6 Pasta Recipes That Every 20-Something Should Know

I had to take some long, hard looks at all these delicious dinners when I was at the studio shooting this "Foodiversity: Pasta 101" feature, and I don’t think I have ever been more tortured. Pasta is already my weakness, but — OMG! — these recipes! They are so good! Whether you are new in the kitchen and want to learn some easy dishes to whip up, or you are a seasoned pasta eater (like me!) and want some new ideas for fast weeknight fare, we got you. From a one-pot meal to one that uses breakfast ingredients in a totally novel way, these pages are truly good enough to eat. I personally don’t think Foodiversity had ever looked, or tasted, better. But bring some water to a boil and see for yourself. Signed, The Pasta Monster.

This Lasagna Hack Changes Everything

Photographed by Eric Helgas; Food Styled by Michelle Gatton.
Making a lasagna can be completely terrifying, not to mention super-labor-intensive. But this lasagna hack cuts the prep and cook time in half, moving the process from the oven to your stove top. The result is a pasta dish that tastes exactly like lasagna (gooey cheese and all) but isn't nearly as difficult to make. In fact, the whole thing takes only about 30 minutes from start to finish!

Skillet Lasagna
Makes 6-8 servings

1/2 lb lean ground beef, turkey, or vegetarian fake-meat crumbles
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
10 lasagna noodles broken into thirds (don’t worry if the pieces are unevenly broken).
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 cups good-quality marinara sauce
2 cups water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Freshly ground pepper for serving


1. Cook the beef, mushrooms, and onion in a large skillet over medium heat until the beef is browned, about 10 minutes, then drain any extra fat.

2. Add the lasagna noodle pieces, marinara sauce, water, and spices, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the noodles are al dente, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low.

3. Gently fold in the ricotta. Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and chopped basil. Cover and let cook for 2 minutes more or until the cheese on top melts. Top with Parmesan and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!
Photographed by Eric Helgas; Food Styled by Michelle Gatton.