Pasta is a crowd pleaser that satisfies the appetites of both children and adults. When you want to serve more than just a dish of pasta topped with spaghetti sauce, you can explore the many ingredients that can be added to it. Try out these flavorful and colorful pasta dinner ideas for your family tonight.
The word “primavera” in Italian means “spring.” When you make primavera pasta, you bring the color and vibrancy of spring into an otherwise boring dish of pasta.
To make primavera pasta, you need:
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- One cup of chopped carrots
- One minced garlic clove
- Two cups of cherry tomatoes
- One cup of chicken broth
- One cup of asparagus cut lengthwise
- One cup of frozen peas
Sauté the carrots and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and salute for another 30 seconds before adding the broth. Bring to a boil and add the asparagus and frozen peas. Reduce heat to medium high and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add them to your pasta and then top the dish with grated Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped basil.
This dish turns out perfectly when you use penne or elbow pasta. In addition, you need:
- One cup of chopped onion
- Four tomatoes cut into wedges
- Two cups of sliced button mushrooms
- Olive oil
- Freshly chopped basil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium heat before adding the onions. Sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add the tomatoes and sliced mushrooms and cook for another 20 minutes. When the sauce is thickened, season it with salt and pepper. Add it to your pasta and then top with fresh basil.
Three cheese pasta is easy to make with tortellini or elbow pasta. To make this dish, you need:
- One cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup of Edam, Gruyere or Emmental cheese
- One cup of mozzarella or fontina cheese
- ½ cup of butter cut into small pieces
After you boil your pasta to al dente, add the three cheeses and butter pieces to it. Stir it well until the pasta is coated with the cheese and the butter is melted. If it appears too dry, add ½ cup of the pasta water to loosen it. Top your pasta with black pepper to taste.
- Fresh tomato tagliatelle is made with:
- Six to seven seeded and diced tomatoes
- One crush garlic clove
- Five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- One cup of freshly grated mozzarella
- One teaspoon of fresh lemon zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil together with your boiled pasta. Top the dish with the mozzarella cheese and fresh lemon zest and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
These pasta dishes are easy to make and go way beyond just topping pasta with jarred sauce. Enjoy their complex flavors and colors with your family tonight.