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

Easy dinner recipes: Three simple pasta options in 30 minutes or less
Tagliolini al limone (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

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.


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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