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Pasta Night, Reinvented

Freshen up your favorite weeknight go-to dinner with these twists on sauces, noodles, cheeses and add-ins.

Not Your Nonna’s Spaghetti Carbonara

Not Your Nonna’s Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

As the mom of two kids, pasta figures into our dinner plans weekly. Even if you’re not a parent, chances are pasta is one of your go-to dinners as well. It’s so quick and easy to prepare that we all have boxes of dried pasta in our pantries at the ready.

However, enjoying pasta weekly doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same old flavor combinations. By changing up sauces, vegetables, proteins or pasta shapes, you can make pasta night exciting again!

If you’re looking to expand your weekly pasta night, try these variations:

  • Get stuffed! Cook up large pasta shells and fill them with your favorite cheese mixture. (Bonus: This is a great dish for stocking the freezer!)

  • Create your own pesto using ingredients you already have, swapping hearty greens or carrot tops for basil, and walnuts or almonds for pine nuts.

  • Make a creamy vegan sauce using almondmilk or another alternative milk as the base.

  • Try whole-wheat pasta varieties to add nutty flavor and extra fiber.

  • Add miso to pan sauces for a burst of umami.

  • Top off your pasta with seafood such as shrimp or smoked salmon.

  • Use meat as flavoring (like a condiment) rather than the main attraction. Bacon, prosciutto and pancetta are all great options for adding to pasta.

  • Use a combination of cheeses in your favorite macaroni and cheese rather than just cheddar. Smoked gouda is a great option!

  • Stir in fiery condiments like gochujang or harissa for a spicy take on the standard tomato sauce.

  • Transform leftover pasta into a pasta salad, pasta casserole or pasta frittata.

 Here are some of my favorite recipes for inspiration.

Baked Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells
Farfalle Pasta with Winter Pesto
Mushroom "Alfredo"
Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Lemon Pasta
Stovetop Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese
Pasta Frittata with Chard, Bacon and Goat Cheese

 
Pasta Frittata with Chard, Bacon and Goat Cheese Recipe
 
How do you like to enjoy pasta night? Share your favorite recipes in the comments!

 

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