6 Simple Pasta Recipes

Updated on May 13, 2016
6 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes
6 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes | Source

Some Pasta Translations

  • Spaghetti = Little strings
  • Linguine = Little tongues
  • Tagliatelle = Long cuts (from the verb 'to cut' tagliare)
  • Farfalle = Butterflies
  • Penne = Pens

A quick and easy pasta is the perfect plate for anyone that wants great tasting food that won't involve an entire evening or more enslaved to the kitchen. Whether it's penne, spaghetti, linguine, fusilli, or any other -etti, -ine or ili, pasta features in a large proportion of my meals. I am lucky enough to have my Italian Nonna living about 5 minutes drive away to add to my pasta indulgence. She prefers the long run up approach to making sauce taking up most of a day to prepare, great if you have the time and inclination for that sort of thing, but, for the most part, when I cook up a bit of pasta there's no hanging about!

The 6 easy pasta recipes detailed in this article are:

  • Prawn and Chilli Pasta
  • Pesto, Cherry Tomato and Pine Nut Pasta
  • Salmon and Broccoli Pasta
  • Amatriciana Pasta
  • Olive and Tomato Pasta
  • Bacon and Mushroom Pasta

Note that garlic is a feature in almost all of the recipes here but that is purely personal preference and can be excluded for those with an aversion to the biting bulb.

Prawn and Chilli Pasta
Prawn and Chilli Pasta | Source
Prawn and Chilli Pasta Ingredients
Prawn and Chilli Pasta Ingredients | Source

Prawn and Chilli Pasta

This colourful pasta dish has the best of both with meaty king prawns and a good kick of chilli heat. A personal favourite, the rocket and zesty combo is a refreshing contrast to the slap in the face you get from the peppers.

Yield: 2 large or 3 medium portions


  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 a chilli
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Handful of tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are often used for this dish although I use whatever I have in).
  • 250g linguine, spaghetti or penne if you prefer
  • 250g raw king prawns
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
  • 50g wild rocket
  • Black pepper and sea salt

Add Chopped Garlic and Chilli, Tomatoes and Raw Prawns
Add Chopped Garlic and Chilli, Tomatoes and Raw Prawns | Source
Add the Purée, Pasta, Lemon and Rocket
Add the Purée, Pasta, Lemon and Rocket | Source

Chilli or Chili?

Find out about the origins of the word:


  1. Add the pasta to a large pan of salted, boiling water and simmer.
  2. Whilst the pasta is cooking, finely chop the garlic, zest the lemon and chop the tomatoes (if you are using cherry tomatoes then half them).
  3. In a large frying pan add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and heat.
  4. Over a medium temperature add the garlic and chilli.
  5. When the garlic has started to turn golden brown add the tomatoes and stir.
  6. After a minute or so add the raw prawns and continue to stir.
  7. Once the prawns have turned pink take a ladle of the pasta water and pour it onto the sauce, then add the puree, combine and simmer.
  8. Scoop out another ladle of pasta water and retain then strain the cooked pasta.
  9. Tip the drained pasta into the sauce and if it needs it then add the ladle of pasta water.
  10. Squeeze in the lemon and add half of the rocket to the pan.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve into bowls and top with the remaining rocket.
  13. Finally sprinkle the lemon zest over the prepared dishes and serve.

Pesto, Pine Nuts and Tomato Pasta
Pesto, Pine Nuts and Tomato Pasta | Source
Pesto Pasta Recipe Ingredients
Pesto Pasta Recipe Ingredients | Source

Pesto, Cherry Tomato and Pine Nut Pasta

This is the simplest pasta of them all. A jar of emergency pesto is a handy thing indeed to have on stand-by when the cupboards are bare and the fridge is offering up nothing.

Yield: 1 portion


  • 100 g penne
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of basil
  • 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare your pasta in slightly salted, boiling water.
  2. Drain well and add to a large frying pan.
  3. Stir in the pesto and most of the basil.
  4. After a couple of minutes add the cherry tomatoes and nearly all of the pine nuts.
  5. When the cherry tomatoes begin to look cooked, before they start to disintegrate, turn off the heat and dish into a bowl.
  6. Scatter the remaining basil and pine nuts over the top and season with black pepper.
  7. Serve.

Salmon and Broccoli Pasta
Salmon and Broccoli Pasta | Source

Salmon and Broccoli Pasta

This is a delicious pasta packed with healthy ingredients as well as calories! Substitute the cream for milk and a bit more flour if you are worried about the creamy, calorie content.

Yield: 2 large or 3 medium portions


  • 200 g broccoli
  • 200 g salmon (boneless)
  • 200 g penne
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • white wine
  • Spoon or two of white flour
  • 100 ml single cream
  • Salt and black pepper

Salmon and Broccoli Pasta Method
Salmon and Broccoli Pasta Method | Source


  1. Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water until it is done to your satisfaction.
  2. Simultaneously oven cook the salmon at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Slice up the onions and chop the garlic into smallish pieces.
  4. Boil the broccoli until it is al dente, you don't wont to overdo it as it will disintegrate in the pasta and look messy. Save a bit of the broccoli water in case the sauce needs more liquid.
  5. Heat the butter in a large pan, then add the onions shortly followed by the garlic.
  6. When the onions begin to turn translucent add the flour and stir.
  7. Pour in a glug of wine. Note that if the mixture looks like it's a bit on the dry side before you add the flour you can throw in a splash of wine beforehand too. Let the sauce hubble away for a few minutes.
  8. Season to your liking. Add some broccoli water if it needs it.
  9. Pour in the strained pasta.
  10. Break up the salmon and remove the skin if there is any, then add to the pasta and stir in carefully.
  11. Take the pan off of the heat and add the cream then put back on the hob and gently stir.
  12. Finally tip in the broccoli.
  13. Serve with a few turns of black pepper.

Amatriciana Pasta
Amatriciana Pasta | Source
Amatriciana Pasta Recipe
Amatriciana Pasta Recipe | Source


This bacon and chilli pasta has a good kick to it, great for those who like their food hot but perhaps not so suitable for the fainthearted spice shy folk. It is often made with bucatini (Bucatini all'Amatriciana), although penne works just as well.

Yield: 2 large or 3 medium portions.


  • 200 grams pasta (penne, spaghetti, bucatini)
  • 400 grams chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 chilli
  • Olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 150 grams streaky bacon or pancetta
  • Glug of red wine
  • Parmesan
  • Parsley


  1. Chop the onion into fairly small pieces and cut the bacon into chunks of about 5-7 mm.
  2. Slit the chilli, remove and discard the seeds, and chop finely.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the bacon.
  4. Cook until the bacon begins to go slightly crispy and then add the onions shortly followed by the garlic and chilli.
  5. Once the onions begin to turn translucent pour in the chopped tomatoes and add the sugar and red wine.
  6. Simmer on a medium heat for about 20 minutes. The sauce should thicken up nicely in this time.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water.
  8. Taste the sauce and season with salt and black pepper and add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
  9. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce once it has hubbled away for the required time.
  10. Dish up and serve with parsley and parmesan and a bit more black pepper to garnish.

Olive and Tomato Sauce Pasta with Creme Fraiche
Olive and Tomato Sauce Pasta with Creme Fraiche | Source

Black Olive and Tomato Sauce Pasta

This is a super simple pasta with a sauce that takes just a minute or two to prepare by jazzing up a shop bought tomato sauce. Great for doing an individual portion when you don't much time to spare.

Yield: 1 portion


  • 100 g penne
  • 150 g tomato sauce (or tomato and chilli sauce or other flavour of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche
  • Handful of black or green, pitted, olives - sliced.
  • Black pepper to season
  • Basil to garnish


  1. Prepare your pasta in salted, boiling water and drain.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and olives to a frying pan and heat on medium.
  3. Once the sauce has been heated through add the pasta and combine.
  4. Turn down the heat and stir in the creme fraiche.
  5. Heat for another minute or two and serve garnished with basil and seasoned with black pepper.

Add chicken to this pasta by cooking a few chicken pieces either in the oven or in a frying pan and then throw them in with the pasta and sauce just before adding the creme fraiche.

Bacon and Mushroom Pasta
Bacon and Mushroom Pasta | Source
Bacon and Mushroom Pasta Recipe
Bacon and Mushroom Pasta Recipe | Source

Bacon and Mushroom Pasta

This is one of my favourite pasta dishes. It is very easy to prepare and the bacon and all its saltiness gives it great flavour. It can be made without cream for the health conscious but if there happens to be some in your fridge then it does give the sauce that extra creamy consistency that tastes really rather good!

Yield: 2 large or 3 small portions


  • 200 g penne
  • 200 g mushrooms (any type of mushroom will do the job although the larger, flat mushrooms do tend to turn the sauce brown)
  • 125 g Bacon (select a bacon type to suit your preference)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Tablespoon flour
  • Milk
  • Cream (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to season
  • Basil to garnish


  1. Boil the pasta in slightly salted water until cooked and then drain.
  2. Slice up the onions, chop the garlic, slice the mushrooms and cut up the bacon.
  3. Throw a couple of glugs (about 2 tablespoons) of olive oil into a large frying pan.
  4. Cook the onions on a low to medium heat for a few minutes and then add the garlic.
  5. Continue to fry the onions and when they start to turn translucent add the bacon.
  6. Fry for another 2-3 minutes and throw in the mushrooms.
  7. When the mushrooms look near enough done add the flour and stir in.
  8. Take the pan off the heat and add the milk then return to the flame on a medium heat.
  9. Season to taste.
  10. Pour in the cooked pasta and combine well so that all the pasta is nicely covered.
  11. If you are adding any cream then do this at the last minute and heat for just another few seconds.
  12. Serve up and garnish with black pepper and fresh basil and maybe some parmesan too.

Avocado Salad
Avocado Salad | Source

Serving Suggestion - Avocado Salad

Accompany your pasta with a simple salad consisting of:

  • avocado
  • tomato
  • fresh basil
  • onion
  • olives
  • feta cheese

Add all the ingredients to a bowl then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with a good grind of black pepper.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I love pasta and I'm always looking for new ideas on how to prepare it.

      Very helpful article.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      I have gotta try some of these. Thanks for the recipes. Voted up :)

    • Dougalbunny profile image

      Zoe 3 years ago from London, England

      Thank you hubbers! Your thoughtful comments are most definitely appreciated!

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Oh my, what mouth-watering photos-- beautiful presentation! I love the "biting bulb" myself, and am most pleased that you have included a couple of vegetarian recipes since that is my persuasion. Congratulations on the HOTD award! Voted up, shared and pinned!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love good pasta recipes! Congrats on Hub of the Day! Great pics!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Congratulations for the HOTD!

      All these pasta recipes are mouth watering. I liked the combination of ingredients, the pictures and the instructions. I would try all of them, because I love pasta--quick and delicious, at the same time you can combine healthy ingredients to make it a healthy meal.

      Voted up and pinned!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 3 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      What a great bunch of pasta recipes, and a beautifully done hub. Congrats on HOTD. Well deserved.

    • smallbizloandepot profile image

      smallbizloandepot 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      the salmon and broccoli looks tremendous i will definitely try soon.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Congrats! These look like terrific recipes with some yummy looking photos.

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 3 years ago from Arizona

      Simply amazing! You did a great job introducing a variety of pasta! Voted up and tweeted out!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Could eat pasta several times a week, so these recipes are timely. Congratulation on HotD.

    • Sunshine Days profile image

      Sunshine Days 3 years ago

      Great recipe article! I like how you showed the recipes step-by-step and included pictures. Good ideas on different ways to make pasta dishes.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Don't eat seafood, but love pasta and garlic! Passing on the Amatriciana recipe to the roommate - she loves chili sauce

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Not a shrimp guy but everything else looks great!

    • My Bell profile image

      Marcelle Bell 3 years ago

      Thanks for including the two vegetarian recipes for pasta - I'm trying out those since I don't eat meat. Nice job on this hub and wonderful pictures! Congrats on HOTD!

    • sara0129 profile image

      Shamim Rajabali 3 years ago from Texas

      Pinning this on my recipe board. Thanks

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this line up of pasta recipes. These will be useful to busy people now that school has started, during the holidays, and they would be just plain yum on any day! The Black Olive and Tomato Pasta would be a great side with so many entrées.

    • Haj09 profile image

      Hajer 3 years ago from Tunisia

      Great hub, thank you :)

    • Dougalbunny profile image

      Zoe 3 years ago from London, England

      Good tip CatherineGiordano!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      You have given me some very good ideas for pasta dishes. Your avocado and tomato salad could also be a pasta dish. Just add cold macaroni. I've got an avocado in my refrigerator right now so I thin I will make that for lunch.

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 3 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Love the salmon pasta dish . Awesome recipes and beautiful pictures !

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 3 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      looks delicious, too bad im terrible at cooking

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      Delicious I gave your a 5 star rating for the first recipe. Would have given you others but they're not on the hub! I love pasta! And it's so good for you too!

    • Dougalbunny profile image

      Zoe 3 years ago from London, England

      Cheers for the great comment and pinning MPG Narratives, much appreciated!

    • Dougalbunny profile image

      Zoe 3 years ago from London, England

      To hear that makes it worthwhile! Thank you Roadmonkey!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      A great recipe hub with great photos and step by step instructions. This hub deserves HOTD, well done Dougalbunny. Voted up, useful, pinned and shared.

    • profile image

      Eugene9184 3 years ago

      Look yummy :)

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 years ago

      What great photos and great recipes. Am printing this out to keep in my recipe book!

    • Dougalbunny profile image

      Zoe 3 years ago from London, England

      Cheers sparkleyfinger! Some of the pastas would fare better than others cold. I have had most of them as leftovers, normally heated up unless I am feeling particularly ravenous and impatient! The olive and tomato pasta would be ok cold, perhaps leave out the creme fraiche, and the pesto one would be good too.

    • koerakoonlane profile image

      koerakoonlane 3 years ago from Paris

      They look so good. And I can see you like penne, great minds think alike, eh :)

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Great hub! Congratulations on HOTD! I'm wondering whether these pastas are ok to eat cold? Would like to spruce up my lunches! Voted up, useful and pinned, too! Thanks

    • Dougalbunny profile image

      Zoe 3 years ago from London, England

      Thank you mySuccess8! What a pleasant and unexpected surprise HotD was this morn!

    • mySuccess8 profile image

      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      Broccoli, garlic and onion are some of my favorite ingredients which you have included in the recipes. Well-explained and thanks for sharing your recipes which look delicious. Congrats on HotD!