Pasta la vista: The 5 best easy pasta recipes you need

July 20, 2023
by Christina Eat

    It’s hard to go wrong with a big bowl of pasta. This Italian specialty has been a home-cooking staple for generations because of its delicious versatility. Some people like theirs thick, creamy and full of comfort. Others want theirs to be bright red and extra-saucy. No matter where you fall on the scale, you’re sure to love our easy pasta recipes.

    Pasta cooking 101: Frequently asked questions

    Before we get cooking, here are some tips and tricks to take your pasta from good to absolutely belissimo.

    What does al dente mean?

    Al dente translates to “to the tooth” in English. When cooking pasta, it essentially refers to the ideal texture you want to achieve when it’s finished cooking: not too mushy, not too rigid. Al dente pasta has a slight firmness to it which provides a pleasing, slightly chewy mouthfeel. Cooking your pasta until it is al dente will elevate any easy pasta recipe to the next level.

    How do I cook my pasta until al dente?

    It can be tricky to know if your pasta is al dente just by looking at it. As a general rule, pasta removed from the boil and drained about 60-90 seconds before the instructions say it’ll be ready will be al dente. So if your pasta packet or recipe says it will be cooked (or “cottura”) in thirteen minutes, then try taking it off the stove at twelve minutes. It’ll take a bit of experimentation to get the timing perfect, but the results will be worth it!

    How much salt do I need in my pasta water?

    You may have heard the saying that pasta water should be “as salty as the sea”. This is correct! Salting your pasta water is an important part of the cooking process; failing to adequately salt yours may result in a bland finished dish.

    You may see nonnas throwing handfuls of salt into their pasta water without a care in the world. Sound intimidating? You can instead use about two to three tablespoons of salt per litre of water. If that sounds like a lot, just remember that your pasta won’t absorb it all, and it’ll go down the sink when you drain the pasta water away. This is a good ratio to keep in the back of your mind as even easy pasta recipes won’t list how much salt you need for your pasta water.

    Do I need oil in my pasta water?

    In short, the answer is no. Adding oil to your pasta water will prevent your sauce from sticking to it which won’t be any fun to eat. When you’re making a pasta salad, however, and if the recipe doesn’t call for a thick sauce, then oiling your pasta with extra virgin olive oil is okay. This will stop the pasta from clumping together and ruining your salad.

    Should I add pasta water to my pasta sauce?

    Pasta water is the salty, starchy water you drain off your pasta when it’s finished cooking. You can discard it if you wish, but we recommend reserving a cup to gradually add to your sauce in small amounts. This can help make it thick, glossy and cohesive, just like a restaurant-quality sauce! You’ll want to give this easy pasta recipe hack a crack next time you’re in the kitchen.

    Easy pasta recipes you’ll love

    Now that you know how to cook pasta like an Italian, here are our top five favourite easy pasta recipes. No matter how you like your pasta, you’re sure to find a recipe you’ll love.

    For creamy pasta lovers

    A nest of spaghetti covered in a creamy sauce dotted with mushrooms and bacon bits, all in a blue-green bowl. One of our favourite easy pasta recipes.

    Bacon & Mushroom Spaghetti

    This classic easy pasta recipe is loaded with layer upon layer of epic umami flavour. It’s all thanks to the smoky bacon, meaty mushies and lashings of grated parmesan cheese throughout. With the addition of celery, our secret ingredient for an extra hit of peppery flavour, this creamy dish is sure to become your new favourite.

    Grab this pasta recipe here, or add it to your next box – full of perfectly portioned and pre-prepped ingredients – right now!

    For tomato pasta lovers

    A bowl of twisty fusilli pasta covered in an orange-ish coloured sauce, dotted with chorizo and herbs. One of our favourite easy pasta recipes.

    One-Pot Chorizo & Creamy Tomato Fusilli

    You get the best of both worlds with this classic tomato sauce laced with silky cream. Generously flavoured with chorizo, leek and parsley, your taste buds won’t know what hit ‘em, but they’ll know they want more! Put this one-pot easy pasta recipe together in just thirty minutes, then take your time savouring every bite. Grab the recipe here.

    For seafood pasta lovers

    A bowl of round shaped pasta, covered in a creamy sauce and dotted with pink/orange prawns and herbs. One of our favourite easy pasta recipes.

    Creamy Lemon & Prawn Orecchiette

    Before you put prawn pasta in the too hard basket, give this recipe a go. It comes together in four simple steps, with an elegant end result that’ll go down a treat with the whole family. A double dose of lemon brightens the cream sauce, while also tenderising the succulent prawns. It’s an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy pasta dish, if we do say so ourselves, and you can grab it here.

    For veggie pasta lovers

    A rectangular slice of lasagne with a blistered top and veggie ragu seeping out the sides.

    Portobello Mushroom & Veggie Lasagne

    No dish says comfort quite like our lasagne. From the perfectly blistered cheesy top, to the loaded layers of mushroom and veggie ragu, you’ll find mouth-watering flavours in every corner of this dish. The best part is, this easy pasta recipe won’t take you all day – it’s actually ready in just fifty minutes! That’s less time cooking, and more time eating your delectable creation (and receiving compliments about how amazing your cooking is, of course). Grab the recipe here.

    For pasta salad lovers

    A bowl of pasta salad, featuring fusilli, tomatoes and baby spinach.

    Bacon & Tomato Pasta Salad

    Looking for a quick lunch option? Whip up this pasta salad in just fifteen minutes. With crispy bacon, fresh tomato and baby spinach tossed together in creamy dill and parsley mayo, it’s hard to go wrong. This deliciously filling easy pasta recipe is sure to make you the envy of every lunchroom. Grab the recipe here.

    Like what you see?

    Find a great range of easy pasta recipes on our menu every week. They’re full of all your favourite ingredients, just like these ones. Take a look at our upcoming menu and see all the delicious pasta recipes you could sink your teeth into.

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    *Tried over 12 months ago? You can use this offer too!

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