Make-Your-Own Pasta Night

Two Recipes Included

Make-Your-Own Pasta Night

Jenna Ledley, Staff Writer

Whether it is one of those unavoidable days where nothing seems to be going right, or a day with a cause for celebration, sometimes all you need is a bowl of pasta to make everything perfect.

This food is a crowd favorite, so the next time the task of making dinner falls into your hands, grab a pot of water, a box of pasta, and this article, and you’re set to go. These two recipes may not be fancy-restaurant material, but they are undeniably tasty, and also vegetarian and nut-free.

Be forewarned that they do include dairy, though this could be taken out. Now turn on the stove (with permission) and let’s get cooking. 

From bowties to elbows to shells to raviolis to gnocchi to spaghetti to lasagna to perogies to angel hair to penne to fusilli to, well I think you get the point so I’ll stop now; everyone has their own personal pasta shape preference. Feel free to choose your favorite for any of these recipes.

There are no specific measurements for the ingredients, which makes the cooking of these pasta dishes all about experimentation and unique perspective, and what happens to be in your refrigerator. 

Alfredo Sauce, but Without the Heaviness and Stomach Ache

This sauce only has a few ingredients and it is super simple to make, however, it is not the healthiest pasta dish in the world. Here’s what you need in your fridge: butter, lemons, cheese (I prefer parmesan for the sauce), creme fréche, cream, and if neither of those last two can be found, you can resort to any type of milk (but not chocolate milk, sorry.)

When your pasta has been fully cooked (read the instructions on the box for cooking times), add all of the ingredients to the drained pasta. You can do that right in the bowl or a separate saucepan if extra dishes are acceptable, however, I find the pasta comes out fine all thrown together in the bowl. A squeeze of lemon here, a dollop or pour of cream or milk there, a grating of cheese on top, a sprinkle of salt (optional), and your sauce is ready!

The sauce is light and tangy, salty and somehow hearty at the same time. 

Margarita Pasta (And No, it is Not a Pizza)

Have you ever had a margarita pizza? This is a margarita pizza, but without the pizza! My light and simple tomato sauce is pretty easy to make, but choices can be made with the ingredients to shape this dish into the pasta sauce of your dreams!

Slice tomatoes into little parts and simmer them on the stove. (This means heat them on low until a thin broth of tomato juice forms in the pan. You don’t need to stir them, but feel free to if you want!) A couple of familiar ingredients from the last recipes are then mixed in including lemon juice, parmesan cheese, salt, and cream of any kind. You can also add basil and a cup or so of starchy pasta water from the pot of water.

Pour this sauce over your pasta, add mozzarella cheese, and poof—you’ve got yourself a pasta version of the classic pizza! This sauce can be made to be really creamy or more citrusy, extra brothy or just a thin drizzle on top. 

If you are a white sauce type of person or a steadfast red sauce lover, these two recipes have both sides covered. After all, pasta is indubitably the best food ever, and it doesn’t matter what you add to pasta, it can be delicious with pretty much any ingredient. And remember, if you do the cooking, it’s a really good argument for getting someone else to do the cleaning up, but you didn’t hear that from me.