11 Pasta Recipes For National Pasta Day

Me. Rooftop. Ten million years ago.

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She wore blazers and red lipstick, and lived in a fourth-floor walkup apartment with a hole in its floor and a stove that routinely tried to kill her. One day, she decided that she wanted to quit her terrible, horrible job in HR (a job that mostly involved her crying at – and sometimes under – her desk), and write a blog.

…What would this blog be about?

Being a Domestic Goddess, of course! Which, as the girl interpreted it, meant cooking and entertaining and decorating like an elfin Martha Stewart on speed, and doing it all with the sort of effortless panache that Instagram filters would later make much, much easier to fake.

The only problem: This girl was very much not a Domestic Goddess in any sense of the word. One fairly major conundrum that quickly presented itself: She seriously could not cook, outside of a couple of dishes she very fancily called her “specialties” but were really “the only things she knew how to make.” Her favorite dinner was frozen tortellini with some Prego thrown on top (still a classic, just saying).

But she was going to write this cooking/entertaining/decorating blog if it killed her. She was going to make things, and then photograph these things, and then write about these things, and she was going to do it every. single. day.

What did this mean?

It meant that the girl made a LOT of pasta. Because one thing you cannot F up? Is pasta.

Look at these bebes, eating pasta! Also ZOMG that lamp #memories

Happy National Pasta Day! Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.


Chicken & Pasta w/ Easy, Sweet Tomato Sauce

Inspired by a dish that I had at Italianissimo many moons ago, this simple, hearty pasta is perfect for a cozy night in.


Jordan Pasta

I originally named this pasta after my son, because it’s his favorite dish…but…

Ok, I’ll tell you the truth: I named it after my son because he loves it, yeah yeah, but mostly because love it, and now whenever I make it I get to seem like an amazing parent who is making her son’s favorite meal for dinner while actually eating…my favorite meal. (Very selfless over here.)

So in the interest of truth-telling, I have officially renamed it.

Meet “Jordan Pasta.”


Cold Pasta Salad with Feta, Olives and Tomatoes

I don’t make this salad very often. And that’s not because I don’t like it all that much…it’s because I like it so much that I cannot stop eating it, even when it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and I just stirred from my slumber ever-so-slightly when all of a sudden the words “COLD PASTA SALAD” propelled me towards the kitchen, where I later discovered myself standing in front of my refrigerator holding an empty Tupperware.


Peanut Noodles with Stir-Fried Chicken

This is the ultimate comfort food – peanutty and soy saucey and pasta, I mean come on: what more do you want? And you can also do lots of variations on it: add more vegetables or a couple of handfuls of coleslaw lettuce if you want to make it lighter; add chili sauce to the dressing if you want it spicy; throw in chow mein noodles if you want some crunch. All good.


Luisa's Crack Pasta

This is one of the first dishes I ever made for the site – hence the godawful circa 2010 photo – and it remains, to this day, one of the most delicious pasta dishes I have ever eaten. It’s even in my first book (you don’t know that because you didn’t read my first book. That’s OK; no one else did, either.)

…And I have now been inspired to make it tonight, so I can take an actual, decently-lit picture of it.


Reader Recipe: Salmon & Spinach Fettuccine

When it came to comfort foods, I was an odd kid. I’d come home from school and dump a can of French-style green beans into a bowl, microwave it, and eat the whole thing (yes, just a bowl of French-style canned green beans. Delish). I’d stop at the deli across the street and buy a whole pickle – you know, the ones that you get from the big jars behind the counter – and then settle down in front of Duck Tales with a bowl of salt, into which I would dip the pickle.

And then there was my favorite dinner: a recipe that I’m going to credit to my mother that involved…wait for it…

Microwaved salmon.

What my mother did with the salmon after she microwaved it (which, in her defense, creates an effect akin to poaching) was flake it into marinara sauce (Prego, obvi), and serve it over spaghetti. It was not pretty. It was not fancy. It was, however, DELICIOUS.

This is the less embarrassing version of that.


Fettucine w/ Saffron, Shrimp & Spinach

When I broke out this recipe for my then-two-year-old, this is how the conversation went:

“What’s that.”


“I don’t like shrimp.”

“You’ve never eaten shrimp.”

“I don’t like it.”

“Try one bite.”


…And then he ate them all.


Cacio e Pepe

I do not like pepper on things. I do not like pepper in things. If a fleck of pepper has touched even the tiniest corner of my food, I will taste it, and I will hate it.

So why am I now making, and posting, a recipe that translates to “Spaghetti with Pepper?”

Because, my friends, I am an enigma wrapped in a mystery with a little WTF sprinkled on top. And that’s the way I like it.


Sherry's Most Perfectest Lasagna Ever

This is my friend Alisa’s mom’s friend Sherry’s dish, and it is the best lasagna I have ever, ever, ever tasted (sorry, mom). The secret ingredient? A touch of cheddar cheese. I’m aware that that doesn’t sound like a good idea, but this lasagna was transcendent. So you’re going to have to trust me.


Lentil "Bolognese"

This dish is not only vegetarian, it’s also really healthy (full of vegetables and protein) and REALLY good. Like, as good as “real” (meaning meat-containing) bolognese. Maybe even better. No joke. It’s not going to trick your tastebuds – it tastes like it’s own thing, not like traditional bolognese – but it’s super flavorful and hearty without being heavy.


Mason Jar Ramen

Hey, remember a few years ago when pretty much every post I wrote included a Mason jar in one way or another? What that time period resulted in was me owning a lot of Mason jars.

Which is fortunate, because now I can make the most perfectly photogenic – and portable – lunch on the planet.

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