8 Easy Pasta Recipes for Quick

Pantry Pasta with Kale, Chickpeas and Sun Dried Tomatoes

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat or spelt rotini (or any other short pasta)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or 2 tablespoons of the sun dried tomato oil and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, cut in half and then chopped into thin half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chilies (optional)
  • 1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups frozen chopped kale (I use the Cookin’ Greens brand)
  • 1 (~200 mL / 7 ounce) jar oil-packed julienned sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper (about 10-15 turns of the pepper grinder) and sea salt
  • Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions, and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil or sun dried tomato oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic and chilies (if using) and cook for a minute more or until garlic is fragrant.
  • Drain sun dried tomatoes of their oil or remove them from oil using a slotted spoon, and then stir sun dried tomatoes, chick peas and frozen kale into the onion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until kale is hot.
  • Toss pasta with kale mixture, adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil and enough pasta water to get a consistency you are happy with. (I usually end up using about an eighth to a quarter cup of water.)
  • Stir in pepper and parmesan cheese, and add salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon).

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup with Veggies

This authentic Italian tomato sauce is so quick, and easy to make that it’s ready before the pasta is finished cooking! Read the reviews; when you make this once, you’ll never go back to those inauthentic, sugar-filled jar sauces. Buon appetito!


  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (like De Cecco or Lucini)
  • 4 or 5 cloves fresh garlic (not in a jar, dried, powdered, or frozen) preferably grown in USA
  • small bunch of fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped (my family likes to use parsley in sugo)
  • 1 (28-32 oz) carton/jar of chopped tomatoes or puree (like De Cecco, Mutti, or Bionaturae- I no longer like POMI since their quality dropped) ultimately, fresh Roma tomatoes are best if you have them
  • about 1 1/2 level tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 or 4 large leaves of fresh basil


  1. Pour the oil into a large saute pan (not a deep pot) over medium high heat. Crush the garlic and add it to the oil (if you want a spicy sauce, you can add some hot pepper, fresh or flakes, at this point). Saute the garlic until it just starts to brown, then add the parsley.
  2. Turn the heat up to high. Now add the tomatoes, and quickly cover with the lid for about 30 seconds, until the squirting subsides. Stir with a wooden spoon and lower the heat a little. It is important that this sauce is cooked at a fast simmer, as it is cooked briefly.
  3. Add the salt and continue to simmer at a fast pace, and stir often.
  4. The sauce will thicken quickly, so do not overcook it, and have it become too thick; about 5 to 7 minutes should be sufficient.
  5. Taste the sauce, if it doesn't taste delicious, it probably just needs a little more salt. Turn off the heat and add the fresh basil (I tear mine into pieces). Also, unless absolutely necessary, do not wash your basil. Wipe it with a damp paper towel instead, so the water doesn't ruin the flavor and aroma.
  6. Add sauce to the drained pasta (save some pasta water to add back into the pasta in case it's too dry), and enjoy immediately with some freshly grated authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and/or pepper.
  7. Also, if you've been plating pasta in a bowl, then topping it with sauce, this is American-style. If you want to serve it the way they do in Italy, mix the sauce in and then plate it.

Simple to make and using everyday ingredients, turn a familiar dish into something memorable. This Baked Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo is like cannelloni on steroids because it is everything you know and love about cannelloni, PLUS there are brown crunchy bits. And brown crunchy bits are always the best! 

  • 8 fresh lasagne sheets (15cm/6" x 11cm/4.5")
  • 1/2 cup Mozarella cheese , shredded
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese , for serving (optional)
  • 250 g / 8 oz frozen spinach (pre chopped)
  • 500 g / 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 1/4 fresh nutmeg , grated (or 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 700 g / 24 oz passata (pureed tomatoes) (Note 4)
  • 1 brown onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • Handful basil leaves (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.


  1. Heat oil in a 22cm/9" ovenproof pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add garlic and sauté for 10 seconds then add onion.
  3. Cook onion until translucent and starting to turn golden, then add the remaining Tomato Sauce ingredients.
  4. Simmer for 2 minutes to bring the flavours together, then remove from heat.
  5. Scoop out 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce which will be used to drizzle over the dish at the end.

  1. Defrost the spinach in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  2. Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach using your hands, then place in a large bowl.
  3. Add remaining Filling ingredients and mix well to combine. I find it easiest (fastest) to do this with my hands.
  1. As per the photo, lay out the lasagne sheet with the shorter end in front of you. The reason is that you want to roll these up so they are fatter than cannelloni.
  2. Place 1/3 cup (packed) of filling onto the lasagne sheet. Dab some water on the end furthest away from you (to seal the roll), then roll up starting from the end closest to you. Finish with the seal down.
  3. Continue with remaining lasagne sheets.
  4. Cut rolls into 3 (so each piece is 3.5cm/1.5" wide).
  5. Place the rolls into the tomato sauce with the filling facing up.
  6. Drizzle the reserved Tomato Sauce over the rotolo, then bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and scatter the mozzarella over. Return to oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
  8. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


  • 1 pint ripe cherry or grape tomatoes, at room temperature (see notes below)
  • 6 anchovy filets (see notes below)
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound dry pasta (see notes below)
  • Sea salt, to taste


  1. Combine everything but the pasta in a food processor, and pulse until the mixture is almost smooth. (You are going for a pesto-like consistency.)
  2. Cook the pasta to al dente (i.e. not soft), according to the package directions. When you drain it, reserve about a cup of the cooking water.
  3. Toss 3/4 of the hot pasta with the sauce, adding some of the pasta cooking water to loosen everything up. If the dish is too saucy at this point, add the rest of the cooked pasta.
  4. Season with salt, to taste. (I have never had to add salt; the anchovies and capers leave it plenty salty, I find.)

  • 1 pound good quality Italian sausages
  • ½ pound (~227 grams) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 cups good quality jarred tomato pasta sauce (amount depends on your preference for saucy vs. chunky)
  • Cooked pasta, for serving (**start the water boiling before you make the sauce and your pasta should be ready just in time)
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings and into the pan, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon.
  2. Stir the sausage occasionally until it is browned and almost cooked through.
  3. Push the sausage to one side of the pan and add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms brown on one side, then flip them over to brown on the other side.
  4. Stir in the tomato pasta sauce, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Serve over the cooked pasta, garnishing with chopped fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired.

  • 2 + 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetables, diced (see note below)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 large (28 oz/796 ml) cans whole plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste (or about 1 small 6 oz/156 ml can)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or other ground meat (see note below)
  • To serve: your favourite pasta, fresh basil, parmesan cheese
  • Separate the vegetables into vegetables your kids will eat (the “Yum Vegetables”) and veggies they won’t (the “Ick Vegetables”). It’s absolutely ok if all the vegetables fall into the latter category!
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and the Ick Vegetables. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, and then add the tomatoes (including all the juices) and tomato paste.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook until the vegetable are very soft.
  • Take the pot off the heat and puree the entire mixture with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the vegetable-tomato mixture to a blender and blend, in batches, until smooth, and then return the blended mixture to the pot.
  • Dump the Yum Vegetables into the tomato mixture; bring the whole thing to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer.
  • In the meantime, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, and cook the meat until it is cooked through. Transfer the meat to the simmering tomato sauce using a slotted spoon (leaving the excess fat behind).
  • Simmer the whole mixture for an hour or so.
  • Serve over whole grain pasta or black bean noodles, topped with finely grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.
  • Freeze the remaining sauce in airtight containers or zipper bags.

  • 1 pound of the most flavourful sausage you can find (spicy Italian or chorizo are good options)
  • 1 small onion, cut in half and sliced in thin half moons
  • 2 large, or 3 small cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large bunch of kale, washed and roughly chopped (or 1 box of pre-washed baby kale)
  • 1/2 lb kamut or whole wheat spaghetti
  • Ground pepper and salt to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook spaghetti until just al dente. Reserve a cup of the hot pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings and into the pan. Stir, breaking up the meat up with the back of a wooden spoon, until sausage is cooked through.
  3. If your sausage does not release much fat, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
  4. Add onion and cook until onion is tender. Add garlic and stir for one minute.
  5. Add kale and cook until it is wilted and soft. Turn off heat.
  6. Mix the hot pasta into the kale/sausage/onion mixture. Moisten with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of reserved pasta-cooking water and a large glug of extra virgin olive oil. Stir in parmesan cheese and season generously with pepper. Add salt to taste (you may not need any).
  7. Serve with additional parmesan cheese sprinkled over top.