Winter Pasta Recipes

A cold winter day calls for a rich plate of pasta.

When winter strikes, we want food that's rich and hearty. A big plate of pasta is a satisfying way to warm up on a cold day. From meaty ragùs to decadent cream sauces to all sorts of uses for cold-weather vegetables, we've rounded up our favorite winter pasta recipes.

In winter, we love rich cream sauces. It doesn't get much more classic than fettuccine alfredo, an indulgent mix of cream and parmesan cheese. Another old-school cream sauce dish is penne alla vodka, with its peppery, vodka-laced cream and tomato sauce. For something a little different than takes advantage of a classic winter ingredient, try our gluten-free sweet potato gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce and walnuts.

Hearty ragùs are perfect for cold winter days. We have two gnocchi dishes with ragù sauces—earthy farro gnocchi with a fennel-laced pork ragù and Dominican-inspired plantain gnocchi with a creamy short rib ragù. Also check out our Umbrian tagliatelle with a ragù made with goose breast and liver. While ragù is typically meat-based, try our mushroom version fortified with veal stock.

Winter is a tough time for fresh produce, but certain cold-weather crops make it at least some of the way into the season. Cauliflower is one such vegetable—try our pappardelle with charred cauliflower and mustard brown butter. Squash is available throughout the winter—acorn squash is highlighted in our open-faced lasagna with smoked caciocavallo cheese.

Stay warm all winter long with our favorite winter pasta recipes.

Pappardelle with Mixed Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Walnuts
Pappardelle with Mixed Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Walnuts
A mix of sautéed mushrooms, toasted walnuts, ricotta, thyme, honey, and pappardelle, this pasta dish needs only a green salad on the side.Farideh Sadeghin
Pasta with Cauliflower in a Spicy Pink Sauce
Pasta with Cauliflower in a Spicy Pink Sauce
Earthy sweet cauliflower adds body to this comforting pasta baked in a comforting, spicy tomato-cream sauce. Get the recipe for Pasta with Cauliflower in a Spicy Pink Sauce »Tim Mazurek
Farro Gnocchi with Pork Ragù
Farro Gnocchi with Pork Ragù
In this Umbrian ragù, fennel pollen adds a sweet aroma and a flavor similar to that of the fennel-laced sausages found in Italian butcher shops.Con Poulos
Abruzzo, Recipe, Veal & Spinach Lasagna
Veal and Spinach Lasagna
Unlike the heavy red-sauced lasagnas served in America, this Abruzzo-style version relies on an ethereal egg and tomato sauce that puffs when the lasagna is cooked, giving it a soufflé-like appearance.Romulo Yanes
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
These vibrant, mildly sweet gnocchi were developed by stylist Judy Haubert as a gluten-free option to accompany Portland chef Jenn Louis' rich Gorgonzola cream sauce.Farideh Sadeghin
Plantain Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragu
Plantain Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragù
Ripe plantains and yucca stand in for potatoes in this version of gnocchi from the Dominican Republic, which is served with short rib ragù. A long, slow braise with red wine, cayenne, and paprika results in tender, fall-off-the-bone morsels of meat; bolstered with cream, the rich sauce is then ladled over the slightly sweet, fluffy dumplings.Farideh Sadeghin
Creamy Orzo Risotto with Meyer Lemon and Wild Mushrooms
Creamy Orzo Risotto with Meyer Lemon and Wild Mushrooms
Simmering orzo slowly with butter, shallots, and chicken stock and enriched it with cream yields a silky, risotto-like texture.Helen Rosner
Bow-Tie Pasta with Buckwheat Groats (Kasha Varnishkes)
Bow-Tie Pasta with Buckwheat Groats (Kasha Varnishkes)
The recipe for this classic Russian Jewish dish of sauteed onions tossed with pasta and buckwheat groats comes from Philip LopateTodd Coleman
Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo
This extra-rich version of fettuccine Alfredo is impossible to resist. Boiling the pasta until it's just al dente allows it to soak up plenty of the creamy sauce.Maxime Iattoni
Sesame and Chile Ramen (Tantanmen)
Sesame and Chile Ramen (Tantanmen)
Toasted sesame oil and hot chile oil spice up this porky ramen.Todd Coleman
Linguine with Clam Sauce
Linguine with Clam Sauce
The secret to this simple and satisfying pasta dish is boiling the linguine until it's just al dente, so that it will absorb plenty of the briny, winey sauce when the two are cooked together.Landon Nordeman
Gemelli with Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower
Gemelli with Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower
Cauliflower roasted until sweet with garlic and cumin gets tossed with toothsome gemelli pasta, golden raisins, and slivered almonds for crunch.Helen Rosner
Gnocchi in Sagrantino Cream Sauce (Gnocchi al Sagrantino)
Gnocchi in Sagrantino Cream Sauce (Gnocchi al Sagrantino)
A reduction of sagrantino wine, along with guanciale, flavors the sauce for this creamy gnocchi dish.Andre Baranowski
Brown Butter Pasta
Brown Butter Pasta
Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of New York City's Prune restaurant gave us her recipe for this delicious pasta, which is tossed in brown butter and pine nuts, then topped with sunny-side-up eggs.Todd Coleman
Wayne Thiebaud's Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese
Wayne Thiebaud's Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese
In the spirit of a classic carbonara, artist Wayne Thiebaud's recipe from the California Artists Cookbook (Abbeville Press, 1982) combines smoky bacon and prosciutto with egg yolks and mizithra, an aged sheep's milk cheese from Greece, for a gloriously rich dish.Ingalls Photography
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Warming, filling chicken soup just may be the ultimate panacea. Cooking the noodles in the broth enriches both the noodles' flavor and the soup itself, which thickens slightly from the released starches.Landon Nordeman
Agnolotti
Agnolotti
This ravioli-like stuffed pasta is filled with a mix of chicken, spinach, mushrooms, and garlic.Todd Coleman
Penne alla Vodka
Penne alla Vodka
Whether or not this dish of tube-shaped penne pasta lavished with a peppery, vodka-laced cream and tomato sauce was created in Italy is a matter of heated debate in some quarters; some say it was the result of aggressive marketing on the part of vodka importers. Whatever the case, it has become firmly entrenched as an Italian American classic.Landon Nordeman
Kale and Sausage Penne with Lemon Cream Sauce
Kale and Sausage Penne with Lemon Cream Sauce
This is a pasta dish of strong flavors: Dark, earthy kale is offset by bright lemon cream and a warm, aromatic heat from crushed red chiles and garlic.Maxime Iattoni
Tagliatelle with Black Truffle Cream Sauce
Tagliatelle with Black Truffle Cream Sauce
For this luxurious dish, chef Robin Jackson, of Knight Inlet Lodge in British Columbia, lavishes pasta in a truffle-infused cream sauce and crowns it with chanterelles, lavender, pecorino, and shavings of truffle, which release their seductive aroma in the steam.Ingalls Photography
Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries, and Caramelized Onion
Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries, and Caramelized Onion
Crisp-tender brussels sprouts and sweet-sour cranberries balance perfectly with a tangy vermouth-based broth in this pasta dish.Helen Rosner
Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Mustard Brown Butter
Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Mustard Brown Butter
Simple ingredients—chewy, charred cauliflower, fried capers and bread crumbs, and browned butter, bolstered by whole grain mustard—combine for the ultimate late-winter pasta.Joseph De Leo
Corzetti Pasta with Dried Mushroom Ragù
Corzetti Pasta with Dried Mushroom Ragù
Serravalle Scrivia native and local cook Davide Gheezi makes this pasta dish with mushrooms that have been foraged, dried, and stored over the winter. The silver-dollar-size rounds of corzetti (sometimes called croxetti) are elevated with a mushroom sauce bolstered by a savory veal stock.Ingalls Photography
Open-Faced Lasagna with Acorn Squash and Smoked Caciocavallo
Open-Faced Lasagna with Acorn Squash and Smoked Caciocavallo
This layerless lasagna recipe from Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri uses an egg-rich dough, but store-bought fresh pasta sheets can be substituted.Andre Baranowski
Pappardelle with Duck Sugo
Pappardelle with Duck Sugo
Porcini mushrooms, white wine, and fresh herbs flavor this satisfying pasta dish, which was adapted from Lidia Bastianich's cookbook Lidia's Italy (Knopf, 2007).Penny De Los Santos
Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara
Traditional Roman spaghetti carbonara contains pasta, whole eggs, pancetta or guanciale (cured pork jowl), and pecorino romano cheese—never cream.Todd Coleman
Rigatoni with Pancetta Tomato Sauce (Rigatoni all'Amatriciana)
Rigatoni with Pancetta Tomato Sauce (Rigatoni all'Amatriciana)
The recipe for this classic pork-enriched pasta dish comes from Salvatore Denaro, the chef at Montefalco's Arnaldo Caprai winery.David Hagerman
Pear and Cheese Ravioli (Cacio e Pere)
Pear and Cheese Ravioli (Cacio e Pere)
Nothing says love like homemade pasta. Lidia Bastianich's recipe mixes tender, sweet Bartlett pears with sharp pecorino and creamy mascarpone to make a rich filling for ravioli.Ingalls Photography
Tagliatelle with Goose Ragu (Tagliatelle al Ragù d'Oca)
Tagliatelle with Goose Ragu (Tagliatelle al Ragù d'Oca)
This hearty goose ragù from Scacciadiavoli winery is flavored with fresh rosemary, sage, and a touch of dried chile.David Hagerman