Healthy Pasta Recipes
Cheese Tortellini with Walnut Pesto
Here's one of the quickest pesto sauces you'll come across. It's a perfect match for cheese tortellini, but you can use other tortellini such as mushroom or meat instead. The pesto is also great with just about any plain pasta.
Spicy Tonnarelli with Clams
Fresh Chile Puttanesca
Top Chef finalist Sarah Grueneberg adds green olives, almonds and fresh chile to her bright, delicious puttanesca.
Angel Hair with Green-and-Yellow-Tomato Sauce
Jere and Emilee Gettle love the Green Zebra tomato, which is as sweet as red ones but with a citrusy tang. They toss it with yellow tomatoes for a colorful, uncooked pasta sauce.
Spaghettini with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Chile Crumbs
Dan Kluger adds crunch to this delicious shrimp and summer tomato pasta with crisp lemon-chile crumbs.
Fusilli with Summer Tomato Sauce
For this light, uncooked sauce, you must have perfectly ripe tomatoes. Be sure they're at room temperature, too, not cold. In fact, tomatoes shouldn't be refrigerated at all; chilling permanently reduces their flavor.
Spinach Fettuccine with Tangy Grilled Summer Squash
At her restaurant, Amanda Cohen tosses herb fettuccine with pickled squash blossoms and grilled zucchini. This simplified recipe features squash that's pickled and then grilled, plus freshly sautéed squash.
This hearty, fast and easy pasta is a terrific combination of spicy, salty, sweet and briny flavors.
Sauce-Simmered Spaghetti al Pomodoro
Top Chef finalist Sarah Grueneberg cooks parboiled spaghetti right in the tomato sauce so it becomes infused with flavor.
This pasta is an ode to the mountains of fried zucchini Gwyneth Paltrowate at Elio's, an Italian restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side, growing up. Here, she adds the crispy zucchini slices to spaghetti that's tossed with shredded Parmesan cheese (which adds texture to the dish) and plenty of olive oil and basil.
Penne with Smoked Chicken and Mascarpone
Kamut Spaghetti with Clams, Chicory and Parsley
Chef Paola Budel updates linguine with clams by using pasta made with kamut (an ancient variety of wheat) and adding bitter chicory and a bright parsley sauce.
Rigatoni with Sea Bass and Tomatoes
Marc Vetri uses oversize paccherri for this seafood pasta, but rigatoni works just as well with the juicy tomato sauce and fish.
Spaghettini with Tomatoes, Anchovies and Almonds
"We always ate fresh tomatoes with basil, but I never thought to add pasta to them," says Fran Parisi about Grace Parisi's spaghettini with its tasty no-cook tomato sauce. The almonds and anchovies add a bit of Sicilian flavor.
Sea Urchin Linguine
Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro
Garlicky, spicy and bright with lime, this noodle dish is both warming and energizing, according to Thai tradition. Just don't skimp on the lime wedges or cilantro: "The sour juice protects the respiratory system in the early spring," Su-Mei Yu says, "and cilantro helps when you're congested."
Carrot Macaroni and Cheese
The silky carrot puree mixed with the cheddar here is a terrific source of vitamin A and helps reduce the amount of fat in the recipe.
Spaghetti with Clams and Garlic
I look forward to going to Sicily for many reasons," says Frank Castronovo of his biannual trip to southern Italy. "One of them is because I'm amazed at how many times Frank [Falcinelli] can order linguine con vongole." Their exquisite, supersimple version is packed with garlic and a judicious amount of crushed red pepper. If you prefer, shell the clams before tossing them with their juices in the pasta.
Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas
For a simple spring dish, chef Cindy Pawlcyn folds penne with asparagus and sweet English peas, then adds a little cream for richness.
Zucchini Linguine with Herbs
Grace Parisi treats shredded zucchini and scallions just like the linguine in this lush dish: She tosses them all in a buttery sauce with lemon thyme and tarragon and finishes the dish with pecorino cheese.
Stir-Fried Udon Noodles
In this cookbook, top Chicago chef Takashi Yagihashi divulges his best recipes for ramen, soba, udon, rice noodles and more.
Angel Hair Pasta with Red Pepper Pesto and Basil
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (an F&W Best New Chef 2005) creates a simple summery sauce by blending roasted red peppers with traditional pesto ingredients, like basil and pine nuts, to toss with cool angel hair pasta. The pesto freezes beautifully and is also delicious spread on grilled cheese sandwiches or swirled into soups.
Goat Ragù with Fresh Spaghetti
Orecchiette with Broccoli and Tomatoes
Balsamic vinegar adds a hint of sweetness to this savory sauce. If the slight sweet-and-sour effect isn't to your taste, either omit the vinegar completely or use wine vinegar instead. The effect will be different, but no less delicious.
Buckwheat Pasta with Summer Squash, Tomatoes and Ricotta
"Our audience has really been receptive to our homemade alternative-flour pastas," says Travis Lett. He likes buckwheat for its added richness and texture. At the restaurant, Lett cuts the fresh pasta into rough rag shapes and tosses it with summer vegetables; this simplified version uses dried pasta.
Whole-Wheat Linguine with Walnuts, Orange and Chile
Maria Helm Sinskey loves the fruity, spicy flavor of Calabrian chiles in this earthy pasta dish; they usually come lightly brined and packed in oil and are available at Italian markets and from dipaloselects.com. If you can't find them, substitute any chile packed in oil or just crushed red pepper.
Yellow Squash "Linguine" with Shrimp and Asparagus
When julienned on a mandoline, lightly sauteed summer squash does a great job of imitating pasta, making a light, healthy, gluten-free dish when tossed in olive oil with shrimp and asparagus.
Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Roasted Vegetables
Tossed with sweet acorn squash and roasted tomatoes, this whole wheat pasta from Eric Chopin is packed with fiber and vitamins A and C. Olives and toasted pine nuts add heart-healthy fats.
Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Ginger Dressing
F&W's Kay Chun creates a healthy alternative to pasta by tossing spiralized zucchini and roast chicken with an aromatic Asian dressing. You'll need a superfine grater, such as a Microplane, to prep the fresh ginger and garlic.