This pasta dinner recipes collection is a clear concise presentation of the most popular Italian pasta dishes, over hundred of them. Taking inspiration from these classic dishes, by intermingling, adding ingredients, experimenting, you can create countless new ones yourself.

Si vo campari anni e annuna, vivi vinu supa e maccarruna.Pasta e vino
(If you want to live years and years, drink wine over the macaroni)
Sicilian proverb of the 17th century

I am Italian, which may tell you I have some familiarity with pasta, besides, working in restaurants, I got to have a closer experience.

Living abroad, especially in America, I was confronted with wrong concepts, strange practices and improbable recipes on pasta. All that wouldn’t matter, if not classified, presented and even pushed as Italian.

Unknowingly and often knowingly the strategy works as everything Italian is mostly well accepted, even desirable.

Some people certainly could be confused when in Italy finding out that recipes (and other things) believed to be Italian are not exactly so there or even nonexistent.

I want here to stress, my dear visitor that I do not want to dismiss, offend, insult or even ridicule anybody because of some dear ways, possibly at times not real Italian. My purpose is just to present the reality in Italy. I invite you to check.

I expand on this subject in Italian pasta: myth and truth.

The success of pasta in Italy is, not only from its quality but also from the infinite varieties of sauces and condiments of which it can be dressed.



Why Italians love pasta so much?

It can be because of one or more reasons. Here some quick answers:

  • Cheap
  • Filling
  • Satisfying
  • Nourishing
  • Easy and quick to prepare
  • Sure to please all, kids included
  • A success in formal and informal gatherings
  • Comes in different shapes, sizes and pasta types

Italian pasta recipes are simple, few exceptions. Dried pasta, the package, is the everyday pasta in Italy. Pasta and sauce can be ready at the same time in most cases.

Nourishing, tasty and satisfying are the important properties Italians look for in a pasta dish.

Simple, quick and easy is also the norm so valid in this ever more hectic world. All that makes pasta an ideal consideration in a meal.

Homemade fresh pasta though easy to make, is time consuming, so it is reserved for the holidays, special occasions or for a treat.


Does pasta make you fat?

It depends.

Pasta doesn’t make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat.”  Giada De Laurentiis

Actually foreigners are amazed at how Italians can keep their figure, notwithstanding their daily pasta. Italians don’t live of pasta alone. Their diet is diversified. Pasta is part of the meal, not the whole meal. We need different kind of nutrients from different sources and some need to be replenished every day for a heathy living.

Not everywhere that is so I found out the first time I went to America, New York

Regardless of what bad things you may have heard, see below: (second link if first not working)

Why Pasta Is Healthy: Scientists Explain in Plain Language

Why Pasta Is Healthy: Scientists Explain in Plain Language


About my pasta dinner recipes

I like and tried to use the KISS principle in my recipes – Keep ISimple Stupid.

I choose classic traditional and regional dishes for my pasta dinner recipes. As you’ll find out, most of them are of fast and simple preparation.

I tried to keep ingredients and directions defined and clear. Like in any recipe and so in mine, at times you’ll have to rely on your best judgment.

For example: how big is an onion, weight in a tomato, your idea of a thick sauce, of browning lightly, cook about 10 minutes, salt and pepper. Heat is another factor: low, medium, lively. You decide.

Even your definition of al dente can vary from the package cooking time. I know it is true for me. Ovens too may have slight differences in temperatures.

Cooking is not a perfect science. Even the best chefs cannot guarantee the same amount of ingredients to the last grain of salt. They certainly do not use scales and measurements and so won’t you with practice.

Every time a dish is a new original.

Cooking should be fun.

Thank you for your interest in my collection of pasta recipes. I enjoy presenting them.  I hope you’ll like them and make some your favorites.

I wish you Buon Appetito!

Gianfranco Focarelli

 Magna e bevi e nun ce pensà
 Eat and drink, and forget it  – Roman saying