italian pasta recipes

10 Italian Pasta Recipes That Go Beyond Carbonara!

When you think of Italy, pasta is surely one of the first foods that spring to mind! Many people have made pasta dishes like carbonara or spaghetti and meatballs but if you’re anything like me, making a traditional Italian pasta recipe can seem a little daunting. So if you’re looking to branch out and find some new recipes to try, these 10 Italian pasta dishes are a great place to start! Many are quick and easy and have only a couple of ingredients, so you can have an authentic Italian meal on the table in less than half an hour.

There are recipes here from Tuscany, Sicily, Rome and beyond, so whether you like a meat-heavy ragu or a saucy pomodoro full of fresh flavors, there’s an Italian pasta recipe to try this week! There are both vegetarian and meat options in this list, and many are easily adapted either way. Not to mention, Italian pasta recipes tend to be easy on the pocket but are so filling and delicious.

1. Pasta Boscaiola

Pasta Boscaiola is also known as “Woodman’s Pasta” and the sauce is made with a hearty combination of bacon, mushrooms and cream. This is the ultimate comfort food, easy to whip up and you can switch up the pasta for anything thick like fettuccine, pappardelle, penne or rigatoni. Cooking the mushrooms in the bacon pan increases the flavor and adding plenty of parmesan makes it super cheesy!

2. Sicilian Ricotta and Pistachio Pasta

Ricotta cheese and pistachios are two popular ingredients in Italian cooking, particularly those recipes that originate from the Sicily region. The thick, cheesy, flavorful sauce can be served over any small shape but our favorites are rigatoni, elbows or penne so lots of the tasty goodness gets all through them!

3. Spaghetti Puttanesca

This recipe is done and on your plate in less than 20 minutes, but it tastes like an Italian grandmother has spent the day in the kitchen. The secret ingredient is anchovy, but don’t be put off if you don’t like fish – you can’t even taste them! They just mix perfectly with the olives, tomatoes and create a beautiful salty umami flavor. Serve over the traditional spaghetti with a drizzle of olive oil for a restaurant-quality dish with only a handful of ingredients. Perfect served with Italian red wine.

4. Penne Arrabiata

This super-saucy dish is a combination of tender pasta, spicy tomatoes and plenty of freshly grated parmesan. You can adjust the spice levels by adding more or less chili flakes and finish off the whole plate with a few fresh basil leaves. It can be served with a salad or some baked meatballs but it’s just as delectable served on its own as a quick weeknight dinner.

5. Roasted Red Pepper Alla Vodka with Cheesy Oregano Breadcrumbs

Perfectly caramelized roasted red peppers and shallots are mixed with vodka, milk and butter to make a beautifully creamy sauce that is slowly simmered until all the flavors meld together. The bite of the vodka really adds something special and the crunch of the cheesy oregano bread crumbs sprinkled on top will impress all the pasta-lovers!

6. Italian Pasta al Pomodoro

This pomodoro recipe is a basic pasta and tomato sauce recipe that proves simple can be best. With only a few ingredients and ready in less than half an hour, this may well be your new go-to pasta recipe. Since it’s all about the tomatoes, get the best quality you can and don’t skip blitzing them in the blender. You’ll be rewarded with a simple, elegant and super tasty meal, sprinkled with plenty of parmesan and fresh herbs.

7. Pici and Tuscan Sausage Ragu

Pici is a thick spaghetti-like pasta that is popular in many Italian dishes as it holds the perfect amount of sauce. This recipe combines it with perfectly seasoned Tuscan sausage and a delicious sauce ready in under an hour. It starts with a traditional il soffritto – sauteed onions, carrots and celery cooked slowly in olive oil to maintain all the flavors. Special enough to serve on a date night and easy enough for a family dinner, this Tuscan sausage ragu will not disappoint.

8. Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe is one of the simplest Italian recipes but also one of the most delicious. You won’t believe such a dish comes from just pasta, butter cheese and black pepper. You can mix through some fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon juice if you like to make the flavors pop even more. Traditionally this would’ve been made with homemade pici pasta, but store-bought spaghetti is just as delicious and makes this meal a quick 15-minute dinner perfect for busy weeknights.

9. Spaghetti alla Siciliana

One for the spice lovers! This is a delicious spicy pasta dish with an easy-to-make sauce of olive oil, chili flakes, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. We love this recipe because it’s easy to adjust the spice level without compromising the other flavors, just add a little more or less of the chili flakes. A sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan on the top is a delicious addition – but not at all necessary!

10. Pasta Amatriciana

Amatriciana is a Roman pasta recipe, but unlike other dishes from the region like carbonara and cacio e pepe, it contains tomatoes. Beautifully saucy and full of flavor, this is a great dish for a quick lunch or dinner, the whole thing is practically done in the time it takes the pasta to cook!

AboutAshleigh Crump

Ashleigh Crump is an author, food writer and all-round lover of everything sweet! She has published a cookbook and loves to use classic and unique flavor combinations. When not cooking, she's usually reading.