Looking to Step Up Your Pasta Game? You May Be Missing One Thing — And It’s Not Cheese.

published Mar 16, 2023
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Pasta al Limone in skillet.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Regarding cuisine, certain items are considered the cornerstone on which many meals can be birthed. Adding rice in Japanese cuisine or tortillas in Mexican dishes are both great examples of this, but for Italians, the addition just may be one of the best food items around — pasta. This gem comes ready to be devoured in various sauces, cheeses, and toppings, but when it comes to the latter, culinary star and social influencer Nadia Caterina Munno (better known as the Pasta Queen) says that there’s one topping we aren’t adding to our pastas enough. 

In a recent interview with Tasting Table, the social media star — who recently released her first cookbook —revealed that the arguably uncommon topping we should be considering more with our pasta is fruit. And while fruit isn’t the first thing I’d think about adding to my pasta, according to Pasta Queen, it may be time for that to change. 

So, what is it about fruit that makes it pair perfectly with pasta as peanut butter does with jelly or like butter does with toast? Well, simply put, Munno thinks you just can’t go wrong when fruit is involved — especially if the fruits are in season. 

“I use green apples. It’s the perfect acidity — the sweetness combined with the sausage,” she told the outlet. “Then, I added a creamy red bell pepper sauce on top of it to garnish it, and it was really, really, really delicious.” 

Her green apple and sausage dish isn’t the only example of a perfect pairing she’s introduced to fans though. Munno has paired prosciutto with orange cantaloupe, and even suggests other tasty sweet and savory seasonal pairings such as artichokes with plum, fennel with lemons, and ricotta with freshly picked berries. And with spring right around the corner, this is — in my opinion — the perfect time to try something new. 

Looking for additional ways to enhance your next pasta night? Check out our list of 14 of Pasta Queen’s best recipes — including her popular lemon temptress pasta.