Welcome to the culinary world of 35 Italian pasta recipes, where we celebrate quick, easy, and delicious saucy meals.

Italian cuisine is celebrated for its simplicity, elegance, and rich flavors, and pasta is a quick and versatile way to make a tasty and satiating lunch and dinner.

Enjoy the comforting embrace of a creamy Alfredo, the robust flavors of a hearty bolognese, or the simplicity of a classic aglio e olio; there’s a pasta dish here to satisfy every craving.

Italian pasta recipes with spaghetti, fettuccine and more

Pasta is more than just a meal and a “primo piatto” in Italy; it’s a cultural icon deeply ingrained in Italian life.

Italian pasta recipes are as diverse as the country itself, offering myriad shapes, sauces, and ingredients to suit every palate.

In this journey through Italian pasta recipes, we’ll explore the art of pastamaking and delve into the history of iconic pasta dishes, uncovering the traditions and techniques passed down through generations.

1. Cherry tomato pasta

Cherry tomato pasta with fork

Cherry tomato pasta is a traditional Italian recipe from Naples. It was originally “pasta allo scarpariello” because it was popular among the shoemakers (“scarpari” means shoemakers in Neapolitan) who lived in the city.

The ingredients cannot be more straightforward: pastacherry tomatoesolive oilgarlicbasil, and parmesan cheese tossed in a creamy and light pasta meal.

2. Broccoli pasta

pasta with broccoli in a bowl

The recipe is excellent for a last-minute dinner. Kids and picky adults will love it—it was one of Nico’s favorite pasta dishes growing up.

The recipe takes inspiration from Italian cuisine, and it’s especially popular in the south in and around the Apulia region.

You’ll love this broccoli pasta because of its delicious taste, creamy texture, and wholesome ingredients.

3. Fettuccine Alfredo

Mushroom Alfredo with fork and parsley

Pasta with Alfredo sauce is a popular Italian-inspired American recipe. While the original recipe for fettuccine Alfredo is delicious, we love it with added veggies.

Browned mushrooms‘ flavor and texture perfectly match the cream, butter, and parmesan in this Alfredo sauce.

4. Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca in a white bowl

Originally from Naples, pasta puttanesca or aulive e chiapparielle in Napolitan (olives and capers in English) is popular worldwide thanks to its simplicitybeautiful colors, and wonderfully rich taste.

Here, we’ll show you how to make a restaurant-worthy vegetarian dinner with little effort at home and a few pantry staples.

5. Tortellini soup

tortellini soup with spinach and hand holding a silver spoon

Our tortellini soup is a warm and soothing meal that combines comforting Italian flavors. It features tender tortellini cooked with delicious vegetables in a rich and savory broth.

This soup is easy to make in one pot, and you can customize it with your favorite vegetablesherbs, and stuffed pasta.

6. Lemon pasta

Creamy Lemon Pasta Recipe

Lemon pasta is an evolution of Italian aglio olio with the addition of lemon zestlemon juice, and optionally parmesan cheese.

The resulting sauce is richcreamyzesty, and refreshing, and paired with al dente Italian pasta creates a simple yet satisfying meal.

If you have a portion, you’ll be transported to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, where lemons and pasta are staple ingredients.

7. Spaghetti pomodoro

tomato basil pasta or spaghetti al pomodoro with shaved parmesan

Spaghetti Pomodoro, also known as tomato basil pasta, is a classic Italian recipe famous worldwide for its taste and simplicity.

In 20 minutes, with simple ingredients, you can prepare an authentic Italian vegetarian dish that will leave everyone begging for more.

8. Paccheri pasta

paccheri pasta with a fork on a white plate

Paccheri is an Italian pasta type that originated in the Neapolitan pastamaking tradition.

This easy pasta recipe demonstrates how to prepare them with a quick and easy cherry tomato sauce, basil, and chickpeas for extra protein.

9. Casarecce pasta

Casarecce pasta with hand holding a silver fork

Casarecce is a short pasta from Sicily. Here, we toss it with a quick, healthy, and tasty sauce, along with broccoli rabe, olives, and sundried tomatoes.

This casarecce recipe can be made in less than 30 minutes. Top it with feta, ricotta, or a non-dairy cheese alternative, and serve it as an easy lunch or dinner.

10. Spaghetti aglio e olio

garlic and oil pasta aglio olio

Garlic and oil pasta (spaghetti aglio e olio, or spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino) is an Italian pasta recipe that originated in southern Italy and is now famous worldwide for its simplicity and taste.

The sauce has the same basic ingredients: extra virgin olive oilfresh garlicred pepper flakes, and finely chopped parsley.

11. Penne arrabbiata

Penne Arrabbiata in a white bowl

Penne arrabbiata is an Italian dish famous for its simplicitycomforting taste, and spicy tomato sauce.

It’s excellent as a weeknight dinner, as you can make it with simple ingredients like canned tomatoes, garlic, chili, and parsley in less than 30 minutes.

Our recipe also shows you how to transform traditional penne arrabbiata into a nutritious, tasty, high-protein dinner.

12. Orecchiette with broccoli rabe

orecchiette con le cime di rapa - orecchiette with broccoli rabe

Orecchiette, translated as small ears in Italian, is an ear-shaped pasta from the southern Italian regions of Puglia and Basilicata.

Like many of our other pasta recipes, this protein-packed pasta will help you eat more veggies in a delicious, comforting, and simple way.

13. Pasta e Ceci

Pasta e Ceci in a bowl and how to store it

Pasta e ceci – pasta and chickpeas in English – is a one-pot, easy Italian recipe known for its comforting flavors and simplicity.

You’ll love its creamy textureearthy flavor, and the warm and rustic taste of chickpeas simmered in a rich broth with garlic, rosemary, and tomato.

14. Pasta alla Norma (eggplant pasta)

eggplant pasta or pasta alla norma

In Italy, pasta alla norma is so beloved that the Italians have instituted a national pasta alla norma day on the 23rd of September to celebrate its history and tradition.

Try it, and you’ll see why. This easy pasta dish with roasted eggplant represents the essence of Mediterranean cuisine.

15. Lentil pasta

pasta and lentils

Lentil pasta is a nutritioustastyand wholesome traditional Italian recipe called pasta e lenticchie made with ditalini pasta and brown lentils.

It’s a perfect main dish for lunch or dinner; it’s family-friendly and excellent for meal prep.

16. Mushroom bolognese

Mushroom Bolognese with fork

With this mushroom ragu, we wanted to make a quick and easy sauce without simmering for a long time, like a traditional meat-based ragu.

The mushroom bolognese is delicious with tagliatelle and spaghetti, but it’s also great on tacos, wraps, lasagna, creamy polentagnocchi, or simply on a slice of toasted bread.

17. Ricotta and spinach pasta

Spinach ricotta pasta

The 20-minute pasta dish is inspired by pasta al limone, a classic Italian recipe that is a family favorite for its simplicity and taste.

The result is a beautiful combination of colorstextures, and flavors that we are sure you’ll love.

18. Pesto pasta

pesto pasta with green beans

Italy’s most popular and traditional pesto recipe is made with basil. It’s called pesto alla Genovese because it originated in the city of Genova in the northwestern region of Liguria in Italy.

With this pesto pasta, we show you how to make a quick and easy basil pesto pasta as they do it in Italy and to make a version without dairy.

19. Creamy kale pasta

Creamy Kale Pasta in a white bowl with lemon

This kale pasta combines Italian rigatoni with a creamy and luscious sauce, tasty sautéed kale, creamy ricotta, and savory parmesan cheese.

Lemon zest, garlic, and red pepper flakes are added for an extra zing that elevates the taste of this satiating dish.

20. Lentil bolognese

Lentil Bolognese with a silver fork

Lentil bolognese is the meat-free version of a classic Italian sauce, ragù alla Bolognese.

Lentils are an excellent ground meat replacement because they have a rich earthy taste, keep their texture, and are rich in minerals, iron, and plant protein.

21. Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli with a silver spoon and garlic cloves

Pasta and fagioli provide plenty of wholesome plant protein and other nutrients, helping you stay satisfied for several hours.

You might know Olive Garden pasta e fagioli, an Italian restaurant in the United States, but this recipe goes back hundreds of years to mainland Italy.

You can serve pasta e fagioli as a soup, with enough liquid to grant the use of a spoon, or thicker, more like a pasta dish.

22. Zucchini pasta

Zucchini Pasta with fork and pine nuts

Zucchini pasta, as in pasta with zucchini, is a creamy and easy Italian recipe for a tasty weeknight dinner for the whole family.

You can make it with grated zucchinilemon zestparmesan cheese, and creamy Greek yogurt.

23. Pasta salad

chickpea pasta salad with a fork in a bowl

Thanks to our tasty mustard dressing, this chickpea pasta salad recipe is Mediterranean-inspiredfreshcrunchy, and a little zesty.

It’s excellent for meal preppotlucks, and picnics, and it can be served as a quick lunch or a light dinner.

24. Asparagus pasta

Asparagus pasta with green peas

This Italian asparagus pasta contains no butter or heavy cream, just a parmesan to bring out the asparagus flavor.

The sautèed and blended asparagus enhances the flavor of this beautiful spring vegetable, adding a bright green color and a velvety texture.

25. Pasta al limone

creamy pasta al limone

Pasta al limone is a creamy lemon pasta recipe popular in Italy. It is made with ricotta and fresh herbs from my family cookbook.

My grandma used to make this dish with delicious ripe lemons from the Amalfi coast or Sorrento in the Campania region in Italy, mixing lemon zest with fresh ricotta from the local farm.

26. Artichoke pasta

Artichoke pasta with fork and mint leaves

We use canned artichoke hearts for this pasta recipe, which allows us to put this dish together in about 15 to 20 minutes.

This 20-minute recipe is creamy, tangy, and packed with tender artichoke hearts. It’s an easy yet restaurant-worthy everyday meal.

27. Butternut squash pasta

butternut squash pasta

Butternut squash is an excellent autumn vegetable. You can make anything with it, from gnocchi and ravioli to risotto and this Italian creamy butternut squash pasta.

This recipe is straight-up beginner-level since there’s not much cooking involved. But the taste is not beginner-level, as every bite has a flavor and an irresistible chewy-creamy texture.

28. Artichoke pasta bake

Artichoke pasta bake

This artichoke pasta bake is a creamy oven-baked pasta recipe that is easy to make and excellent as a family dinner.

We make it with jarred artichoke hearts and frozen peas blended into a creamy, delicious artichoke sauce that coats every piece of pasta.

29. Kale pesto pasta

Kale Pesto with bow tie pasta

This 20-minute creamy kale pesto pasta is a fall and winter dinner favorite! Make it with our tasty kale pesto for a wholesome and quick meal.

Perfect for when you’re short on time, the kale pesto pasta sauce can be made in a few minutes. If you want to add more veggies, try tossing in some roasted pumpkin. It’s delicious!

30. Pesto pasta salad

Basil Pesto pasta salad

Pesto pasta salad is a quick and delicious meal with your favorite pesto and fresh veggies. It’s packed with fresh flavors and excellent for potlucks or an easy dinner with your family.

It’s safe to say that everyone will love this recipe; it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and an excellent way to add more veggies to your diet.

31. Vegan Mushroom pasta

Mushroom Pasta with cherry tomatoes

Our vegan mushroom pasta recipe is inspired by an Italian dish with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

The recipe is quick and simple, perfect for weeknights. However, thanks to its rich and gourmet-like flavors, it’s excellent for special dinners too.

Homemade Italian pasta recipes

Making homemade Italian pasta is a delightful family activity that can foster connection and togetherness.

From mixing the dough to shaping each delicate strand, every step is a shared experience that results in a delicious dinner meal.

32. Sweet potato gnocchi

sweet potato gnocchi with sauce and shaved parmesan

Our 3-ingredient sweet potato gnocchi is a delicious, comforting, and cozy Italian-inspired dish excellent for weeknight dinner, meal prep, and freezer-friendly.

This simple and tasty recipe can be made in about 30 minutes and served as a lovely meal with your family. It’s easier than you think.

33. Cavatelli pasta

Cavatelli pasta and how to store the pasta

Cavatelli is easy to make with two simple ingredients: durum wheat semolina flour and water. They are easy to shape with two fingers.

They are delicious with most sauces, from homemade pesto to lentil ragù and mushroom sauce.

34. How to make orecchiette pasta

hands holding homemade orecchiette pasta

Orecchiette pasta is easy to make with two simple ingredients: durum wheat semolina flour and water.

You won’t need any special equipment, and this recipe won’t take much longer than 45 minutes.

35. Butternut squash ravioli

homemade butternut squash ravioli

Butternut squash ravioli are soft and delicious pasta pillows filled with incredible butternut squashricotta, and parmesan filling.

We’ll show you how to make your own butternut squash ravioli from scratch using simple steps. You’ll be surprised how easy they are to put together.

More Italian pasta ideas

Italian pasta recipes with quick dinner ideas

Italian Pasta Recipes: Broccoli Pasta

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 1 vote
Our broccoli pasta is a creamy, tasty, and healthy recipe combining an irresistibly creamy sauce with al dente pasta.
This Italian-inspired recipe will surely please the pickiest of eaters because of its rich taste and luscious texture.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main
Cuisine: American Italian


  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta or any other
  • 1 pound broccoli 2 medium heads
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 handful grated parmesan cheese or dairy-free alternative
  • 1 pinch salt & black pepper to taste


  • Cut 1 pound broccoli into small florets. Boil them in a large pot of salted water for 5 minutes.
    Tip: we recommend cooking the broccoli in 1 gallon (4 liters) of water seasoned with 1½ tablespoons (20 grams) of sea salt.
    boiling the broccoli in water
  • In a large skillet, fry 2 cloves garlic (grated) and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes in 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for 1 minute on low heat.
    Take the broccoli out of the water with a slotted spoon (do not discard the water) and add them to the skillet.
    Add 1 cup of the reserved cooking water and simmer for 10 minutes, then mash the broccoli with a fork.
    broccoli sauce
  • In the meantime, cook 12 ounces orecchiette pasta in the same large pot of water where you cooked the broccoli.
    Cook as per package instructions minus 2 minutes.
    boiling pasta in the same pot
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Reserve a cup of pasta water and add half to the pan with the sauce.
    pasta tossed into the broccoli sauce
  • Finish cooking the pasta on medium heat for about a minute while stirring it in the sauce. Add more pasta water if necessary.
    When the pasta is al dente, turn the heat off and stir in 1 handful grated parmesan cheese.
    Taste and adjust for salt and pepper and serve immediately.
    broccoli pasta in dutch oven
  • You can add a sprinkle of parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.
    Broccoli pasta with mashed broccoli


Nutrition information is an estimate for one portion of broccoli pasta out of four without cheese.
Make ahead: As with most pasta recipes, this broccoli pasta is at its best if you eat it right off the skillet soon after making it.
Refrigerator: To store the leftovers, let the pasta cool down completely, then transfer it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat: Heat it in the microwave, adding two tablespoons of water as the pasta dries in the fridge. You can also warm it in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil.


Calories: 471kcal, Carbohydrates: 72g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Potassium: 566mg, Dietary Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 787IU, Vitamin B6: 0.3mg, Vitamin C: 102mg, Vitamin E: 3mg, Vitamin K: 122µg, Calcium: 119mg, Folate: 87µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 71mg, Zinc: 2mg
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If you liked these Italian pasta recipes, you might also enjoy:

Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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