What weighs 2.7 millions tons and goes great with marinara? If you guessed the amount of pasta Americans consumed in 2014, you’re right! While the dictionary defines pasta as “a food made from a mixture of flour, water and sometimes eggs that is formed into different shapes,” they can’t define our love affair with it. Since its conception in China circa 3000 B.C. (allegedly), the world has been head over noodles in love with this glutenous goodness. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of vino and follow along as we list seven of our favorite pasta recipes.
A Whole Lotta Pasta
There are currently more than 600 types of pasta and we’re grateful for every single one; because pasta doesn’t discriminate. Whether you’re making fresh pasta from scratch for a dinner party or on a romantic first date with higher-class pooch, it never fails to sauce things up. Let the salivating commence.
1. Donal Skehan’s Pasta Alfredo
This recipe takes us back to the basics. This brave Irish lad opts out of using cream in his alfredo, but he uses plenty of parmesan to make up for it. And how long can you stay mad at someone who’s grating cheese?
2. Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables
Let’s just call this one what it is: Healthy with a side of cheese guilt. Giada perfectly joins pasta and vegetables to create a dish that might fool even the best of jerky lovers into skipping meat for dinner.
3. Martha Stewart’s One Pot Pasta
The queen of all things home executes this delicacy in record time. In just 20 minutes, she brings to a life a delicious pasta that’s not only easy to make, but also requires just one pan. We guarantee there’ll be no trouble finding a happy eater for clean-up duty.
4. Emeril’s Clam Linguine
If you’re looking to bring out the “Bam!” in your cooking, look no further than this classic. With his larger-than-life personality, Emeril entertains throughout the process with a dish you can smell through the screen. For obvious reasons, “as happy as a clam” comes to mind.
5. Chef John’s Lobster Mac and Cheese
If we were to write a tabloid headline for this dish, it would be “The nostalgic mac and cheese goes black-tie.” Chef John combines the taste of the ocean with pasta and bubbling cheese for a kick that not even the crustacean regrets.
6. Sarah Carey’s Baked Tortellini with Bacon
We all know there’s nothing better than the smell of bacon in the morning, but why stop there? This recipe takes bacon out for dinner in a sizzling pasta creation that’s sure to heat things up.
7. Jamie Oliver’s Easy Family Lasagna
Follow along as Mr. Oliver serves up a treat that’ll have the whole family fighting for seconds. And he settles the age-old battle between red or white sauce in the only way possible—a flavor match in the oven. Save the white tablecloth for a later date.
As authentic as old Italy
There’s no denying pasta’s glorious ascent to popularity was well deserved. It has stood the test of time and the recipes are as varied as the shapes. But like any good thing, it starts with a quality foundation. Making a top-notch pasta dough shouldn't be taken lightly (neither should the cheese you layer on later). For good practice, give the resident dough-maker the ultimate cooking gift for men to help him ascend from penne-less all the way to pasta perfection. Buon appétito!