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Easy Italian Pasta Recipes

Updated on September 13, 2014

Italian Pasta Recipes are Simple and Tasty!

Some of the most famous and tasty pasta dishes come from Italy. While many varieties of Italian pasta dishes are created from scratch, quick and easy Italian meals can be made with a few simple pre-made ingredients you can grab at the grocery store. Short cutting your way to Italian pasta recipes isn't going to slight your meal, but rather give you the opportunity to replicate these delicious dishes so that your entire family can enjoy yummy Italian cooking.

This lens is dedicated to offering quick and easy Italian pasta dishes that are so tempting, your taste buds will almost be fooled between the difference in store bought versus homemade Italian cooking. You'll be pleasantly surprised at these Italian meals that not only cost less to make, but are also prepared quickly for those of us that are constantly on the go.

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Beautiful Italian Music

I love listening to Italian songs while I cook Italian meals. The melodies make me feel like I'm a part of the beautiful Italian culture while I cook the most delicious Italian recipes. Check these songs out to get you in the mood for dinner!

"Italian Penne Pasta Salad"

Delicious Italian ingredients including penne pasta, olives, oregano, sundried tomatoes, and roasted sweet peppers, are tossed together with Asiago Peppercorn Dressing for a quick and easy dish that's sure to please the whole family.

You Will Need:

1 cup Marzetti Asiago Peppercorn Dressing

1 lb penne pasta

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

8 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 (16 oz) jar pitted kalamata olives, halved

1 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning

6 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, diced

2 medium roasted sweet peppers (in jar) packed in water, sliced thin

1 (6 oz) package baby spinach leaves, cleaned


1. Fill a medium sauce pan approximately 3/4 full of water, high on medium high heat until water comes to a boil.

2. Add penne pasta and cook until al dente, or 10-12 minutes.

3. Set pasta aside to cool.

4. Grill chicken breast in a medium pan until no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes per side.

5. Cut into 3 inch strips and set aside.

6. In large bowl, combine all ingredients with Marzetti Asiago Peppercorn Salad Dressing, toss well, and serve.

Italian Dishes Made Simple

Real Italian cooking doesn't have to be difficult and time consuming. Food Network offers some great information on the basics of Italian cooking for those who love Italian recipes, but are fearful of time constraints...

Italian Cooking Basics

"Italian Spaghetti With Meat Sauce and Mozzarella"

Ground beef sautéed with garlic, onion, and tomatoes turns plain pasta into a hearty Italian meal. This easy Italian pasta dish takes only 25 minutes to complete and is a delicious recipe your family will absolutely enjoy.

You Will Need:

12 oz spaghetti

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

salt and pepper

3/4 lb ground beef chuck

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 lbs beefsteak or plum tomatoes, chopped

6 oz bocconcini (small balls of mozzarella), halved

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


1. Cook pasta according to the package directions.

2. Drain and return it to the pot.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

4. Add the onion, garlic, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

5. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Add beef to the skillet and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

7. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

8. Add the tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 5 to 7 minutes more (add up to ¼ cup water if the pan is dry).

9. Add the beef mixture, bocconcini, and basil to the pasta and toss to combine and serve.

Italian Kitchen Decor

Real Italian Cuisine Comes From the Wonderful Cities of Italy

I've personally never been to Italy, but it's one of the countries I would love to visit. Not only would I love to learn about real Italian cooking from the pros, but I'd love to tour the vineyards and discover the history behind the beautiful country itself. Would you love to visit Italy as well?

What Italian city would you most love to visit?

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Beautiful Italy...Yes, This is Where Delicious Italian Pasta Dishes Originate!

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Learn to Make Homemade Italian Pasta at Home

I found this great site where you can learn step by step to make delicious homemade Italian pasta at home! Check it out and let me know what you think. It's a bit of a lengthy process, but the results are so tasty you'll want to create Italian pasta again and again.

Ciao Chow Linda: How to Make Homemade Pasta

"Italian Pasta Primavera"

This easy Italian pasta recipe is not only delicious, but also healthy because it incorporates raw olive oil and fresh ingredients. Eat alone for a great lunch time meal or add diced, grilled chicken for a complete dinner dish. Either way, this Italian recipe is sure to please everyone in your family.

You Will Need:

4 tomatoes cut in cubes

1/2 lb Italian mozzarella, cubed

Basil leaves


Extra virgin olive oil

4 cups of short shaped pasta




1. Fill medium pan 3/4 full of water and heat on medium high heat to boiling, add pasta.

2. While boiling the water, take a piece of garlic and rub it against medium size serving bowl (it will give an aroma without leaving the garlic strong taste).

3. Add tomatoes, mozzarella, basil leaves, salt and abundant extra virgin olive oil; mix to taste.

4. When the pasta is done (approximately 10-12 minutes boiled), strain it and run it under cold water from the tap (the water will drain through the straimer and will lower the temperature, otherwise it could melt the mozzarella).

5. Add the pasta to the tomato mix and stir it well.

6. Leave it rest for a couple of hours in the refrigerator if you have the time, if can serve it warm.

The Different Types of Italian Pasta

Italian pasta is made of only the highest quality wheat called "durum semolina". It contains high levels of gluten that allow it to be perfectly cooked to the right consistency. There are nearly 350 types of Italian pasta available for creating delicious pasta recipes. While it's obviously not possible to list them all here, I can give you an idea of some of the main types of Italian pasta used in many homemade Italian recipes. The main thing to remember about Italian pasta is that you'll always want to cook it "al dente"...meaning that it is firm, but tender at the same time (usually boiled for about 10-12 minutes, but cook time for pasta will be listed on it's package). For more information about all the different types of Italian pasta used in Italian dishes, please check out the link below...

Your Guide to Italy: Types of Pasta

1. Agnolotti (ahn-yo-LOH-tee) - Stuff pasta that's usually a half-circular or circular shape, stuffed with meat.

2. Bigoli (bee-GOH-lee) - Whole wheat or buckwheat pasta that's like thick spaghetti and found mainly in the Veneto region.

3. Bucatini (boo-kah-TEE-nee) - Also basically like spaghetti in shape, except that it's hollow in the middle. Its name means "little hole."

4. Cannelloni (kahn-nel-LOH-nee) - Large tubes that can be hand or machine-made and smooth or ridged. They are usually filled with meat before being covered in a meat sauce and then baked.

5. Cavatappi (kah-vah-TAHP-pee) - Name means "corkscrews," and it's shaped as such. They're hollow like macaroni, but twisted.

6. Cavatelli (kah-vah-TEL-lee) - Short pieces of pasta with a rolled edge, so that they look like small, hollow tubes.

7. Conchiglie (kohn-KEE-lee-eh) - Seashell-shaped dried pasta.

8. Farfalle (far-FAHL-leh) - Bow-tie dried pasta, the word actually means "butterflies."

9. Fusilli (foo-SEEL-lee) - Similar to the cavatappi in that they're shaped like corkscrews, but they're flat pieces of pasta that have been twisted instead of round pieces. The word means "little spindles."

10. Gemelli (jeh-MEHL-lee) - It's meaning is "twins" and looks like two short pieces of pasta twisted together. It's actually one piece of pasta, but it looks like twins.

11. Gnocchi (NYO-kee) - Thumb-sized pieces of thick pasta, usually made from potatoes, and actually likely comes from the Middle East.

12. Lumaconi (loo-mah-KOH-nee) - Means "big snails," and resembles a snail shell. It's hollow tube that's been folded in half.

13. Orecchiette (or-eh-KYEH-teh) - Small bowl-shaped pastas (as if you pressed your thumb into a circular piece of pasta). It means "little ears."

14. Pappardelle (pahp-par-DEL-leh) - Big flat ribbon of pasta although it's not as wide as a lasagne noodle, but significantly wider than fettuccine.

15. Pici (PEE-chee) - A specialty in Tuscany that's like thick spaghetti, but is hand-rolled and irregular in shape.

16. Radiatore (rah-dee-ah-TOR-eh) - Means "radiator" in that it's shaped like little mini radiators.

17. Rigatoni (ree-gah-TOH-nee) - Small tube-shaped pasta with a larger opening than penne and with straight-cut ends. The name is based in the Italian word for "ridged."

18. Stringozzi (streen-GOHTS-zee) - Looks much like a thick version of spaghetti. It's name refers to the Italian word for "shoe laces."

19. Strozzapreti (strots-zah-PREH-tee) - Means "priest chokers" and is similar to cavatelli in that it's a flat piece of pasta that's been hand-rolled on the edges to create a hollow tube.

20. Tortellini (tor-tell-LEE-nee) - Small stuffed pasta that's shaped like a half-moon with the stuffing at one side and the pointy edges of the pasta connected at the other. They're usually stuffed with cheese or meat (Tortelloni are just big versions of tortellini).

21. Trofie (TROH-fee-eh) - Similar to strozzapreti, although rather than just a rolled edge it's actually twisted in the rolling, so the ends are pointy.

22. Vermicelli (vehr-mee-CHEL-lee) - Long pasta like spaghetti, only a bit thinner, and its name means "little worms."

Almost Everyone Loves Italian Pasta!

What is your favorite type of Italian pasta?

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"Classic Italian Lasagna"

This delicious Italian pasta recipe is an old fashioned take on homemade Italian lasagna. It's made with homemade sauce and filled with ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, and lots of provolone and mozzarella cheese. Serve this pasta dish with crusty Italian bread.

You Will Need:

9 thick slices bacon, diced

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

2 (28 ounce) cans tomato sauce

2 pounds Italian sausage

1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles

2 pints part-skim ricotta cheese

2 eggs

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/3 cup milk

8 slices provolone cheese

6 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Brown bacon and onion in a large pan over medium heat.

2. Stir in fennel seed, 1 teaspoon oregano, Italian seasoning, and tomato sauce.

3. Cover, and simmer on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until thick.

4. Brown sausage links in a large skillet. Drain on paper towels. Cut into 1 inch pieces.

5. Mix together ricotta cheese, egg, milk, parsley, and 1 teaspoon oregano in a medium bowl.

6. Layer 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Layer with 1/3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1/2 ricotta cheese mixture, 1/2 sausage pieces, 1/3 mozzarella, and 1/2 provolone cheese. Top with 1/3 sauce. Repeat layers.

7. Top with remaining 1/3 noodles. Spread remaining sauce over the top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 mozzarella cheese.

8. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 1/2 hours.

Easiest Way to Cook Italian Pasta

And make it a meal everytime

The fastest and easiest way to cook Italian pasta for any meal is this...

1. Pick any of the Italian pastas listed above.

2. Boil pasta as per package directions (usually for 10-12 minutes to make it al dente).

3. Add extra virgin olive oil and a few sprinkles each of garlic salt, garlic powder, onion salt, onion powder, a dash of salt and pepper, and a few dashes of Parmesan cheese.

4. Mix until thoroughly blended.

You can use this quick method of Italian pasta cooking either as a lunch time meal or snack, side dish (garlic spaghetti), or add browned hamburg or grilled chicken for a fully prepared meal. It takes minutes to prepare and is super delicious! Hint: for an added kick of spice, toss in a few dashes of dried, crushed red peppers.

Hint: you can add vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, zucchini, corn, onions, mushrooms, and red/green peppers for a warm pasta side dish. Or, rinse pasta under cold water and add celery, onion, peppers, and Italian dressing for a cold pasta side dish.

Wonderful Site With Tons of Authentic Italian Pasta Recipes

Some of the recipes are a little bit time consuming, but most are easy to re-create and all are delicious! Check out the link below...

Authentic Italian Pasta Recipes

Got an Italian pasta recipe to share? Or just have comments you'd like to offer? Leave them here.

Lets Get Cooking...the Italian Way! - What's Your Favorite Italian Pasta Recipe?

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    • girlfriendfactory profile image


      5 years ago

      So nice to find a lens with some yummy recipes! I adore pasta and we eat it a couple times a week some weeks! I do like to add chicken to it quite often!

    • girlfriendfactory profile image


      5 years ago

      So nice to find a lens with some yummy recipes! I adore pasta and we eat it a couple times a week some weeks! I do like to add chicken to it quite often!

    • girlfriendfactory profile image


      5 years ago

      So nice to find a lens with some yummy recipes! I adore pasta and we eat it a couple times a week some weeks! I do like to add chicken to it quite often!

    • nyclittleitaly profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a really great lens. I have to tell you again. Looking at this lens i gain 20 pounds but who really cares. Thank you.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 

      6 years ago

      Your recipe looks delicious.

    • Vortrek Grafix profile image

      Vortrek Grafix 

      6 years ago

      Spaghetti all Vongole or Ciopino, both seafood pasta recipes, are great when eaten in an authentic Italian restaurant. At home we love to make "Spaghetti alla Pescatore Pazzo". Translated from Italian means "Crazy Fisherman's Spaghetti".. So named for the "crazy" amounts of herbs, spices, garlic, olive oil, and wine the recipe allows in the seafood pasta sauce.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      All this foodie stuff is making me hungry. If I knew you, I'd probably weigh 300lbs...but I would be happy! Pasta and Ice Cream! Just no chocolate sauce over the spaghetti, please! Blessed.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image


      6 years ago

      Great recipes and a great lens. Thank you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Delicious recipes and tips for a yummy good time!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      favorite pasta dish would have to be lasgana, I know thats easy and boring but as a dude, my favorite. Glad I browsed on your lens tonight and gave you a 'thumbs up' too.

    • Bercton1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Reading and looking at your lens make feel hungry. I love pasta! nice lens!

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 

      7 years ago from SE Michigan

      That spaghetti recipe looks great. I never thought to add cheese to the sauce. We always just add cheese to the top. Thanks for sharing your recipe.


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