3 Simple, Authentically Italian Weeknight Dinners to Work into Your Rotation
The best everyday meals are quick and easy crowd-pleasers. That’s why a simple Italian pasta dinner almost always wins at family dinners. While it’s easy enough to pop open a jar of sauce and toss it with an average box of pasta, it’s just as easy (and much more rewarding) to step outside your comfort zone and upgrade your meal with homemade sauce and better-tasting pasta.
You hardly need anything fancy to make your own sauce — just basic ingredients like butter, herbs, and, of course, plenty of cheese. But it’s the quality of the pasta that will really make these simple sauces shine.
DeLallo pasta is handcrafted in southern Italy. It’s made with high-quality durum wheat and mineral-rich mountain spring water and dried slowly at low temperatures, which ensures its aroma, texture, and flavor are superior. The pasta is cut using bronze dies, which gives it a rough, porous finish that helps the sauce grip to the pasta rather than slip back into the bowl. Try it in one of these easy weeknight pasta recipes and see how an easy upgrade becomes a new family favorite.
Lemony Ricotta Pasta with Basil
If you’re craving a rich and creamy dinner in a flash, this is your recipe. Jazz up a tub of ricotta with the zest and juice of a lemon and plenty of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. It all comes together in a no-cook sauce that melts almost immediately when tossed with hot pasta. Tube-like penne is the perfect pasta shape to pair with this velvety sauce because it’s sure to catch every bit of the ricotta-lemon mix, which you definitely won’t want to leave behind.
Pasta alla Gricia
If you’re a fan of cacio e pepe and carbonara, it’s time you get to know gricia. This classic Roman pasta is a simple combination of guanciale (cured pork jowl), nutty Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper — think of it as a meatier version of cacio e pepe or a lighter, egg-free take on carbonara. And if you can’t get ahold of guanciale, pancetta will give you equally delicious results. Try the sauce with Rigatoni, one of the most traditional pasta shapes for this dish: Its ridges cling to the cheesy sauce while its hollow snatches every meaty bit.
Brown Butter Parmesan Pasta
Think of this pasta as the adult version of buttered noodles. Nutty brown butter joins forces with salty Parmesan cheese and crunchy bread crumbs to create a dinner that’s equal parts fast and fancy. Keep it classic with spaghetti, which soaks up the rich sauce and catches the toasted bread crumbs in every twirl.