5 Ways to Get Creative with Pasta Dishes

There are so many different ways to make pasta. However, sometimes it seems easier to just stick with what you know… and what your family loves to eat. However, it can become boring. You don’t have to change it up so that it becomes a different dish, but you can mix it up and try a combination of different ingredients to add zip or enhance the flavor or texture to your classic favorite pasta dishes. Below are some tips to put some zing in your pasta dishes! Let me know what you try and how it works out for the fam!

5 Ways to Get Creative with Pasta Dishes

5 Ways to Get Creative with Pasta Dishes

1. Experiment with different sauces such as teriyaki sauce for Asian dishes, sun-dried tomato pesto or another kind of pesto, cream based sauces or your own creation. Certain sauces only go well with certain ingredients. For example, you wouldn’t use chorizo with an Asian sauce, but it would go well with a tomato sauce or chipotle sauce.

Common types of sauces:

A. Tomato based sauce such as arrabbiata, a spicy sauce, marinara etc. Add tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil and or oregano.

B. Cream based such as Alfredo, with heavy cream and a variety of cheeses

C. Vegetable based such as butternut squash purée, spinach, broccoli etc. and fresh herbs.

D. Wine based sauces use Madeira or Marsala wine in combination with heavy cream, parmesan cheese or broth for a lighter pasta sauce.

E. Pesto is a mixture of pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil and tomatoes if it’s a sun-dried pesto. You can add additional or substitute pine nuts for almonds, for instance.

F. Meat sauces using either ground meats such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, veal or sausage.

G. Garlic and oil. A light, simple and flavorful sauce.

H. Asian sauces, for example, teriyaki, peanut sauce, etc. used for Asian pasta dishes such as Pad Thai and so forth.

Whether you use jarred sauces or not, you can add your own ingredients to make it heartier.

2. Look for a variety of pasta shapes. You look for small shells, farfalle, radiatori, wagon wheels, gnocchetti, for example, in mac ‘n cheese instead of the elbow macaroni. Use small pastas such as stars, or alphabets in soups; fusilli or small penne in pasta salads.

Get creative and try Asian noodles such as vermicelli, udon, rice noodles, chow mein noodles etc.

3. Switch up the ingredients that normally go into a classic recipe. This will add different textures and new flavors. It may not work the first time, but keep trying different combinations for variety.

4. Change the cooking method in how you make pasta, for example, you bake lasagna, but you can make messy lasagna in a pot or crock pot. Take your hearty winter pasta dishes and lighten it up for the warmer months and vice versa.

5. Experiment with the variety of cheeses that are available.

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