21 Restaurant-Caliber Italian Pasta Recipes
Roasted Tomato and Artichoke Pasta
Have 35 minutes? Then you have all the time you need to make this rainbow-colored, ridiculously tasty vegetarian dinner. Roast up a big sheet pan of veggies, then toss with cooked pasta and a bit of olive oil for a light and healthy Italian pasta recipe. For a protein boost, stir in cooked shrimp or chicken.
Tortellini with Broccolini
On nights when you want a quick dinner andquick cleanup, stir together this vegetarian skillet pasta recipe. Since it calls for store-bought stuffed Italian pasta (find it in the refrigerator aisle), the entire entrée comes together in less than 30 minutes. Have no fear about serving this to those with big appetites: A full can of beans pumps up the protein to a hearty 19 grams per serving.
“Alfred-ohhh yes,” is what you’ll be saying after just one bite of this creamy sauce. Serve the fettuccine Alfredo meatless or with chicken or shrimp. We'll show you three recipe variations that will inspire you to make this popular restaurant dish at home.
Bolognese Lasagna with Porcini-Ricotta Filling
Share a comforting family-style meal with this colorful and flavorful casserole as the centerpiece. Sausage, beef, and bacon all star in this lasagna recipe. Alternate between meaty layers of Italian sausage and ground beef alongside melty cheese and homemade porcini-Parmesan sauce. And lasagna noodles, of course!
Copycat Pesto Cavatappi
Italian pasta bowls are best-sellers at fast casual chains because they’re quick, filling, affordable, and a cinch to dress up with your pick of protein and veggies. Our version of this corkscrew pasta dish, made famous at Noodles & Company, gets a head start with store-bought pesto. Just add a splash of white wine, cream, and sautéed tomatoes, and it looks like it came straight from the restaurant kitchen.
Cheesy Shell-Stuffed Shells
When we’re in the mood for a cheesy comfort food dinner, one of the only things that sounds better than stuffed shells is shells stuffed with more shells. Perfect for potlucks, this Italian pasta recipe combines four types of cheese and two types of pasta in one delicious dish. A store-bought jar of vodka sauce speeds up prep time, although this is still likely a weekend cooking project. We promise it’s worth the wait!
Fettuccine alla Carbonara
Savor Alfredo and carbonara in this mash-up recipe! The luxurious texture of the sauce comes courtesy of butter, Parmesan, white wine, and whipping cream instead of eggs. Since the sauce starts in a base of prosciutto and bacon drippings, the recipe maintains its traditional pork flavor.
Bucatini with Shrimp and Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce
While this 30-minute meal is spiked with small shellfish, there’s nothing small about the flavors. Garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and a full cup of basil infuse this Italian seafood pasta with Mediterranean flair. For an extra dose of salty richness, top with a healthy handful of feta cheese.
Related: 21 Quick and Healthy Shrimp Recipes
Pasta Cacio e Pepe
We know what you might be thinking: “How much flavor can you coax out of three ingredients, plus salt and pepper?” Our answer: a huge amount! This classic Italian pasta dish is beautiful in its simplicity, calling for just Parmesan cheese and olive oil to make.
Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella
This might just be the freshest Italian pasta salad you’ll ever taste. Think of it like a Caprese salad pumped up with pasta! With olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and pasta water as the sauce (instead of mayo or something creamy), this rigatoni recipe can easily be packed up for picnics and outdoor potlucks.
Sausage and Cannellini Bean Penne
A nutritious noodle dinner can be tough to come by, but this easy entrée delivers. Each serving packs 18 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber into just 310 calories. Turkey sausage and cannellini beans amp up the satisfaction factor, so you’ll be full for hours after devouring this slow cooker Italian pasta recipe.
Linguine with Sausage, Greens, Eggs, and Pan Sauce
Convince kids to eat more vegetables with this noodly variation on the “green eggs and ham” theme. This simple 25-minute Italian sausage pasta is a cinch to toss together for a satisfying weeknight dinner. The peppery pork spices up the light and cheesy pan sauce, while light mustard greens offer a refreshing earthy element.
Spaghetti with Seared Asparagus
Crunchy toasted hazelnuts and panko-breaded asparagus offer a nice textural contrast to tender spaghetti noodles. Try this easy entrée with either white or green asparagus depending on what's in stock on your next grocery run.
Arugula and Dried Tomato Pasta
This colorful dish mimics the hues of the Italian flag and celebrates the country's flavors. Instead of olive oil, substitute the oil in which the tomatoes are packed for infused tomato flavor. Try it over any small or medium Italian pasta cut, such as farfalle, penne, rotini, cavatappi, or—our current favorite—mafalda.
Rosemary and Ravioli Chicken Soup
Gnocchi with Mozzarella, Broccolini, and Warm Anchovy Sauce
A tin of anchovies and shelf-stable potato pillows (aka gnocchi) team up in this Italian pasta dish. The chewy gnocchi is accented by melty cheeses and crisp-tender broccolini. Marinate all that in a savory sauce of fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil for a supper that will transport you to a seaside cafe.
Chickpea Alfredo with Spring Veggies
Shrimp and Roasted Red Peppers
This mouthwatering Italian seafood pasta can be yours in just 25 minutes. A cool sauce of cream, white wine, and basil complements the fiery flavors of roasted red peppers in the sauce. The real star, though, is the crushed red pepper-laden shrimp.
Related: How to Cook Shrimp Like a Pro Chef
Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce
If you, like us, think potatoes are the base of some of the best Italian pasta recipes, then this gnocchi dinner is about to become one of your new go-to meals. Dried porcini mushrooms come to life in the mushroom-laden dish. Combine that mushroom mixture with leeks and white wine to complete the sauce for store-bought gnocchi. (Or try it with our homemade half-potato, half-cauliflower gnocchi!)
Gluten-Free Baked Ziti with Three Cheeses
Even if you’re steering clear of wheat, you can still dig into a cheesy Italian pasta bake. Here’s how: Opt for gluten-free ziti or penne and toss the cooked noodles with a homemade sauce that features the best of white wine cream sauce andmarinara all at once. Top with plenty of cheese and bake until bubbly.
Related: 33 Tasty Gluten-Free Recipes
Orecchiette with Ricotta and Chard Pan Sauce
Creamy ricotta tones down the slight bitterness of Swiss chard in this Italian pasta dish. Don't have bite-size orecchiette pasta on hand? Substitute a similar-size pasta like macaroni, rotini, or campanelle.