If you want a flavourful, authentic pasta but want it fast or only have 10 minutes to cook, then these go-to recipes are perfect. Proper Italian pasta sauces are supposed to only lightly coat the actual pasta itself, like a dressing in a salad, and these recipes follow that tradition.
You’ll want to bookmark this page so you can come back and try all three. Once you have made these once they will be in your repertoire forever.
1. Antipasto (pictured)
Olive oil forms the base of the sauce for this dish so try and gauge how much to use depending on how much pasta you are cooking – the same goes for all the ingredients.
Ingredients (your choice but here is a suggestion)
- Prosciutto (cut into small pieces)
- Olives (any kind) roughly torn apart
- Garlic cloves thinly slicedSundried tomatoes cut into ribbons
- Olive oil
- Bunch of rocket
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Your choice of pasta (Spaghetti or Penne works best)
This dish is like an entree that has evolved into a main – it’s great to use up left overs from a cheese platter or bits and pieces from your fridge (you don’t have to stick 100% to the ingredients listed above). Start by boiling some salted water and putting the pasta in to cook (around 10 minutes usually).
Meanwhile, heat up a good slug of olive oil in a pan and wait for it to get hot. Throw in all the other ingredients and sizzle them in the oil until they are beginning to colour and the oil has infused with their flavours. Turn off the heat when you feel it is ready (should be 5-8 minutes). Your pasta should be juts about ready, drain and return to the pot, then pour over your cooked antipasto/oil mixture and stir to coat the pasta evenly. Then using tongs mix through handfuls of rocket and then divide among plates for serving. Top with shaved parmesan.
2. Creamy Pesto
You’ll be surprised at how tasty this dish is, even though it is so easy to prepare!
- Pouring cream
- Crushed chilli (optional)
- Grated parmesan (to serve)
- Pasta of your choice
Start by boiling some salted water and setting the pasta to cook. In a small pot, add cream and pesto and chilli if using. A good ratio is: 50ml cream, 2 teaspoons pesto and half a teaspoon and chilli per 110gms pasta per person, then scale it up to suit. Simmer on medium-low while pasta is cooking to improve the flavour, add a pinch of salt if needed. When pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot, then stir through the pesto sauce and serve.
3. Spaghetti aglio, olio e pepperoncino (garlic, oil and chilli)
This dish is known all over Italy and is one of the easiest dishes to make. It’s truly Italian fast food!
- Fresh red chilli, sliced
- Garlic cloves thinly sliced
- Olive oil
- Spaghetti (not too thin)
Start by boiling some salted water and cooking your spaghetti (8-10 minutes). Meanwhile, heat a good slug of olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and when it is getting hot add your chilli and garlic and sauté them gently, without letting them colour or crisp up (if they begin to do this, remove from heat immediately and set aside). When the pasta is cooked, drain then add to the oil and mix to combine. Not traditionally served with cheese, you can of course grate some fresh parmesan or pecorino on top.
Bonus: once mastered, this dish can be greatly enhanced. You could use this as a base to add prawns, a squeeze of lemon, a splash of white wine and some chopped fresh parsley.