Pasta is a versatile option for dinner. It can be used with high-end ingredients and a restaurant-quality meal at home. Or, using simple pantry-stable ingredients you can still create a delicious meal. This week, I thought I’d share an assortment of Blue Ribbon pasta recipes for any budget.
“The homemade sauce is super yummy and very rich,” thinks Shannon Hinkle (Tucson, AZ) of her Fettuccine Alfredo With Vegetables. “My husband gives it two thumbs up!”
This homemade Alfredo sauce is rich, creamy, and very thick. I love the minced garlic flavor in the sauce. Adding broccoli, tomatoes, and green onions gives the heavy pasta dish a bit of freshness. You could even add chicken or shrimp to this dish.
Good and creamy, Alex Callegari’s (Miami, FL) Pasta and Pancetta and Peas In a Gorgonzola Sauce is an impressive pasta dinner that comes together very easily.
“This is my family’s favorite pasta dish,” shares Alex. “I have had the pleasure to serve this to the men and women that I work with at the Fire department and the honor of serving it to the President of the International Association of Professional Firefighters at a private dinner which I was asked to cook for.”
Alex’s recipe calls for paccheri which is a specialty pasta. He suggested substituting a large rigatoni which is what I did. You want a large pasta that enables ample coverage for the delicious cheese sauce.
Slightly salty from the pancetta, pops of sweetness from the peas, and earthy from gorgonzola cheese, expect big smiles on everyone’s face when they dig in.
“Baked Mostaccioli can be prepped in advance, loaded in the refrigerator, and baked at the optimum time,” explains Beth Pierce (Old Monroe, MO).
A fantastic cheesy and easy casserole that feeds a crowd. Mostaccioli pasta, used to make this dish, is similar in shape to penne but has a smooth texture rather than ridges like penne.
The Italian sausage adds just the right amount of spice to the dish. The three types of cheese make the casserole super cheesy (and delicious).
Another baked pasta dish I love is Mamma Maria’s Baked Ziti, Pasta Al Forno.
“This recipe comes from my mom, she was the best cook,” reveals Lin Kev (Wethersfield, CT). “She used to make this dish for Sunday dinner a lot.”
The homemade sauce does not have the typical seasoning in Italian dishes. So, it’s slightly sweeter than what you’d expect in a tomato sauce. When combined with savory cheese, the sweet sauce is a perfect combination.
Compared to the pasta, there isn’t a lot of meat in this recipe. The pasta is the real star of this dish.
I can’t talk about pasta dinners without talking about the ultimate pasta comfort food – macaroni and cheese.
“I had some leftover bacon that my husband cooked up for breakfast,” says Karen Wilsey (Sharon Springs, NY). “I was going to make mac cheese and decided to add the bacon to it.”
That’s how Karen came up with her wonderful Mac And Cheese With Bacon. The more cheese (and bacon) the better and this is packed with both!
Four types of cheese make for a very creamy mac and cheese. The bacon adds a bit of a salty, smoky flavor that complements the cheesy goodness.
Hopefully one of these pasta dishes sounds tasty for dinner this week. If you want more recipes, noodle around our pasta recipe collection. It is full of delicious ones.
Have you ever wanted to make pasta from scratch? The Test Kitchen came up with a recipe for fresh homemade pasta that’s easy to make at home. Simple ingredients create the most irresistible fresh pasta. Top with your favorite jarred sauce for a budget-friendly dinner.