Pasta is an easy go-to when you’re hungry, and chances are you already have all the ingredients you need hanging out in your cupboard. But before you reach for another generic jar of marinara, consider one of these recipes and expand your pasta repertoire. Whether from lemon or buttermilk, both will add tang to your meal, giving them a taste and look that is far more complex than you might assume from looking at the recipes.
This peppe Guida of Antica Osteria Nonna Rosa in Sorrento uses just three ingredients—lemons, spaghetti, and provolone—to create a plate of pasta that proves simple really can be better. His lemon-infused spaghetti takes a little planning the night before, but taking the extra step to steep the lemon peels in the cooking water in advance pays off in flavor. It’s a lighter dish, perfect for when you want a bowl of carbs but you also want to save room for dessert.
While chef Floriano Pellegrino from Bros’ in Lecce, Italy uses a few more ingredients, he relies on mostly pantry staples, like raisins and canned tomatoes, which he slow simmers and adds to pasta cooked in buttermilk for a tangy finish. Buttermilk fettuccine with spiced tomato sauce is sort of like a grown-up version of Fettuccine Alfredo: It’s creamy, but has a little added complexity thanks to the contrast between sweet and sour.