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.
It’s just as easy to make a fresh pasta sauce as it is to boil water, thanks to the one-pot method in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. All the ingredients for a simple tomato sauce — think garlic, fresh basil and chopped tomatoes — are cooked at the same time and in the same pot as dried pasta and water, allowing the flavors to blend seamlessly and quickly. The water acts as both a cooking liquid for the noodles and the base of the sauce, while the addition of nutty Parmesan cheese at the end of cooking helps thicken the mix. Bonus: This fuss-free dinner is ready to eat in only 20 minutes.
For more hearty recipe ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: One-Pot Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Let us introduce you to your new favorite pasta sauce: salsa cruda. Its Italian name translates as “raw sauce,” and it’s typically a tomato-based mixture tossed with other fresh ingredients that are so full of flavor they don’t need to be cooked.
Pasta, beef and cheese are the foundation of many crowd-pleasing dinners: spaghetti and meatballs, pasta Bolognese and these top-rated manicotti, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Giada De Laurentiis stuffs large tube-shaped noodles with a mixture made from ground beef and three cheeses — ricotta and mozzarella for rich creaminess, and nutty Parmesan for a welcome salty bite — and covers them with her favorite bottled sauce. Before baking it, she tops the dish with another layer of mozzarella and Parmesan, which will begin to bubble in the oven.
For more hearty dinner ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Beef and Cheese Manicotti
We love coming home to a big bowl of pasta at the end of a long day, but during the hotter months our go-to cream sauces and baked pasta casseroles feel too heavy for steamy summer nights. To satisfy your carb cravings at this time of year, stick with Giada De Laurentiis’ best recipes for fresh, veggie-focused pastas that are refreshing and surprisingly light.
Pasta Ponza (pictured above)
Baking juicy tomatoes with tangy capers gives this dish bold flavors, while a breadcrumb crust delivers a satisfying crispy bite.