Easy dinner recipes: Three simple pasta options in 30 minutes or less

Simple pasta recipes come together in minutes, perfect for dinner tonight

Keep it fast and easy with dinner tonight. These three pasta recipes come together in 30 minutes or less:

Tagliolini al limone: You'll love the wonderful simplicity of this dish: Fresh basil and a touch of lemon are infused with a little heavy cream, which is cooked down just until it thickens, then is poured over pasta. Topped with fresh grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper, it makes for a remarkably easy but elegant meal.

Spaghetti with crushed black pepper and pecorino cheese: Why clutter pasta with sauces and too many add-ins when you can keep it simple? A little fresh cracked pepper and grated cheese is all it takes to turn basic noodles into a tempting dish. Dinner is ready in almost no time.

Shell pasta salad with lemon zest: Sweet cherry tomatoes and vibrant zucchini strips lend bright colors to this pasta salad, and the fresh lemon zest adds a nice zing. The pasta salad comes together in minutes, the flavors rounded out with fresh chopped basil and rich Parmigiano-Reggiano. You can find the recipe below.

SHELL PASTA SALAD WITH LEMON ZEST

Total time: 30 minutes | Makes 5 quarts
Note: Adapted from Wolfe's Market in Claremont.

    1 pound shell pasta
    Zest of 2 lemons
    1 1/2 cups petite peas
    3 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
    1 pint cherry tomatoes
    1/2 bunch (1/3 ounce) fresh basil, leaves finely chopped
    8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
    3 to 4 tablespoons best-quality olive oil

1. Cook the shell pasta to al dente according to the manufacturer's directions, then rinse under cold running water to cool completely.

2. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, lemon zest, thawed peas, cut zucchini, tomatoes, basil and Parmesan. Drizzle over olive oil to coat and toss gently. The salad will keep up to 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

Each cup: 170 calories; 4 grams protein; 20 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 6 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 9 mg cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 93 mg sodium.

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