Growing up, my family ate pasta pretty much every day of the week. I’m not just talking spaghetti and red sauce. It was the mid-70s, during the heyday of Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, and my mom would drag me along on what seemed to be very long car rides just to find alfalfa sprouts, a sunchoke or a vegetarian restaurant. Our dinners were generally colorful pasta dishes filled with every bean and vegetable you can imagine.
My fondness for pasta lives on and these three recipes represent all I love in a good pasta dish — color, flavor and a little bite!
First up, Melissa Clark’s bacon, rosemary and tomato pasta! The rosemary-bacon combination is so popular in my house that on special “big breakfast” occasions like holidays and birthdays, we sprinkle the herb on our bacon and eggs and call it fancy. Melissa incorporates a twist that I especially love, balsamic vinegar! Get her recipe here and make it ASAP. (Vegetarians and vegans, all three of these recipes are easily converted, so add them to your menu!)
Click through for two more tempting pasta dishes, including one that uses the absorption technique for a full-flavored, no-boil method! —Caitlin
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Kate Flaim’s pasta recipe above was created using a pasta absorption technique with asparagus, bacon, and feta cheese. I make this pasta with zucchini when asparagus isn’t in season, simply to keep the magic of the original recipe alive with fresh asparagus in the spring. The feta cheese makes for a great tang any time of year, as does the flavor of the pasta that soaks up a broth. See Kate’s recipe here and try out this technique. I bet you’ll use it more often!
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Finally we come to writer and photographer Linda Xiao’s version of Pasta Alla Puttanesca.
Good olives make this recipe one of life’s simple pleasures. This recipe’s ingredients are common pantry items, so this dish is quickly made in a pinch. You can crank up the heat level with the addition of more red pepper flakes after plating a mild version for anyone who prefers a less spicy dish. Check out Linda’s recipe right here. Anchovies are optional!
Photography and styling by Linda Xiao