We don’t usually like to play favorites, but National Pasta Day on Tuesday, October 17th is definitely one of the holidays we count down to on the calendar. And it always seems to come just at the right time every year, as the days get shorter and the chill in the air has us craving warm bowls of pasta. We’ve put together our favorite easy pasta recipes that we cook on high rotation, including a surprising, new go-to pasta that has completely changed how we cook pasta. We hope you’ll give it a try this Pasta Day.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
Photo: Gimme Some Oven
It’s finally slow cooker season and nothing says cozy cooking better than lasagna. So imagine combining the two and coming home to a luscious pasta dinner after a long, cold day. It’s easy to customize depending on your mood, whether you’re craving a rich Bolognese ragu or a veggie one-pot wonder with mushrooms, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
How to make it: Spread some Italian pasta sauce evenly on the bottom of your slow cooker, then layer Barilla Lasagne sheets (break them up if you need to make them fit the bottom of your slow cooker). Over the lasagne sheets, spread your chosen ragu or vegetable sauce, then a layer of bechamel or ricotta cheese. Now repeat the layers — pasta sauce, lasagne sheets, ragu/vegetable sauce, white sauce — at least three times. When you get to the top layer, finish with plenty of Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese and cook on low for eight hours or high for four hours.
Easy Mac and Cheese
Is there anyone that doesn’t love mac and cheese? It’s the ultimate comfort food, and chances are you already have the ingredients in your pantry, so an easy, cheesy dinner is just minutes away. Use our best-ever mac and cheese recipe as a base and then let your imagination — or your leftovers — inspire your dinner tonight. Got some ham or sausage lurking in the fridge? Add it in. Like it spicy? Add a spoonful of Sriracha. It’s a great way to hide veggies from kids, too (like peas).
How to make it: Cook 1 box of Barilla elbows in plenty of boiling, salted water. In another pan, heat up one cup of Barilla tomato and basil sauce, with one cup of chicken broth, and 1/2 a cup of milk. Blend until smooth. Add the drained, cooked pasta and stir. Sprinkle in Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese and stir for a few minutes until creamy and cheese.
Risotto-Style Pesto Pasta
Want to try something completely different for Pasta Day? This risotto-style pasta recipe is a revelation and we can’t stop making it. Just as risotto rice soaks up all the flavors as its cooked slowly in ladleful after ladleful of seasoned broth, small pasta shapes like penne, farfalle, or rotini become extra flavorful when they’re cooked in the same way. We love it with aromatic pesto to brighten up a gray, Fall day.
How to make it: In a pot, heat up six cups of chicken stock and keep hot. In a large skillet, melt olive oil and butter and add one box of pasta for two minutes. Add 1/2 jar of Barilla pesto and cook for another minute. Add one ladle of hot chicken stock to the pasta, and stir until absorbed. Keep adding the remaining stock one ladle at a time and stirring until the pasta absorbs all the liquid and is al dente, with a loose sauce, about 25 minutes. Add a drizzle of Prince & Spring Extra Virgin Olive Oil and serve.
What’s your favorite pasta recipe? Tell us in the comments!