season. A less is more approach combined with a 10 minute cook time makes this the perfect summer dinner recipe. Also, Camille learned it while taking a class in Tuscany, so you know it’s good.
Hero ingredient: Summer tomatoes picked straight from the garden will never be topped.