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25 Italian Pasta Recipes

5 from 3 votes

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Your go-to list of the best Italian pasta recipes! Make easy, delicious meals, many of them in 30 minutes or less. From creamy sauces, savory tomato sauces and rich meat ragus, you’ll find something to love.

Italian pasta dish bucatini with tomato sauce in a bowl with a fork.

Pasta never fails to be a crowdpleaser. We could eat it every day! I’ve gathered some of the best Italian pasta recipes, all using simple pantry staples and many can be made quickly in one skillet. Making pasta for dinner means everyone from kids to adults are going to be happy.

Growing up in an Italian family pasta was part of almost every meal. As a professional chef, I learned to show my love for pasta by creating pasta recipes that sing with flavor. And of course, pasta is the ultimate comfort food. Dress it up or down, serve it old-school meatballs, or simply eat a plate of lasagna on the couch.

Grab a large pot, put some water on to boil and cook pasta for dinner tonight!

Ingredients to pair with pasta

  • Cheese: The list is almost endless, but these are the basics: Grating: Parmesan cheese, Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano cheese or Asiago, Creamy and soft: Ricotta, feta or goat cheese. Melting cheeses: Fontina, Mozzarella.
  • Tomatoes: Arguably, tomatoes and tomato sauce are the perfect partner for pasta. Authentic southern Italian Neapolitan dishes are based on the red and juicy pomodoro.
  • Anchovies: The key ingredient in a spaghetti alla puttanesca sauce, these little preserved fish are loaded with umami.
  • Capers: A type of brined flower bud, capers add tang and zest to sauces.
  • Olives: Salty, meaty olives pair so well with garlic and Mediterranean flavors.
  • Chili: Italian pastas are never off the charts spicy. Rather, crushed red pepper flakes, fresh and dried chilis and peperoncini all add a layer of warmth and complexity to pasta dishes.
  • Garlic: An essential for just about any pasta sauce, especially an aglio e olio sauce with olive oil.
  • Fresh herbs: Fresh basil and parsley contribute color and fresh flavor as a finishing touch. Dried herbs like thyme, oregano and marjoram give pasta a wonderful aromatic flavor.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted butter adds a distinctive richness to any pasta dish, and you don’t need to use much to taste it.
  • Olive oil: Use a good everyday extra-virgin oil. Even if you only have cheese and olive oil in the house, you’ll can make a satisfying pasta meal.
  • Cream: Combined with cheese, creamy pasta is the perfect comfort food.
  • Eggs: There would be no spaghetti carbonara without egg yolks! Eggs bind with hot pasta water to make a creamy sauce for classic pasta dishes like cacio e pepe.
  • Pesto: Having store-bought or homemade pesto sauce on hand means you can pull together an easy meal anytime, on the fly. Penne with pesto is classic.
  • Meat: Traditionally, meat is more of a garnish for pasta or a separate course altogether. But there’s no question that Italian sausage (made with pork) or braised beef make the best ragu. Cured and uncured products such as bacon, prosciutto and guanciale make delicious one-dish pasta dinners.
  • Vegetables: Pasta and vegetables makes the best vegetarian red peppers.

Find your favorite recipe in this list of Italian pasta dishes. Buon appetito!

Italian pasta recipes with tomato sauce

A pasta bowl and fork with spaghetti and puttanesca sauce.

Classic Puttanesca Sauce

This recipe for classic Italian puttanesca pasta sauce makes an amazing thick, rich tomato sauce in about 15 minutes. With capers, anchovies, olives and garlic galore, you'll be craving this sauce on the regular!
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Bucatini all'amatriciana in a bowl with a fork.

25-Minute Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Take a trip to Rome in your own kitchen with this quick and easy recipe for classic Italian bucatini all'amatriciana, made with pancetta, white wine and tomatoes.
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Tomato sauce in a skillet, with a wood spoon and bowl of chili flakes on the side.

Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce

A fast, easy family recipe for classic Italian arrabbiata sauce — a spicy, rich-tasting tomato sauce for pasta, chicken, pizza and more!
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Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta with Ricotta

Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce

The quickest burst cherry tomato sauce made under your broiler! This juicy fresh pasta sauce is ready in 15 minutes or less. Serve with creamy ricotta or mozzarella for an incredible Italian-style dinner.
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Penne alla “Vodka” with Creamy Tomato Sauce

You must try this delicious twist on a classic vodka pasta sauce! The secret to the incredibly tasty cream sauce is that it uses gin instead of vodka, along with tomato puree and fresh rosemary. This dish is makes a quick, plush-tasting pasta dinner you'll crave again and again.
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Pastas with cream sauce

Creamy Lemon Pasta (al Limone)

Pappardelle al Limone is an easy and QUICK creamy lemon pasta recipe you'll make again and again: Wide pappardelle pasta noodles in a no-cook lemon Parmesan cream sauce.
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Linguine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Linguine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce is the best date-night in or weeknight vegetarian pasta recipe. Easy and absolutely delicious creamy mushroom pasta sauce with chunky mushrooms, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Yum!
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Creamy Pasta Fagioli Soup with Kale

This creamy, hearty pasta e fagioli soup is loaded with beans, vegetables and cheese. It's vegetarian and ready to enjoy in about 30 minutes (use a pressure cooker or cook it on the stovetop). Perfect for lunch or dinner!
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Chicken pastas

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Spinach and Fontina Cheese

Baked Chicken Pasta with Spinach

Italian-style creamy chicken and pasta casserole baked with spinach and gooey melted cheese. A perfect one-dish dinner for a cozy night in.
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Dijon Chicken Pasta Salad

Dijon Chicken Pasta Salad with Herbs de Provence

This fresh chicken pasta salad recipe features flavorful herbs de Provence seasoned chicken, cannellini beans and arugula greens in a bright, lemony Dijon dressing 
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Creamy Chicken Pasta with Zucchini and Lemon

Creamy Chicken Pasta with Zucchini and Lemon

Healthy baked chicken pasta recipe: Creamy cavatelli shells with lemon, zucchini and creamy goat cheese sauce. Ready in 30 minutes.
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Italian seafood pastas

Tuna Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic

Make this easy 25-minutes tuna pasta recipe for dinner! Use canned tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, linguine or spaghetti and olive oil.
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Spaghetti, roasted cherry tomatoes and squid in a bowl with a fork on the side.

10-Minute Roasted Calamari Pasta

Rings of calamari (squid) are oven-roasted with cherry tomatoes and garlic, and served over spaghetti. A super-quick Italian seafood pasta recipe for any day of the week!
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Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

20-minute recipe for the best garlic butter shrimp pasta. This incredibly tasty "scampi" is made with sauteed shrimp in a spicy garlic butter sauce with tomatoes and fresh herbs.
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Pasta recipes with meat

Pasta noodles covered in tomato meat sauce with a fork.

30-Minute Rustic Italian Meat Sauce

This hearty homemade tomato meat sauce is rich, rustic and meaty, full of traditional red-sauce Italian-American flavors. It's perfect for a weeknight and it's ready to eat in about 30 minutes! Sauce your favorite pasta shape with this thick tomato sauce, or layer it into a cheesy lasagna.
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Bowtie Pasta with Sausage and Broccolini

A dreamy 30-minute pasta recipe! Bowtie pasta in a light, creamy sauce with Italian sausage, tangy umami-packed sun-dried tomatoes and perfectly tender broccolini. A family favorite one dish dinner.
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rigatoni with spicy sausage, fennel and broccoli rabe

Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Italian Sausage

A family-favorite one-dish dinner! A quick pasta recipe with delicious green broccoli rabe (rapini), pasta and sausage. 
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Pasta with vegetables

Papparedelle Pasta with Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle Pasta with Rosemary Portobello Mushroom Sauce

Enjoy this hearty, autumnal pappardelle pasta with fresh rosemary and portobello mushrooms in warm bowls, with a glass of red wine on the side 🙂
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Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna full of colorful vegetables and fresh tomato sauce – a healthy family favorite!
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Mushroom Bolognese Pasta

A tasty vegetarian mushroom Bolognese pasta sauce recipe, with savory mushrooms, red wine and tomato. This is a quick, flavor-packed dish!
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Pasta with egg-based sauces

Ultimate Pasta Carbonara Recipe

This tested and perfected classic pasta carbonara recipe is a winner! The best family-favorite dish with spaghetti, eggs, bacon and cheese.
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Creamy Lemon Cacio e Pepe with Peas and Pancetta

A combination of two favorite pasta recipes in one! Peppery cacio e pepe and a lemony, creamy carbonara – ready in less than 30 minutes.
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Pasta with pesto sauces

Cascatelli Pasta with Pesto and Chickpeas

Cascatelli pasta with pesto, chickpeas and kale, topped with creamy grated ricotta salata cheese. This super-tasty pasta is a satisfying meatless meal that's ready to eat in 15 minutes.
Other short pasta shapes with ridges such as penne, rigatoni or ziti will work perfectly in this recipe.
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Bucatini with Burrata and Sicilian Almond Pesto

Thick bucatini pasta noodles in a sun-dried tomato almond pesto, Sicilian-style. Quick and so delicious!
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Pappardelle Pasta with Pistachio Parsley Pesto

Pappardelle Pasta with Parsley-Pesto Sauce

Rustic pappardelle with an easy parsley pesto recipe made with parsley and pistachios. Unplug the food processor and make this simply delicious sauce right on your cutting board!
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Italian Pasta Recipes, including Tuna Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic

Karen Tedesco
A classic Italian-style pasta recipe that comes together in minutes. Use canned tuna, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and any long pasta shape like linguine or spaghetti,.
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5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can or 6 ounce jar oil-preserved tuna
  • Sea salt
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or Aleppo pepper
  • ½ cup dry-packed sundried tomatoes, cut into slivers (soak in hot water for 10 minutes if they're very dry)
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Handful chopped Italian parsley

Instructions 

  • Lift the tuna from the jar with a fork, leaving the oil in the jar. Put the tuna into a small bowl and break into smaller pieces with the fork — don't shred too much as large chunks have a nice texture.
  • Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil, adding 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat for a minute. Toss in the garlic, chili and tomatoes and cook just until the garlic starts to sizzle. Remove from the heat and stir in the tuna and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve ¼ – ½ cup of pasta water before draining. Immediately add the pasta to the skillet along with the butter. Use tongs or two large forks to toss the pasta with the sauce, adding a bit of water to loosen the sauce (you might not need all the water).
  • Sprinkle the herbs over the pasta, then taste and add more salt or chili if you like. Serve hot.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • For more briny flavor toss the pasta with 1-2 tablespoons capers, chopped olives or sliced canned artichoke hearts if you like.
  • Add about a cup of sweet peas, white beans or baby spinach to make this a heartier pasta dish.
  • The pasta will keep up to 3 days, refrigerated. It the pasta has absorbed the sauce, reheat with a little bit more olive oil along with 1-2 tablespoons water or broth.

Nutrition

Calories: 622kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 54mg | Potassium: 734mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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