It goes without saying that pasta is one of our favorite staple foods pretty much year-round, but especially in the winter when our love for hearty foods comes to head. It’s quick and easy, and can be dressed up to deliver satisfaction in so many ways. In light of all the pasta we’ll be enjoying this season, here’s a roundup of classic pasta dishes to cater to all sorts of savory cravings.
Though garlic is an aromatic constant in most, if not all, pasta dishes, it usually plays more of a supporting role. In Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (or with “garlic and oil”), garlic shines as the main star of a dish with little more than olive oil, salt and grated Parmesan cheese.
We’ve arrived in one of the best seasons of the year — no, I don’t mean the holiday season, which is wrapping up with today’s New Year’s Day parties. Instead, I’m talking about comfort-food season, which celebrates all things cheesy, creamy, hearty and oh so decadent. Ease your way into 2017 and keep warm all winter long with piping-hot comfort food, like the recipe featured in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. The Pioneer Woman’s fuss-free Baked Ziti is layered with a gooey mozzarella mixture, a beefy meat sauce and, of course, plenty of pasta. This top-rated casserole yields a whopping 12 servings, so keep it in mind when you’re planning for a crowd.
For more indulgent recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Baked Ziti
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.
Wander into an Italian-American household on Dec. 24 and there’s a good chance you will be dazzled by platter upon platter of delectable fishcentric dishes. This stunning array of seafood is served as part of a holiday vigil when many abstain from eating meat. Read more
Pumpkin season is short, so we want you to make the most of it. In addition to carving pumpkins and making pumpkin pie, try cooking savory dishes with pumpkin this year. These recipes incorporate the season’s most-Instagrammed produce into simple pasta dishes that are a winning combination of fresh and filling. Read more
Macaroni and cheese is great and all (actually, it’s really great — a timeless classic if ever there was one), but sometimes you want something a bit more unexpected, something that delivers the ooey-gooey comfort you know and love but is also refined. And for that there’s Giada De Laurentiis’ next-level take on a baked pasta, which she deems “a really sophisticated and elegant mac and cheese.”
Just as quick to make as a classic homemade mac and cheese, Giada’s Creamy Baked Fettuccine with Asiago and Thyme replaces the usual stovetop cheddar sauce with a mixture of two cheeses and cool creme fraiche that can simply be combined in a single bowl. Similar to sour cream, creme fraiche boasts a subtle tang, which, along with the fragrant fresh thyme, balances the richness of the Asiago and the nutty Parmesan. When the pasta is ready — Giada skips the old-school elbow noodles and opts for thick, hearty fettuccine — she tosses it with the cheese blend to create a decadent mixture that’s ready for baking. Just top it with a blanket of Asiago and let the casserole turn golden in the oven.
Don’t let of the name of this recipe fool you: This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is anything but “basic.” Giada De Laurentiis builds layer upon savory layer of flavor in her fan-favorite recipe, starting with bold garlic, sweet carrots and the rind of nutty Parmesan cheese. When these ingredients are slowly simmered with the canned cherry tomatoes, the taste turns out deeply rich and the texture thick and nearly creamy without the use of cream.
For more hearty ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Basic Parmesan Pomodoro
It’s Monday, friends, which means no one has given a single second of thought as to what they’re making for dinner this evening. But as long as you’ve got pasta, olive oil, garlic and a few mix-ins tucked away in your pantry (think Parmesan, canned tomatoes, jarred vegetables, etc.), there’s no need to panic — or resort to pricey takeout. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, two people or a panel of picky youngsters, these beat-the-clock pasta dishes offer quick and flavorsome solutions to your Monday night dinner obstacles.
Time: 30 minutes
As the name suggests, Ree Drummond’s skillet pasta won’t require a long and expensive trip to the grocery store — just a pantry raid. Canned tomatoes, jarred artichoke hearts and olives, plus some store-bought chicken stock will take the labor out of this quick and comforting weeknight meal.
Though summer may not officially end for a couple more weeks, we’re already starting to crave the richer flavors of fall now that the Labor Day weekend is behind us. To bridge the summer-fall gap this year, look no further than this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, a simple pasta dish that marries the light, fresh taste of seafood with a comforting cream sauce that’s warm and cheesy. This recipe can be on the table in just 25 minutes, which means it’s a go-to pick for those first hectic weeks of back-to-school season.
For more hearty recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
Given the proper time and space to sing the virtues of cheesy baked pasta, we could go on ad nauseam. Affordability, ease and the undeniable comfort that diners reap from a generous spoonful of hot-from-the-oven noodles and cheese are just a few reasons worth incorporating this age-old comfort dish into your weeknight dinner rotation. While it’s rare to encounter a baked pasta that’s difficult to assemble, these are just a few of our easiest, quickest and most-satisfying recipes.
With its lush blanket of bubbling-hot cheese, Robert Irvine’s traditional Baked Ziti is one weekday indulgence we’re always willing to set aside time for. Most of the prep work involves the stove top — for boiling the pasta and sauteeing the onions, garlic and tomatoes. If you preheat your oven at the onset, the dish will be ready in 55 minutes, as promised. Just pour the cooked ziti and sauteed vegetables into your baking dish and top it with mozzarella and bake until the cheese has melted down.