20 Dishes That Highlight Delicious Varieties of Pasta
Pasta is widely considered the ultimate comfort food. Even gluten-sensitive stomachs previously denied the pleasures of pasta can now enjoy gluten-free rice- and quinoa-based pastas of all shapes and sizes. Aside from being delicious and easy to prepare, pasta is also inexpensive and shelf stable, making it a good item to buy in bulk. Boxes of pasta that easily contain four servings can cost as little as $1. These dishes highlight some favorite ways to use pasta that span many cultures and appeal to all ages.
Most everyone from young to old celebrates the marriage of long noodles with tangy, sweet tomato sauce rich in garlic, onion, and herbs (there's even a National Spaghetti Day on Jan. 4). Personalize this classic American-Italian dish by perfecting homemade sauce and fortifying it with additions of your choice, such as sausage, meatballs, roasted mushrooms, or baked fennel.
Of all the pasta shapes, pappardelle is the one most commonly paired with ragù. The wide, flat noodles make a good companion to the hearty sauce. With a recipe from Eataly, a wine and mushroom ragù takes on impressive depth of flavor, elevating dinner parties or even a low-key night. Yet this dish is surprisingly easy and incredibly satisfying.
Bucatini may be the most indulgent pasta shape, in the form of long, hollow tubes that get filled with sauce for an explosion of flavor in every bite. A simple yet decadent sauce recipe from Mario Batali gets its big flavor punch from cured pork like bacon or pancetta, although mushrooms and capers would make a zesty and savory vegetarian option.