17 straightforward methods to make easy pasta dishes even higher utilizing issues you might have in your kitchen


pasta with olives
Olives add a Mediterranean aptitude to an in any other case easy pasta dish. DronG/Shutterstock
  • Pasta is a go-to meal for many individuals, however you possible have further components in your fridge or pantry that may take your dinner to the subsequent degree.

  • From pantry staples like jarred olives and capers to frozen greens, these generally discovered kitchen components can remodel any easy pasta dish right into a gourmet-tasting meal.

  • “The essential factor to recollect is to not be intimidated or afraid to experiment, as a result of pasta is so low cost,” cookbook creator Francesca Montillo advised Insider.

  • Go to Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

You’ve got in all probability heard of “pantry pasta” – a meal made solely with shelf-stable objects. 

Nonetheless, in terms of spicing up your typical spaghetti and tomato sauce, you do not have to restrict your self to only pantry objects. There are tons of frequent grocery record objects you in all probability have already got in your kitchen that may elevate easy pasta dishes.

“The essential factor to recollect is to not be intimidated or afraid to experiment, as a result of pasta is so low cost,” Francesca Montillo, an Italian culinary tour chief, cooking class instructor, and creator of the cookbook “Pasta in a Pinch: Traditional and Inventive Recipes Made with On a regular basis Pantry Substances,” advised Insider. 

“You are not working with an costly roast beef. … Individuals usually prepare dinner the identical pasta dishes over and over, however people should not be anxious to experiment, whether or not it is with meats, greens, or the rest they’ve readily available.”

Listed below are 17 straightforward methods to make easy pasta dishes even higher utilizing issues you might have in your kitchen.

Crushed tomatoes and canned tomato sauce may beat out any store-bought jarred pasta sauce you might have mendacity round.

crushed tomatoes
Crushed tomatoes. Juanan Barros Moreno/Shutterstock

Francesca Montillo advised Insider that whereas store-bought sauces could appear to be the simplest choice for residence cooks, a can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce will work even higher — and should even be cheaper to purchase.

“I am not a fan of the store-bought jar you open up and warmth up,” she mentioned. As an alternative, “I do use canned tomatoes beefed up with meats, greens, all types of components. In my view, that is no extra work than opening up a jar of pasta sauce,” she mentioned.

Montillo added that you simply need not spend hours making your sauce.

“By the point the pasta water boils, which takes 10 minutes, and one other 10 minutes for the pasta to prepare dinner, in that 20 minutes you might have the plain pasta sauce prepared,” she mentioned.

A can or tube of tomato paste may also go a great distance in deepening the flavour of your sauce.

tomato paste
Tomato paste. Karpenkov Denis/Shutterstock

Lately, supermodel Gigi Hadid revealed her personal recipe for spicy vodka pasta that makes use of tomato paste and some different components. 

Olive oil makes a scrumptious addition to virtually any pasta dish.

olive oil
Olive oil. dulezidar/iStock

You may drizzle olive oil over your freshly cooked pasta or add it to any selfmade or store-bought sauce. 

“I exploit olive oil in virtually each one in all my recipes,” Montillo mentioned. 

Breadcrumbs can remodel plain macaroni and cheese right into a tasty pasta bake.

baked mac and cheese breadcrumbs
Baked mac and cheese with breadcrumbs. Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

If you happen to’ve received some spare breadcrumbs mendacity round, they’ll remodel any common pasta dish or macaroni and cheese meal right into a scrumptious baked pasta. Or, go slightly wild and meals course of any loaf to make some selfmade breadcrumbs.

Montillo recommends toasting breadcrumbs barely in a pan to allow them to actually absorb whichever sauce you are utilizing.

Canned tuna or anchovies are two reasonably priced pantry choices that may add further taste to pasta dishes.

Anchovies
Canned anchovies. Shutterstock

Two of Montillo’s favourite components for pantry pasta are additionally extraordinarily straightforward to return and reasonably priced.

“Canned anchovies supply loads of pungent taste for not lots expense and never loads of energy,” she mentioned.

Nonetheless, she does advocate that as an alternative of shopping for canned tuna or anchovies packed in water, go for a better high quality model packed in oil to maximise the flavour.

Meats like pancetta, kielbasa, and bacon add loads of taste to pasta dishes, too.

spaghetti carbonara
Carbonara pasta. Al62/Getty Pictures

Cured meats like pancetta or bacon last more in your fridge than contemporary meats and make an ideal addition to most pasta dishes, from basic spaghetti to carbonara, penne alla vodka, and even seafood-based dishes. 

“If you happen to add a couple of slices of kielbasa to a tomato sauce with onion, you even have an ideal sauce proper there without having a lot else,” Montillo mentioned.

Capers may also add a briny style to pasta dishes.

pasta capers
Pasta with capers. Irina Kolosvetova/Shutterstock

Nonetheless, Montillo explains in her cookbook that one needs to be cautious of capers’ salt content material. She additionally says that if you wish to use capers, you possibly can rinse them earlier than including them to pasta dishes to take out undesirable saltiness.

Olives add a Mediterranean aptitude to an in any other case easy pasta dish.

pasta with olives
Pasta with olives. DronG/Shutterstock

Canned or jarred olives are a pantry staple in lots of households and make a salty, scrumptious addition to easy pasta dishes.

Contemporary or dried herbs can even add taste to pasta dishes.

parsley herbs
Parsley. Shutterstock

“I exploit loads of parsley, both contemporary and even dried,” Montillo mentioned. “Oregano, garlic powder, onion flakes, black pepper all work effectively in a wide range of sauces.”

Eggs can be utilized to make a scrumptious carbonara.

eggs cracking egg
Cracking an egg. Shutterstock

Arguably no ingredient is extra of a kitchen staple than eggs and, with only a few different components, they are often reworked right into a scrumptious, creamy pasta sauce when mixed with cheese.

Eggs are one of many fundamental components in spaghetti carbonara. The dish solely requires a couple of components you may discover already in your kitchen – eggs, pasta, cheese, pork, and slightly little bit of pasta water.

Contemporary cheese makes a tasty topping for many pasta dishes.

parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese. Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

Whilst you can in fact go for no matter cheese you might have round your kitchen, contemporary Parmesan or mozzarella cheese could make all of the distinction in elevating a easy pasta dish.

“Grated Parmesan cheese goes nice as a topping,” Montillo advised Insider, from all the pieces from spaghetti and meatballs to pasta al pomodoro, whereas contemporary slices of mozzarella can remodel a easy crimson sauce pasta right into a scrumptious pasta bake when put within the oven.

If in case you have lemons hanging round in your kitchen, they’ll immediately add zest and acidity to easy pasta dishes.

lemon squeeze lemonade
Freshly squeezed lemons on a slicing board. Training Pictures/Common Pictures Group through Getty Pictures

From pasta al limone to a meat-based dish like hen picatta, lemons can add loads of freshness and much-needed acidity to any pasta dish. For many who actually wish to up the citrus taste in your dish, it’s also possible to zest lemon peel on prime of the dish as a garnish.

Onions, a standard pantry staple, can simply be added to pasta dishes – in a wide range of methods.

Onions
Onions. Getty

Sauteéd, caramelized, or roasted onions can immediately remodel a easy pasta dish into one which packs a ton of taste.

“One in every of my largest suggestions is utilizing multipurpose components that are not a one-off — you are going to use them tomorrow or the subsequent day in one other meal,” Montillo mentioned. “If you happen to purchase a bag of onions, you are going to use them in soups, in stews, in a mess of issues, not only one meal.”

Mushrooms can add a meaty taste to your pasta.

Shiitake mushrooms
Mushrooms. wulingyun/Getty Pictures

From child bella mushrooms to shitake and cremini mushrooms, this earthy ingredient provides an entire different ingredient to fettuccine and may even make an ideal meat substitute in dishes like bolognese.

“I usually make a daily tomato sauce with mushrooms and it takes no time,” Montillo advised Insider.

Bell peppers are one other tasty addition to pasta bakes or selfmade sauce.

grocery store produce peppers bell peppers supermarket
Bell peppers. Gerald Herbert/AP Photograph

Bell peppers are one in all Montillo’s favourite greens so as to add to pasta dishes. 

Frozen greens like broccoli, peas, or inexperienced beans can be added.

bowl of broccoli brocoli
Broccoli. Shutterstock

Whether or not you are making a fettuccini or seafood pasta dish, frozen greens may be thawed and added to many one-pot pasta recipes so as to add extra taste — and make you are feeling just a bit bit more healthy consuming it. 

Wine or vodka can remodel your sauce as effectively.

vodka rigatoni
Vodka sauce pasta. EzumeImages/Getty Pictures

“Vodka can be utilized to make pasta alla vodka,” Montillo mentioned. “If in case you have crimson wine and slightly floor beef within the freezer, that may additionally assist to make a pleasant sauce. A number of these components do not require an additional buying journey.”

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