The Culinary Corner: Pasta Night Recipes!

The Culinary Corner: Pasta Night Recipes!  | Positively Smitten

I get a bit tired of the regular red tomato sauce for pasta night. Here are some easy pasta sauces to try for you next pasta night!

Easy Alfredo


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shaved parmesan cheese
  • Pepper, to taste


  1. Melt the butter on low heat, add the heavy cream and warm thoroughly.
  2. Add salt and pepper, add half the cheese. Do not allow to get too warm or the texture of the sauce will be off.
  3. Toss your pasta with the sauce and add the rest of the cheese, thinning with the pasta water if necessary.
  4. Easy additions: sautéed spinach, roasted garlic, diced chicken, or shrimp.

Easy Carbonara


  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 eggs, well beaten with a teaspoon of olive oil
  • Handful of Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • ½ reserved pasta water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Sauté the bacon until crisp, add garlic and soften for about a minute. Add hot spaghetti (or whatever pasta you prefer) into the pan, remove from heat.
  2. Add the eggs and mix briskly. The eggs shouldn’t scramble, they should form a type of sauce from the leftover heat from the pasta and bacon.
  3. Add pasta water to thin sauce as needed, as cheese and parsley and seasonings.
  4. Easy additions: diced sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, or lobster chunks.

Healthy Primavera


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced bell peppers, any color, I prefer orange and red
  • 1 cup asparagus, chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ onion, diced finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water, for thickening (optional)


  1. Sauté onion and garlic for 3 minutes in a tablespoon of oil, remove. Saute other vegetables in turn, until they are semi-soft.
  2. Add onion and garlic back in. Add white wine, reduce the liquid. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Add some pasta water if there isn’t enough liquid. Add basil.
  4. If a thicker sauce is desired add the cornstarch mixture and allow to bubble for a few minutes and thicken.
  5. Easy additions: primavera sauce sometimes has heavy cream and cheese; if you want these, add them! You can also add peas, carrots, or zucchini! Primavera is also good with shrimp.

Puttanesca Sauce


  • 1 15 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced kalmata olives
  • 5 anchovies, in oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Saute the anchovies and garlic in the olive oil.
  2. Add red pepper and oregano. Add kalmata olives and capers, stir briefly.
  3. Add the can of tomatoes. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Toss pasta with sauce.  Season.
  4. For a unique twist: top your pasta with roasted beef or lamb!

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