Pasta Recipes

Pasta is to Italy as fish and chips is to Britain! There are literally thousands of Italian pasta recipes, so where do you start? There are healthy Italian pasta recipes, quick Italian pasta recipes, classic Italian pasta recipes and recipes that have Gino’s unique twist!

Whether you want to make your own pasta dough or you’re choosing from dozens of different types of pasta, there’s a pasta shape to complement every pasta recipe! In fact, there are over 600 forms known by an incredible 1,300 names.

You may not realise it, but the shape of pasta you choose plays a big part in what the final dish looks and tastes like. For example, long, thin pasta like pappardelle or linguine go best with Italian pasta sauce recipes because the sauce coats the strands. Pasta shapes like fusilli (little springs) and conchiglie (shells) go very well with pasta sauces with texture, like Bolognese since the meat is captured in the small crevices of the pasta, and tubular pasta like penne rigate (ridged quills), macaroni (elbows) and rigatoni (thick ridges) are ideal for chunky Italian pasta sauce recipes full of delicious vegetables!

Like they say 1 in 12 people in the world own a copy of Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, every person in the world knows at least one recipe for Italian pasta! It’s amazingly versatile, it’s nutritious, delicious and if you scroll through Gino’s authentic Italian pasta recipes, his Italian pasta sauce recipes and his recipes for pasta dishes with meat, without meat, with cheese or without or full of vegetables, fresh pasta recipes and baked pasta recipes, you will find mouth-watering Italian pasta recipes for one, for two or for the whole family!

You can find a full range of the very best Italian pasta recipes in Gino’s best-selling recipe books or you can find a selection of great ideas below. Time to start cooking!

Pasta RecipesGet Inspired

Ravioli con salmone e ricottaRavioli filled with Smoked Salmon & Ricotta

When I was a child, eating smoked salmon was always a massive treat because it was so expensive. It's cheaper now, but still fantastic. Just take care when seasoning the dish because the salmon is already salty.

6

Serves

9

Ingredients

Salmon

Main Ingredient
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Pennette gratinate al salmone affumicato, fontina e piselliPasta Bake with Smoked Salmon, Fontina & Peas

This is a fantastic way to use smoked salmon, and many people who don’t generally like fsh – such as my wife – love this recipe. If the béchamel and pasta are hot you can just pop the dish under the grill until the cheese melts, as I’ve done here. If you want to make it ahead, prepare up to the end of step 4 then reheat the dish in a preheated oven (200°C/gas mark 6) for 20–25 minutes....

4

Serves

12

Ingredients

Salmon

Main Ingredient
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Fusili con ragu di coniglioPasta with Rabbit Ragu

This recipe is very different and worth a try. The flavours are unique compared to what you and your family are probably used to and it really is a wonderful, rich way to make a ragù. Please, whatever you do, don’t just throw away the discarded vegetables. Place them in a saucepan with some passata (sieved tomatoes) and heat it through; then you have created a sauce that can be used to top fish...

4

Serves

15

Ingredients

Rabbit

Main Ingredient
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Linguine con acciughe, peperoncino e aglioLinguine with Anchovies, Chilli & Garlic

In Italy this would traditionally have been served as an inexpensive dish to feed a crowd. It's still a great standby recipe, using ingredients that can mostly be found in store cupboards but which together create something that has great flavours and textures. The gentle kick from the chilli and crunch from freshly toasted breadcrumbs really makes my mouth water! All it needs as an accompaniment is...

4

Serves

8

Ingredients
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Linguine alla PuttanescaLinguine in a Southern Italian Sauce with Anchovies & Capers

There’s nothing quite like the taste of a good pasta puttanesca. It’s a real Italian classic and, when I’m back in Naples, my mother cooks this for me at least once a week. She always says that it reminds her of my late father – apparently this was the dish they both ordered on their first date. Well, it must have been pretty good – otherwise I wouldn’t be here, would I?

4

Serves

9

Ingredients
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Gnocchetti sardi fatti in casaHomemade Sardinian Pasta Shells

Making pasta can be a bit of a chore, but gnocchetti sardi (also known as malloreddus) is really easy. You don’t need a pasta machine – just mix, roll, shape and cook. Unlike most other types of home-made pasta, which contain eggs, the dough for these shells is made from flour and water, giving the pasta a firmer texture. The shells are best served with a chunky sauce such as a ragù made from...

4

Serves

2

Ingredients
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Insalata di fregola con olive, scorza d’arancia ed erbetteFregola Salad With Olives, Orange Zest & Fresh Herbs

A true Sardinian speciality, fregola is a type of pasta typically made from semolina dough. It is similar to couscous, but with larger pellets that have been toasted in the oven so it has a firmer texture and nuttier flavour. You can find fregola of differing sizes in Italian delicatessens and online – it is perfect with fish or shellfish.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients
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Gnocchetti sardi con vongole, noci, peperoncino e bottargaSardinian Pasta Shells with Clams, Walnuts, Chilli & Bottarga

This recipe is often served on the coast in northern Sardinia and it’s one of my favourites. In fact, I’ve started to make this dish at home at least once a week as I love the flavours so much. Try to get hold of bottarga if you can – it really will enhance the dish – and please don’t be tempted to sprinkle cheese on top, as it will fight with the flavours of the seafood.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Clams

Main Ingredient
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Bucatini al pesto sicilianoBucatini with Sicilian Pesto

Classic pesto is a specialty of Liguria, in northwestern Italy. However, Sicilians have their own equally delicious, lesser-known version – just a few additional ingredients take it in an entirely new and exciting direction. In this recipe I’ve used bucatini pasta, which is basically a thicker version of spaghetti with a hole all the way through, but of course pasta of any shape will be fine.

4

Serves

13

Ingredients
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Spaghettini alle cozze, pomodorini e vino biancoSpaghettini with Mussels, Cherry Tomatoes & White Wine

I love recipes that require just a few good-quality ingredients and are simple to make yet really have the ‘wow factor’, such as this pasta dish with mussels. You don’t have to use the bottarga - the dish stands alone without it - but a Sardinian cook would almost certainly grate it over the top of the finished dish.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Seafood

Main Ingredient
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Orecchiette con Calamari e ChorizoPasta Shells and Beans with Squid and Chorizo

I absolutely love squid and to me there is no better way to cook it than with a nice spicy chorizo sausage. This is a pasta dish that would be perfect for a party because the flavours and the colours are just amazing. If you prefer you can substitute the parsley leaves with fresh mint but whatever you do, please make sure that you use fresh squid.

6

Serves

12

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Tagliatelle con Salsicce e PorciniTagliatelle with Sausages, Rosemary and Porcini Mushrooms

I love good-quality sausages so this recipe is definitely in my top ten. My grandfather used to make this dish for me when I was a boy but he used a tomato passata instead of the cream that I have introduced. I wish he could have tasted my version as I know I would have got a huge cuddle for this one – he would have loved it and I know that you will too. For those of you who don’t like mushrooms,...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Conchiglioni alla VenezianaVenetian-Style Pasta Shells Stuffed With Courgettes & Sage

If you’re on the lookout for a vegetarian pasta dish that has the ‘wow’ factor and can be prepared ahead, this is the one for you. When they are stuffed and baked, conchiglioni (giant pasta shells) look so impressive and they taste every bit as good as they look. Fresh sage, which is extremely popular in Italian cooking, gives the dish intriguing, earthy undertones.

4

Serves

14

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Spaghetti ai Carciofi, Radicchio, Piselli e Vino BiancoSpaghetti with Artichokes, Radicchio, Peas and White Wine

Perfect for a midweek supper, this dish is quick and easy to make and low-fat too. Radicchio is very popular in Italy, particularly in the north, where it grows mainly in the Veneto region. Prized for the rich red colour and slightly bitter flavour of its leaves, radicchio is also a rich source of vitamin K.  

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Linguine Alla AmatricianaLinguine With Cherry Tomatoes, Pancetta And White Wine

With no doubt, I have to dedicate this recipe to my friend and manager Jeremy Hicks. We have known each other for seven years now and without fail he has to have this pasta dish at least once a week. I actually agree with him, it's one of my favourites too, because I just love the combination of the onion, pancetta and chilli. If you prefer, you can substitute linguine with spaghetti or tagliatelle.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Conchigle Rigate PiccantiShell Pasta With Spicy Pork And Tomato Sauce

I love this shape of pasta and this sauce is perfect for it. The delicate taste of the pork with the strong flavours of the chilli, olives and sun-dried tomatoes is a match made in heaven. I know that most people add cheese to pasta sauces but please don’t to this one. It really doesn't need it and will actually ruin the natural flavours of the ingredients. If you fancy, substitute the conchiglie...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Pappardelle Con PolpettePappardelle With Meatballs

This is a family favourite and a staple for the kids. True Italians never serve spaghetti with meatballs; it has to be fettuccine or pappardelle pasta to be authentic.

4

Serves

12

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese Di Mio NonnoTagliatelle With Bolognese

This is the real thing. The genuine ragù, as it is made in Bologna, is a mouthwatering meat sauce that includes different types of mince, including pork and beef, slowly cooked in a tomato and vegetable sauce. In Italy, this sauce is only ever served with broad, flat pasta such as tagliatelle or fettuccine and never with spaghetti.

6

Serves

13

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Linguine ai Gamberi e RucolaPasta Ribbons with Prawns and Rocket

This is one of my signature dishes, created in the summer of 2003 on the island of Sardinia where my family and I were enjoying our holiday in our house on the beach. Make sure that you serve this dish as soon as you combine the pasta and the sauce. You can substitute the prawns for scallops.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Seafood

Main Ingredient
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Linguine Vongole e Vino BiancoLinguine with Clams and White Wine

I absolutely love this recipe, so much so I would say it’s my favourite in this chapter. I lived on freshly landed seafood when I was a young boy and miss it hugely.  This was, and still is, number one for me. It’s so easy and yet you really feel that you have been spoiled when someone makes it for you. Please be careful when making the sauce and ensure that you do not stir the clams too vigorously...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Clams

Main Ingredient
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Conchiglie VegetarianeShell Pasta with Peppers, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

This has to be the ultimate vegetarian pasta recipe. There’s so much goodness in this dish and it’s also really filling and extremely tasty. Some might think that the peppers could make it slightly bitter but together with the pine nuts and basil, it screams freshness and will be enjoyed by herbivores and carnivores alike.

7

Serves

9

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Linguine ai Frutti di MareMixed Seafood Linguine with Chilli & Cherry Tomatoes

I have to admit that my mother is not the best cook in the world unless cooking traditional Neapolitan dishes she has grown up with. However, this has to be one of her best creations that she prepares for me every time I go to visit her. It is very important for this recipe to use tinned cherry tomatoes because if you use the fresh ones, the sauce will be too watery. Do not overcook the prawns or langoustines...

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Seafood

Main Ingredient
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Pappardelle con MelanzanePasta with Aubergines, Tomatoes and Garlic Sauce

Many people steer clear of aubergine and yet it really is an easy vegetable to prepare. In this sauce, it enhances the tomato flavour without overpowering it, so if you have children who don’t like their vegetables, try this dish – they’ll hardly know it’s there. I often serve this pasta as a starter but be careful with portion sizes as you don’t want to fill everyone up before the main....

6

Serves

10

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Farfalle con noci e GorgonzolaPasta salad with walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese

Gorgonzola and walnuts have always been a great combination. I find that they work perfectly with pasta and rocket. Of course you can eat this dish hot, but if you are making it for the following day make sure you eat it at room temperature and mix well before serving. If you prefer, substitute the Gorgonzola with any hard blue cheese of your choice.

4

Serves

7

Ingredients

Cheese

Main Ingredient
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Bucatini with eggs, pancetta and Pecorino RomanoBucatini alla Carbonara

This has to be one of my favourite recipes ever, especially with this shape of pasta. Bucatini is like a thick spaghetti with a hole in the middle that runs from one end to the other. This allows the sauce to really coat the pasta inside and out beautifully. If you are a fan of a simple spaghetti dish, I recommend you try this traditional Roman recipe. You can substitute the pancetta with streaky bacon...

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Linguine with tinned tuna, olives and chilliLinguine al tonno

Without doubt this has to be one of my father’s favourite pasta dishes. I remember when I used to live with him it was a must-have dish at least once a week but not always with the same shape of pasta. Please make sure that you never use tuna in brine for this recipe and if you like you can add some capers to the sauce.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Tuna

Main Ingredient
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Rigatoni con asparagi, piselli e funghiRigatoni with peas and porcini mushrooms in a creamy asparagus sauce

For anybody who isn’t a big fan of rich tomato sauces this has to be the perfect pasta recipe if you still want bags of flavour on your plate. This dish is so full of fresh ingredients that even though it’s in a creamy sauce it doesn’t feel heavy. I must admit that every time I make this for a vegetarian they utterly love me – so it must be good.

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Orecchiette con cime di rapeOrecchiette with Broccoli, Garlic and Chilli

I grew up eating orecchiette, the typical pasta shape of Puglia. The name translates as 'little ears', which is exactly what the shape resembles. Italian grandmothers traditionally make the pasta by hand, shaping it while having a good old chat. The hollow in the little ears perfectly entraps whatever sauce they are served with.

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Spaghetti with Eggs, Pancetta and Pecorino RomanoSpaghetti alla Carbonara

Carbonara is the Italian word for 'charcoal burner', so some people believe this dish was first made for charcoal workers in the Apennine mountains. The general view now, though, is that it was an urban dish invented in Rome. Note that cream is not used in an authentic carbonara, so none is included below. Fettuccine or bucatini can be substituted for the more usual spaghetti.

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Cannelloni al Pesto GenoveseCannelloni with Pesto and Béchamel Sauce

Cannelloni was invented in Sorrento in the early 1900s by a chef from Naples. Today you’ll find a recipe for it in many Italian cookery books, so I had to include a version here. As you'll see, this is a traditional-style cannelloni with a bit of a twist, and I think you will love the result.

4

Serves

20

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Rigatoni all’Arrabbiata con SalmoneRigatoni in Spicy Tomato and Salmon Sauce

Arrabbiata means 'angry' in Italian, and I guess they used it to name this dish because of the heat of the chilli peppers in the sauce. The spicier the better for me, but be careful in Italy when asking for this traditional dish to be extra spicy – they will take you at your word. In this recipe the rigatoni can be replaced with penne or any other pasta shape, if you prefer. Just get cooking –...

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Salmon

Main Ingredient
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Tagliatelle PrimaveraSpicy Tagliatelle With Peppers, Courgettes, Red Onions And Thyme

I never want to hear from anyone that it's hard to cook for a vegetarian. I know if you are a meat lover it can be annoying but there are some amazing pasta dishes out there that you can cook and this is one of them. Peppers, courgettes and onions are a great combination of vegetables and with a small punch of chilli, make this meal delicious. You can substitute fettuccine instead of tagliatelle if...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Mezzalune Dolci Ripiene Di Ricotta Con Cioccolato, Arancia E NoccioleSweet Pasta filled with Ricotta, Hazelnuts, Orange and Chocolate

We love our pasta in Italy - so much so that we like to eat it for dessert too! These little halfmoon-shaped pasta treats are perfect eaten at the end of a meal or with coffee or a chilled glass of sweet white wine. The combination of nuts, honey and chocolate make them very rich and perfect for festive entertaining.

4

Serves

14

Ingredients

Cheese

Main Ingredient
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