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needed: pasta supper inspiration

I'd like to make some sort of pasta supper tonight, but am looking for new ideas. I feel like I generally make spaghetti with meatballs or italian sausage, some sort of roasted red pepper cream/vodka sauce with roasted peppers and turkey italian sausage, or something with eggplant and smoked mozzarella. Anyone have anything that they love and care to share?

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  1. Learn the basic technique for a real carbonara (no cream or onions, just a pork product, its fat, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper). From there you can add summer vegetables of your choice. Right now is a great time for a carbonara-style pasta with peas, corn, mushrooms, etc. Or skip the eggs and much of the cheese and do a simple primavera.

    1. Fire roasted corn, sauteed chopped onions, garlic, crispy bacon dices, tomatoes, a little olive oil, cilantro, and garnish with some mozzarella and/or cotija.

      caramelized onions, sauteed wild mushrooms, walnut pesto, parsley

      2 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        this sounds GREAT! imagining it w/fresh local corn - maybe leftover grilled corn - great idea!


        1. re: gansu girl

          and some lime juice to finish, forgot that!

      2. I make carbonara with some bacon (or any pork product really), a touch of cream, an egg, parmesan cheese, and pesto. The hot pasta cooks the egg, and stirring while it cooks prevents it from scrambling. I sometimes add minced sun dried tomatoes too.

        A simple one my mom does some nights is to just cook some chicken and combine it with a bunch of pesto and garlic with egg noodles. Peas go great in it too.

        1. fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella.
          White beans & sage.
          Sardines, capers, pine nuts.
          Any nut, any fresh herb, garlic, asiago/fontina cheese.
          Sun dried tomatoes, olives, lemon zest.

          Good luck!

          1. angel hair with pesto, crab, mushrooms, tomato, lemon
            chickem with a fettucini like sauce, mushroom, even peas

            1. I mix a couple of pints of grape tomatoes, halved, with paper-thin slices of garlic (I use a miniature mandoline slicer I picked up at the Korean market but you could crush the garlic as well), the zest and juice of 2-3 lemons, good olive oil, fresh ground pepper and salt, and torn basil. I let everything but the basil sit in a bowl for flavors to blend while I cook a pot of bowtie pasta, then I toss the hot pasta in the "sauce" and mix in the basil at the last minute so it doesn't wilt too much. I often crumble cooked bacon in at the end, too. My daughter and I could eat this dish just about every night.

              1. My late mother-in-law traditionally made a very simple dish for Christmas Eve, a former fasting time for old school Italians. It was 'aglio e olio.' Garlic was sauteed in olive oil and poured over spaghetti.

                My wife has embellished the dish for anytime dining. She browns pignoli (pine nuts) in the oil along with the sliced garlic. She adds steamed broccoli crowns that still have crunch, fresh grape tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves 'taglia a brandelli' (loosely translated as cut into ribbons) to the cooked pasta. I do not use French culinary terms. Just mix all the ingredients and serve. Have grated Parmigiano Reggiano available for those who like grated cheese on their pasta.

                Buon appetito e mangia bene!

                1. Our standard is the one w/ chopped up broccoli, lots of chopped garlic. Finish w/ a ladle of pasta water, olive oil and Parmesan. On the table in very short order.

                  1. I don't eat a ton of pasta, but this time of year, I can't resist pestos. There is of course traditional basil pesto, but I recently did a garlic scape pesto that was OUT OF THIS WORLD . . . completely different from what you're eating lately, but it sounds like maybe you're in the mood for a change? http://www.semisweetonline.com/2010/0...


                    1. Chicken Tetrazzini with some mixed veggies, diced red pepper, celery, etc. Nice and creamy.

                      1. We live on an island. Went to the dock, bought three lobsters, two hours ago. Steamed and shelled them. Meat is cooling in fridge. In about three hours, I will do Lobster Fra Diavolo, using hot cherry pepper pieces, cognac, crushed tomatoes, shallots, basil, parsley, oregano, good olive oil. Over linguini.

                        1. In summer I tend to do very simple fresh pastas, rather than simmered sauces.

                          Saute some garlic in olive oil, add halved cherry tomatoes and sliced black olive for a few minutes, and toss with pasta, fresh grated parmesan and fresh basil. Sauted mushrooms can go well with this too.

                          Pestos of various sorts - basil, cilantro, either by themselves, or tossed with cooked chicken or shrimp.

                          Shiso pasta is very nice - cut shiso (aka perilla) into ribbons, saute sliced garlic in olive oil, and mix the oil, garlic, shiso and fresh lemon juice with cooked pasta.

                          1. Pesto chicken/shrimp/salmon with farfalle pasta. Saute the chicken in a little olive oil, garlic and sambal olek (asian chile sauce). Then add a container of prepared Pesto sauce (I use trader joes). Add cream, parmesan cheese until creamy. (Or TJ prepared alfredo sauce, gasp) Add cooked and salted pasta. Toss in some diced fresh tomatoes, handful of fresh cilantro and green onions. May sound a little strange but this dish is always a winner when I serve it. Also good with grilled salmon or shrimp.

                            1. one of my easiest summer pastas is to put olive oil, chopped ripe tomatoes, fresh shredded basil with some salt and pepper in a big serving bowl. cover it and let it sit at room temp a few hours before serving. cook fusilli, cavatatppi or cappelletti. while that cooks toss some lemon zest and lemon juice, plus a soft cheese like ricotta or brie into the bowl. pour drained pasta over and mix.

                              i also like linguine with just olive oil, lemon zest, fresh mint and grated parm. baby peas are nice in this too.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                hotoynoodle...this sounds so good. I think this will be dinner tonight!