A delicious and simple pasta dish can be perfect on nights when the desire to make dinner is minimal but the hunger is not. Sometimes making pasta can be as easy as boiling the noodles and heating up the sauce from the jar—and that’s okay! However, what about the nights when you want more out of your chosen comfort food?
That’s where our friends at Boston’s Pizza Restaurant and Sports Bar have you covered. Boston’s is giving back by offering their top secrets for making the most mouthwatering pasta creations possible with 4 pro tips gleaned from more than 50 years in business.
Giving back is natural for Boston’s. its Boston’s Pizza Foundation, established 13 years ago, has raised more than $1.7 million for local and national charities and pride themselves on using fresh, authentic ingredients.
Pasta Tips from the Pros
Know Your Noodle: A key aspect of cooking up the perfect pasta dish is knowing the right noodle for the job. Using a thinner noodle like Spaghetti or Angel Hair? Use lighter sauces like tomato, garlic or olive oil. For creamy, rich sauces like Alfredo, thicker noodles like Fettuccini or Linguine work best. When using hearty sauces with meats or vegetables, Penne and Ziti are best at clinging to sauces and making every bite flavorful.
Cook to Perfection: Salt is your best friend when it comes to cooking pasta. Adding one to two tablespoons of salt to boiled water is a great trick to help rough up the surface of pasta to avoid slimy noodles. To avoid gummy and sticky noodles, always wait for the water to come to a complete boil before jumping the gun and adding pasta prematurely. Stir the pasta occasionally while it cooks, drain, and add to the sauce!
Don’t Skip the Add-ins: Simple add-ins like browned ground beef or some creamy avocado slices can add tons of flavor and instantly make your sauce heartier and more filling. Mix it up by adding something unique, like a fried egg or butternut squash, or keep it traditional with some great protein sources like chicken or shrimp.
Spice It Up: A big mistake pasta-lovers make is forgoing flavorful herbs and spices that can make the world of a difference. Especially when using a pre-made sauce, a teaspoon or two of thyme, oregano, basil, or even a small pinch of red pepper is an easy and inexpensive way to add a kick to your pasta.
Getting hungry yet? Keep scrolling to find The Food Channel’s favorite pasta recipes!
Angel Hair Pasta with Carrot Pesto Recipe
The leafy green tops of carrots are nothing to be afraid of, they are earthy in flavor and taste surprisingly similar to carrots. We blended our leafy tops with garlic, Parmesan, toasted almonds, honey and red wine vinegar with this delicate carrot top pesto. Click here for the full recipe.
Roasted Tomato Basil and Feta Pasta
Already sweet cherry tomatoes, intensified by roasting, are tossed with summery basil, tangy Feta crumbles, and angel hair pasta. This pasta is perfect served warm, cold or room temperature – Click here for the full recipe.
Rigatoni alla Buttera
A simple combination using Italian sausage, crushed tomatoes, peas and heavy cream make this dish deliciously decadent. It’s hearty sauce and big open noodles are perfect for catching all of the flavors. Click here for the full recipe.
Fresh Fettuccine with Almond Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes
Silky fresh fettuccine is lightly coated with a flavorful pesto that gets a bit of heft from the addition of almonds. Click here for the full recipe.
Easy Shrimp Scampi and Spinach Fettuccine
This fabulous fresh version of shrimp scampi pasta is fancy enough to impress your guests and simple enough to serve on a hectic weeknight. This recipe is balanced with a blend of butter and monounsaturated olive oil and tossed with fresh baby spinach. Click here for the full recipe.