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Pasta Recipes

Personal Favorite Pasta Recipes

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There are a great many pasta recipes on this site, and I have put together a number of collections of pasta recipes -- winter pasta recipes, summer pasta recipes, red sauced pasta recipes and so on. Here are some of my favorite pasta recipes, arranged roughly by how long it takes to make them: Quickest first.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio - Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil

This pasta recipe is the one dish almost all Italian men know how to make. Add hot pepper, and it becomes Rome's classic Aglio Olio e Peperoncino.

Maccheroni Cacio e Burro - Macaroni and Cheese

Pasta seasoned with melted butter and grated cheese is about as simple as it gets. Very good too, and it's an absolute favorite with kids. We use unsalted butter -- most Italian butter is unsalted -- and you may find you like it better than salted butter. In terms of cheese, I use Parmigiano, freshly grated. Last thing: If you add a dusting of freshly grated black pepper, you have maccheroni (or whatever pasta you are using) cacio e pepe, another classic.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara - Charcoal Maker's Spaghetti

Though the Romans claim to have invented this astonishingly simple and mouth watering dish, some say spaghetti alla carbonara was developed by Umbrian charcoal burners. Others say it was invented as a way to use bacon and eggs bought on the black market from American service personnel during the Second World War. In any case, it was one of my mother's favorite pasta recipes, and is one of the few dishes in which bacon can be substituted for the pancetta or guanciale.

Trenette Al Pesto - Trenette With Pesto Sauce

This is a classic Ligurian pasta recipe in which trenette (similar to spaghetti) are cooked with string beans and potatoes. And the combination, seasoned with abundant pesto sauce, is very nice (and a good way to get kids to eat their veggies). But you can simply season spaghetti (or any other kind of pasta) with pesto, and it well be very good too.

Pasta ai Quattro Formaggi - Pasta Eith Four Cheeses

This pasta recipe is very simple, quite tasty, and you can tailor it to suite the tastes of your diners. For example, son R loves Gorgonzola, so I add more if daughter C (who doesn't) is at a friend's.

Pasta al Salmone - Pasta With Smoked Salmon

Pasta with smoked salmon is one of the standard Italian Valentine’s Day recipes (the versions printed are often aimed at men). Not that one need await Valentine's Day to enjoy it; you may find yourself making it frequently. This pasta recipe is based on a dish I enjoyed many years ago at Il Pantheon, a restaurant in Rome.

Paste all'Ammiraglio - A Tomatoey Pasta Salad

This tomatoey pasta salad was a standby of Adriana Lotti, who was head of staff at the academic program my father directed for a number of years in Rome. I don not know why she called it pasta all'ammiraglio, but can say that it requires first-rate tomatoes, and is wonderful when it's hot.

Sugo alla Puttanesca - Pasta Puttanesca

There are a number of stories about the origins of puttanesca sauce, the raciest being that a Puttana, or Lady of the Evening, could cook it in the time it took her to take care of a client, and enjoy it while recovering from her exertions. Whatever, it is good.

Spaghetti alle Vongole - Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

Spaghetti alle Vongole, or with Clams: Mix well, and serve!
Spaghetti alle vongole, spaghetti with clams, is one of the quickest and easiest fish-based pasta recipes I know of. There are many variations, some with tomatoes, and some without. I prefer spaghetti alle vongole in bianco (white, i.e. without tomato) because I find that the tomatoes overshadow the flavor of the clams. This recipe is both quick and easy, and though it is better with live clams, I have also made it with canned clams when camping.

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

This zesty pancetta (or guanciale) and tomato sauce is commonly associated with Lazio and Rome, but is actually from the town of Amatrice, which was just over the border into the Abruzzo before Mussolini redrew the maps. As you might expect, there are variations. Romans prefer to season bucatini, and the people of Amatrice spaghetti.

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