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    May 4, 2020

    23 Exciting Pasta Recipes That Are A Step Above Your Basic Spaghetti

    Upgrade your basic bowl of spaghetti with these exciting pasta recipes.

    If there's one quarantine meal we're making on repeat, it's pasta. But we're starting to get tired of plain old bowls of spaghetti in tomato sauce, so we rounded up a bunch of actually exciting, fancy-tasting pasta recipes that are deceptively simple to make at home. Read on to upgrade your pasta night.

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    1. Three-Cheese Rigatoni

    The Salty Marshmallow / Via thesaltymarshmallow.com

    Mac 'n' cheese, but make it sophisticated with the help of Dijon mustard, hot sauce, Gruyère, fontina, and shredded parmesan. Oh, and don't forget the bread crumbs on top. Get the recipe for three-cheese rigatoni here.

    2. Three-Ingredient Sweet Potato Gnocchi

    Food With Feeling / Via foodwithfeeling.com

    Get the recipe for three-ingredient sweet potato gnocchi here.

    3. Bucatini With Spinach, Bacon, and Creamy Parmesan Sauce

    Julia's Album / Via juliasalbum.com

    It doesn't take much to turn a package of bucatini into a seriously delicious meal. Just add bacon, whatever leafy greens are in your fridge, and toss it all in a mixture of half and half and grated Parmesan cheese. Get the recipe for bucatini with spinach, tomato and creamy parmesan sauce here.

    4. Crab Spaghetti With Lemon Gremolata

    Foodie Crush / Via foodiecrush.com

    Gremolata is basically just a fancy name for this mixture of lemon zest, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, and butter, and it tastes like heaven on top of this spaghetti and lump crab meat. Get the recipe for crab spaghetti with lemon gremolata here.

    Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com

    This homemade kale pesto comes together with just five ingredients: kale, basil, parmesan, olive oil, and crushed red pepper, so there's no excuse to opt for a store-bought version. Get the recipe for herby kale pesto pasta with buttery walnuts here.

    6. Vegetarian Lasagna Roll-Ups

    A Cozy Kitchen / Via acozykitchen.com

    Instead of ground beef, this ricotta-filled lasagna gets its texture from a marinara sauce made with cremini mushrooms and eggplant. Get the recipe for vegetarian lasagna roll-ups here.

    7. Creamy Lemon Shrimp Pasta

    Diethood / Via diethood.com

    Shrimp and pasta get tossed in a sauce made with chicken broth, milk, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and parsley gives this date night worthy pasta that extra oomph. Get the recipe for creamy lemon shrimp pasta here.

    8. Mushroom Bolognese

    Family Style Food / Via familystylefood.com

    In place of meat sauce, this vegetarian-friendly recipe calls for porcini mushrooms cooked with red wine, crushed tomatoes, garlic, and vegetable broth. Get the recipe for mushroom Bolognese here.

    9. Tuscan Sausage Pasta

    Salt and Lavender / Via saltandlavender.com

    Spicy Italian sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and your favorite pasta get cooked in a decadent sauce made with chicken broth, garlic, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Get the recipe for Tuscan sausage pasta here.

    10. Bacon and Leek Pasta

    Jo Cooks / Via jocooks.com

    With just five ingredients (plus salt and pepper) this simple and creamy pasta dinner is an ideal make-ahead meal. It can be stored in the fridge for three days or frozen for future lazy nights. Get the recipe for bacon and leek pasta here.

    11. Lightened-Up Spaghetti Carbonara

    Ambitious Kitchen / Via ambitiouskitchen.com

    This recipe calls for turkey bacon and a generous portion of peas, resulting in a better-for-you twist on classic carbonara. Don't worry, it still tastes totally indulgent. Get the recipe for lightened-up spaghetti carbonara here.

    12. Tortellini Alfredo

    Life In The Loft House / Via life-in-the-lofthouse.com

    It doesn't get much more outrageously delicious than this cheese-filled tortellini coated in fresh alfredo sauce. The best part is the whole recipe requires just six ingredients. Get the recipe for tortellini alfredo here.

    13. Skillet Beef and Broccoli Ramen

    Chelsea's Messy Apron / Via chelseasmessyapron.com

    This Chinese-inspired dish starts with packaged ramen noodles, but you can really use whatever pasta is in your fridge like spaghetti, rice noodles, or even fettuccine. Get the recipe for skillet beef and broccoli ramen here.

    Julia's Album / Via juliasalbum.com

    The key to restaurant-style pasta at home: These sweet caramelized onions. It takes about 30 minutes to cook the onions in olive oil, balsamic, and salt so they achieve that deep brown color and caramelized taste, but the result is well worth the extra effort. Get the recipe for farfalle with spinach, mushrooms, and caramelized onions here.

    Spice is in my DNA / Via spicesinmydna.com

    If you're looking for a pasta perfect for spring, it's this recipe, which is loaded with green veggies, herbs, and crispy pancetta tossed in a sauce made with marscapone cheese and Parmesan. Get the recipe for creamy pappardelle with pancetta, peas, spinach, and shallot crisps here.

    Delightful Plate / Via delightfulplate.com

    This recipe looks totally fancy, but you can keep it realistic (and affordable) by using frozen shrimp, scallops, or whatever shellfish you can get your hands on. Get the recipe for shrimp and scallop pasta with burst cherry tomatoes here.

    Cooking With Cocktail Rings / Via cookingwithcocktailrings.com

    The homemade spicy sauce may look intimidating, but all you really need is cream, chicken sauce, butter, flour, and whatever Cajun spices are in your pantry like cayenne, paprika, and oregano. Get the recipe for Cajun pasta with chicken and Andouille sausage here.

    18. Bruschetta Chicken Orecchiette Pasta

    A Cedar Spoon / Via acedarspoon.com

    Instead of classic marinara sauce, this pasta dish is topped with a bruschetta sauce made of tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, balsamic, and olive oil. Get the recipe for bruschetta chicken orecchiette pasta here.

    19. One-Pot Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese

    Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com

    This mac 'n' cheese is so luscious, you'll never know there's a whole head of cauliflower mixed into the noodles and creamy cheese sauce. Get the recipe for one-pot cauliflower mac 'n' cheese here.

    20. Slow Cooked Shredded Beef Ragu

    Recipe Tin Eats / Via recipetineats.com

    You can make this savory ragu on the stove top or in a slow cooker. Either way, chuck beef cooks in a mixture of veggies, crushed canned tomatoes, bouillon cubes, and red wine until it's super tender and ready to be tossed with your favorite pasta. Get the recipe for slow cooked shredded beef ragu here.

    21. Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce

    Feasting At Home / Via feastingathome.com

    Instead of traditional pesto, this recipe calls for a savory broccoli sauce, which comes together with broccoli florets, olive oil, miso paste, garlic, and chili flakes. Get the recipe for orecchiette pasta with broccoli sauce here.

    22. Creamy Goat Cheese Mushroom Gnocchi

    Cooking Maniac / Via cookingmaniac.com

    Go ahead and use store bought potato gnocchi. We won't tell a soul. Get the recipe for creamy goat cheese mushroom gnocchi here.

    Heather Christo / Via heatherchristo.com

    You can use whatever pasta shape you have on hand, but we love flat, thick lasagna noodles to sop up all the sauce. If you want to save time and effort, any store bought pesto will do the trick. Get the recipe for pasta with grilled eggplant and smoky tomato sauce here.