For those times when you just don't have the time...pasta is one of the best and most versatile ingredients, for getting dinner on the table in less than half an hour, it can't be beat!
01 of 25
One of my favorite quick pastas, this is especially great in summer, when fresh basil is in abundance. But it's easy to make a big batch of pesto sauce and freeze the extra in ice-cube trays, so that you can always have some pesto on hand even outside of summer. Just mix a few frozen cubes into your cooked pasta together with some of the pasta-cooking water.
02 of 25
This pasta sauce is so simple and quick, yet so satisfying! It takes only about 15 minutes, and the combination of creamy mascarpone cheese and lively lemon is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Use any type of noodles with this sauce and add whatever vegetables you like. Chicken or shrimp is also highly recommended for this mascarpone and lemon pasta sauce!
03 of 25
Trofie al pesto con pomodori freschi
A great way to make use of abundant late-summer basil and tomatoes, paired with toothsome, chewy trofie pasta.
04 of 25
This spicy, pungent Neapolitan classic is so easy to whip up in just about the same amount of time it takes to boil the pasta. Also find out about the true origins of the slightly scandalous name! ("Puttanesca" translates literally to "prostitute-style.")Continue to 5 of 25 below.
05 of 25
A super-simple sauce made with tomato puree, shallots and fresh basil leaves. Light and uncomplicated.
06 of 25
Salsa di noci
This easy, no-cook sauce from Liguria is great on gnocchi or filled pastas such as ravioli or tortellini, as well as on spaghetti or even simply spread on bread.
07 of 25
Spaghetti all'aglio, olio e peperoncino
A simple but savory staple from Naples -- spaghetti tossed with extra-virgin olive oil in which a bit of garlic and red chile pepper (either dried or fresh) have been sauteed -- is one of the simplest, quickest, and yet most satisfying, pasta dishes of all. I like to top it with a bit of chopped parsley and toasted breadcrumbs as well.
08 of 25
Pasta ai broccoli
A quick and nutritious weeknight go-to, in which the pasta and broccoli cook together in the same pot.Continue to 9 of 25 below.
09 of 25
A simple classic -- pasta tossed in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
10 of 25
11 of 25
Pesto alla trapanese
A refreshing twist on the classic Genovese basil-and-pine nut pesto, this version from the town of Trapani, in Sicily, uses almonds and fresh tomatoes.
12 of 25
A simple but elegant dish for spring or fall, when artichokes are in peak season.Continue to 13 of 25 below.
13 of 25
A Sicilian summer favorite: fresh tagliatelle tossed with fried zucchini slices, grated ricotta salata cheese and fresh mint leaves.
14 of 25
A quick and easy springtime dish.
15 of 25
A wonderfully fresh take on aglio, olio and peperoncino spaghetti, with lightly sauteed cherry tomatoes and topped with chopped fresh arugula and chives -- perfect for hot summer days.
16 of 25
Orecchiette rose' con gamberi e rucola
Crisp, peppery fresh arugula perfectly balances tender shrimp and thick, chewy orecchiette, lightly coated with a savory, creamy tomato sauce.Continue to 17 of 25 below.
17 of 25
Insalata di pasta al verde
A springtime green pasta salad made with fresh green peas, fava beans, asparagus, spinach and watercress.
18 of 25
Fusilli al tonno con capperi e limone
One of my all-time favorite recipes, this dish is great on a warm summer's night with a crisp, dry white wine.
19 of 25
A comforting classic with a savory, creamy sauce of eggs, garlic and crisp pancetta...there is really no need to add cream, if you've made this dish correctly, because the egg sauce is already so rich and velvety.
20 of 25
A rich, pink tomato-cream sauce in which the vodka, while it can't be tasted itself in the final dish, helps to bring out flavor in the tomatoes, keep the tomatoes and cream from separating, and balance the heaviness of the cream.Continue to 21 of 25 below.
21 of 25
A creamy four-cheese sauce (Gorgonzola, Fontina, Parmigiano and Pecorino) that works great on any type of pasta or gnocchi. It works particularly well on short shapes, like penne, farfalle (bow-tie pasta), or shells.
22 of 25
Golden chanterelles (known as gallinacci, galletti or finferli in Italian and girolles in French) are in season from approximately July to September, depending on the area, so that's the time to take advantage of these highly prized and flavorful mushrooms.
23 of 25
Mafalde con gamberi e zucchine
This summery, zesty dish combines refreshing mint and lemon with tender prawns, chewy pasta and aromatic capers.
24 of 25
Pasta alla Norma is a classic dish, made with fried eggplants, tomato sauce, and ricotta salata, originating in the Sicilian city of Catania. Allegedly it was created by a Catanese chef in tribute to the opera 'Norma,' by 19th-century composer Vincenzo Bellini, also from Catania.Continue to 25 of 25 below.
25 of 25
Pasta con prosciutto cotto e piselli
A simple and comforting dish from the Emilia-Romagna region, which can be made with fresh or frozen green peas.