Mamma mia. Oodles of noodles. Fresh Parmesan. Simmering sauces. Let it be said that pasta dishes are perfecto. Pasta makes for a versatile meal. You can keep it light by adding a little extra virgin olive oil or make your pasta dish hearty with sauces and meat. And pasta is always a fan favorite for kids - twirling their noodles with their fork or lining up their bow ties on a plate.
We invite you to try out some of these Perfect Pasta recipes submitted from our readers.
And remember, anytime you want to share a recipe with us, please send it to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brandi Deary – Tennessee
1 package of multi-color rotini noodles
3 bell peppers (choose green, yellow, red, or orange)
1 small can chopped black olives
1 bottle Kraft Tuscan House Italian Dressing
1 package of pepperoni (turkey or original)
Cook noodles, drain, and rinse in cold water.
Mix half of a bottle of dressing with the noodles. Peel and chop cucumber. Chop bell pepper. Season veggies with salt and pepper. Mix vegetables, olives, and pepperoni with the noodles and add the remainder of the dressing. Chill and serve.
Melissa Kirschbaum - Tennessee
Veggie Baked Ziti
1 package (7 oz.) Kraft Italian Three Cheese Blend, shredded
3 cups ziti pasta, cooked, drained
2 zucchini, halved, thinly sliced
½ lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 jar (24 oz.) chunky spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon oregano leaves, dried
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Reserve ¾ cup cheese. Combine all remaining ingredients.
Spoon into a large (13X9) casserole dish. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.
Alison Lewis - Alabama
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
4-1/2 cups fresh kale
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 (26 oz.) jar marinara sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (16 oz.) container low sodium 2% milk fat cottage cheese
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
1 egg white
12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and divided
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until onion is browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in kale and spinach. Cook 5 minutes or until kale and spinach are tender. Stir in marinara sauce and red pepper flakes; cook 5 to 7 minutes more.
In a separate bowl, combine cottage cheese, ricotta, Parmesan and egg, mixing well.
Spread 1/2 cup kale mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Top with 3 lasagna noodles, kale mixture and cheese. Layer 3 more lasagna noodles, remaining kale mixture, and remaining cheese.
Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until lasagna is browned on top. Let cool slightly before serving.
Brittany Rodgers – Mississippi
1 lb. box of spaghetti
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 (12 oz.) box of Velveeta cheese
3 chicken breasts, boneless
Hard boil chicken breasts for 20 minutes or until done.
Combine cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken, Rotel tomatoes, and Velveeta cheese into a double boiler.
Shred your chicken by hand (desirable size) and mix into your double boiler.
Combine noodles with sauce, if desired.
Andrea S. Craig-Foster - Alabama
Cajun Fettuccine Alfredo
1 lb. sautéed shrimp and or crawfish tails
1 lb. smoked sausage or Andouille sausage
1 lb. chicken breast
1 lb. Fettuccine, cooked
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 jar Ragu Roasted Garlic Parmesan Pasta Sauce
1 jar Ragu Cheesy Classic Alfredo Pasta Sauce
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Blackening spice to taste Cajun seasoning to taste
Dredge the chicken breasts in the blackening spice and sauté in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over very high heat. Blacken both sides of the chicken. Cook until flesh is opaque. Slice in strips on the bias and set aside. Repeat process with the sausage; omit blackening seasoning. Repeat process with the shrimp; omit slicing.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic and lightly caramelize. Then add the onions and bell peppers. Cook until onions are translucent.
In a saucepan warm the pasta sauce. Add Cajun seasoning to taste. Stir in meat and vegetable mixtures. Nest the pasta on large rimmed plates, pour sauce over pasta, and garnish with light sprinkling of Cajun seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
Melissa Kirschbaum - Tennessee
Italian-Style Garlic Shrimp Pasta
1 lb. thin spaghetti
1 lb. shrimp deveined, peeled, tails removed
2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus the juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup white vermouth or 1/3 cup of dry white wine
2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, fresh and chopped
20 basil leaves, fresh and torn/shredded
Heat a large pot of water for the pasta. When the water boils, salt it and cook the pasta al dente.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a little salt. Add the EVOO to the hot pan and then add the shrimp. Cook for a minute, and then add the garlic and tomatoes and toss, cooking for another minute or two until the shrimp are firm and pink. Add the white vermouth (or dry white wine) and the herbs (parsley and basil).
Turn off the heat. Drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Toss and combine the sauce with the pasta and season with salt and black pepper.
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