Pasta is one of our go-to meals to prepare for the whole family: satisfying and crowd-pleasing, it’s easy to dress up for a special occasion or dress down for a casual weeknight dinner. From a classic mac and cheese to an elegant garganelli with peas and prosciutto, these 18 accessible pasta recipes will please kids and adults alike.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Lou Di Palo shared his grandmother’s recipe for the meatballs that he sells at his family’s store, Di Palo’s Fine Foods, in New York City; they’re composed of pork, beef, and veal and flavored with four kinds of cheese. See the recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs »
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
These tender ravioli are filled with spinach and cheese and topped with a tangy tomato sauce bolstered with mushrooms, zucchini, and squash.
Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
This crowd-pleasing macaroni and cheese gets some added complexity from shallots, thyme and paprika. But the secret to this ultracreamy dish? A little Velveeta (yes, really!) mixed in with the other cheeses. See the recipe for Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese »
This crowd-pleaser is made with only 3 ingredients, and works even better with dried pasta, which doesn’t break as easily during tossing as fresh pasta. See the recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo »
Macaroni with Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Tomatoes
Fresh goat cheese makes a creamy, velvety sauce for pasta baked with spinach and topped with sliced tomatoes that is bright with festive colors, and deeply comforting. And as it takes only slightly longer than an hour to cook, this can be a main player in a delicious and casual last-minute Christmas dinner.
This simple, delicious seafood pasta, full of flavor from garlic, shallots, and red chile flakes, is a staple of Italian-American restaurants. See the recipe for Shrimp Scampi »
Pasta with Cauliflower in a Spicy Pink Sauce
Cauliflower and pasta is baked in a spicy tomato-cream in a comforting recipe adapted from Johanne Killeen and George Germon’s Cucina Simpatica (Harper Collins, 1991) by Tim Mazurek for his column Cucina Simpatica. See the recipe for Pasta with Cauliflower in a Spicy Pink Sauce »