Pasta is excellent for quick healthy homemade dinners. You can make pasta at home in bulk and freeze for later use, or buy from your local store. As we wind up summer and welcome the fall, here are simple yet delicious pasta recipes for your everyday dinners. And you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to whip them up.

Seafood Pasta

If you live near a reliable source of seafood, you will love this dish. The secret is to use fresh seafood ingredients. A combination of scallops, prawns, and squid go well with pasta.

I prefer using Linguini pasta because it cooks faster. Pre-boil the pasta al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes. Now add other ingredients in this order: olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, anchovies, capers, and cherry tomatoes.

Next, add the squid and a splash of white wine and bring to boil. Add the scallops and the pre-cooked pasta. Toss for a minute and adjust the seasoning. Your dinner is ready. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Stir-fry Pasta

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I love stir-frying the vegetables. It maintains their crunchiness and flavor as well as their nutritional value. Use vegetables in season. I love mushrooms, onions, carrots, a mix of bell peppers, tomatoes, and leafy vegetables such as spinach.

Pre-boil your pasta.

In a hot wok, sauté the vegetables until tender. Add your favorite spices: The fewer, the better. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In the same wok, sauté garlic and ginger. Add your pre-cooked pasta, and stir in a dash of soy sauce and lemon juice. Mix in the vegetables and serve.

For this recipe, use a bigger wok. Overcrowding the ingredients will make them moist and soggy.

Tortellini Soup for the Cold Nights

Making the Tortellini might be the challenging part of this recipe. If you don’t have the time or patience, grab some from your local store. I make my tortellini over the weekends and freeze. For the soup, you’ll need;

  • a cup of the frozen tortellini (or ravioli)
  • A can of diced tomatoes
  • Italian seasoning blend with garlic and salt
  • Homemade stock (beef or vegetable); or you can use a stock cube with water
  • A sauce of your choice (I love marinara)
  • Pesto (I make in batch and freeze)
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Combine the stock with tomatoes and seasoning.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 10 minutes and then add the tortellini.

Let them boil until done. When done, tortellini float to the surface.
Now add a tablespoon of the pesto and grate in a little parmesan cheese.

Stir and serve.

To add more flavor to the soup, you can start by sautéing sausage meat with white onion before adding the stock. Also feel free to add fresh herbs such as basil and coriander and red pepper flakes towards the end.

Creamy Pasta

I love this recipe because it makes good use of leftover white sauce.

To make the perfect béchamel sauce
Use equal parts butter and all-purpose flour. Start by melting butter over medium heat then add flour and keep stirring to make a consistent rue (say 3 minutes).

Turn off the heat and start adding the milk as you whisk. Once the lumps blend in, add all the milk, stir to a saucy consistency, and then bring the mixture to a boil.

Spice with nutmeg and leave to simmer for 5 minutes while stirring.
The whisking is a labor of love, but once your sauce is ready, you can use it to make mac and cheese, moussaka, lasagna, and for today, our creamy pasta recipe.

To make the creamy pasta
Pre-boil your pasta.
Meanwhile, add your favorite herbs and seasoning to the white sauce.
Once the pasta is al dente, combine in the white sauce and mix well.
Serve and enjoy while hot.

In Conclusion

Pasta goes well with a couple of herbs. Italians love to combine pasta with basil. Oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes are also excellent additions. Get creative with the cheese.

For recipes that require long baking periods, cheese that holds for longer is the best. A good example is feta cheese. For quick pasta recipes use fast melting cheese like Mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Finally, pasta might look boring at first, but with a little garnish, the dish will look amazing. Which is your favorite dinner pasta recipe?

Image credit: Photo by Heather Schwartz on Unsplash