Pleasing pasta recipes to spice up your dinner rotini


Pass the pasta! Inspired by the Muffuletta sandwich in New Orleans, my delicious Muffuletta Pasta Bake is easy enough to be a weeknight option. Smoked Salmon and Artichoke Angel Hair has a light, creamy dill sauce and tastes like spring. For something different, try Easy Asian Noodles with a salty, slightly sweet sauce. And all pasta will benefit from my Creamy Mushroom Sauce; I serve it over chicken ravioli, but any pasta works. Enjoy!


Muffuletta Pasta Bake

Makes 6-7 servings.

Cooking spray

1 (22-ounce) bag frozen cheese ravioli
2 cups store-bought pasta sauce
2/3 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained
2/3 cup mixed green and black olives
10 slices deli ham, chopped
8 slices salami, chopped
8 slices pepperoni, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano

Heat oven to 400.

Spray a casserole dish or 9×9 pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce on bottom. Layer on half of the frozen ravioli. Spread half of remaining pasta sauce on ravioli.

Place roasted red bell peppers and olives in food processor, and pulse into chunks. Top ravioli with half of olive mixture and half of the meats. Add final layer of ravioli, and top with remaining pasta sauce, olive mixture and meats. Evenly add cheese and green onions on top. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove lid, and bake another 15-20 minutes.

Smoked Salmon and Artichoke Angel Hair

Makes 5-6 servings. 

8 ounces angel hair pasta
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups flaked smoked salmon
1 (15-ounce) jar artichokes, drained
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Put water on to boil for pasta.

In a large, nonstick pan, cook butter, heavy whipping cream, garlic, dill and capers over medium-low heat, and allow to thicken slightly.

Sprinkle lemon juice over salmon, and add salmon, artichokes and lemon zest to cream mix.

Boil pasta according to al dente directions. When it’s almost done, stir Parmesan cheese into cream mixture.

Immediately drain pasta, and add it to sauce, tossing thoroughly to coat.

            Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Makes 4 servings.

Chicken ravioli or favorite pasta (like rotini or angel hair)

For sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 pound portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Put water on to boil for pasta.

Begin boiling pasta according to directions when sauce is halfway done.

Add oil to a skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and mushrooms, and cook until tender. Add Italian seasoning, chicken stock, red wine and salt; allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add butter, whipping cream and garlic; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately over pasta.

Easy Asian Noodles

Makes 5-6 servings.

For the sauce:

3 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons grated ginger or ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the noodles:

3 eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
4 cups tri- colored coleslaw  mix or chopped cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces angel hair pasta or spaghetti
2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro to garnish

Put water on to boil for pasta.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients for sauce.

Scramble three eggs as you would for breakfast, and set aside.

In a wok or nonstick skillet, heat canola oil, and stir-fry onion, green onions, carrots and coleslaw/cabbage until desired tenderness. (Vegetables will continue to cook, so I take them off when they are still slightly crunchy.) Add salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat.

Cook pasta according to al dente directions.

Drain pasta, and add it to vegetables. Pour sauce over noodles; add in scrambled eggs and chicken. Over medium-high heat, cook quickly and toss until heated through and evenly coated. Garnish with cilantro, and serve.