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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

7 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes for Busy Weeknights

There’s not really a more crowd pleasing dinner option around than pasta. I mean, who doesn’t love a bowl of pasta? It’s so comforting and adaptable that it makes it easy to work with even for the pickiest eaters — there’s sure to be a recipe out there for everyone. Pasta dishes often fall into two categories; ones that are considered rich and indulgent and ones that are seen as a bit lighter and easier to put together.

While the former is a great option for a weekend, or when you have lots of time, the latter is best for those busy days during the week. These dishes can be pulled together in the blink of an eye and will satisfy everyone, a win for all involved.

Penne with Roasted Cauliflower & Lemon {via twopeasandtheirpod}
This is a Mediterranean inspired pasta that actually might register as more of a hot pasta salad than a typical pasta dish but rest assured, it has all the bulk needed to be the main entree. It is heavy on the flavor with the roasted cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, garlic, red onion, lemon, and capers. You’ll see that whole wheat pasta is used here to make it even healthier but if you’re not a fan, regular pasta is just fine. The great thing about this meal is that it eats great cold as well, so it can make for a good lunch on the go.

Image Credit: jessica merchant

Parmesan Pasta Shrimp Skillet {via how sweet eats}
A very addicting blend of soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and garlic make this one irresistible. When I first made this pasta I couldn’t believe the amount of flavor that was generated in such a short ingredient list, and I bet you’ll be equally impressed. Excluding the marinating time for the shrimp (which you really could skip if you’re extra short on time, I’ve done it and it’s worked) this dish is done in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta. It’s got a nice spicy kick to it and feel free to mix up the ingredients a bit. I’ve added some mirin sauce or red chili paste for extra flavor and it’s worked beautifully.

One Pot Pasta {via martha stewart}
The first time I ever saw a recipe for a one pot pasta I had a split reaction between disbelief and curiosity. The curiosity side of me won out and I tried the recipe and I’m alive today to tell you that it worked! I had so many reservations from thinking the pasta would be gummy to worrying their wouldn’t be enough flavor in the dish, but this recipe cured me of all of that. The method is a bit unorthodox but the result is a delicious, classic pasta that is great for busy nights. Just don’t forget the SALT!

Broken Pasta with Kale & Mushrooms {via bevcooks}
If you’ve never tried broken pasta before, you must, if only for the pure aesthetic purposes of it. Doesn’t broken pasta pieces mixed with bright greens just look so lovely and romantic? Or are you a normal person who doesn’t even food human qualities? If so, than I insist you try this recipe out for the flavor and not the look. Pasta, kale and sausage is such a reliable and delicious dinner and if you’re a mushroom lover than them being in here will make it even better. The sauce is little more than wine, garlic, and lemon so everything melds together in a really light and bright way.

Gnocchi with Ham & Peas {via food network}
File this under one dinner that looks and tastes like it took way more time to make than it actually did. It is so creamy and appears so decadent and hard to make but the reality is that it couldn’t be any easier. Using store bought gnocchi (you could make it at home but then this would certainly not be a quick pasta dish any more) means all you’re doing is chopping a short list of ingredients and making a very delicious cream and cheese sauce. This is definitely one of those dinners to make if you are looking to for something really comforting and warming but don’t have the time to put into the dinners that usually fall into that category.

Image Credit: krzysztof puszczyński

Zucchini Noodles with Garlic & Butter {via bestrecipebox}
It’s time to pull out that vegetable sprilizar that you got for Christmas but have yet to use (not judging, I just know what’s up) — we’re making zoodles! So this one might not technically count as a pasta dish, but it definitely counts as a dish that looks pastaesque and is definitely going to be a more nutrient-rich dinner than the simple carbs that come with pasta. I’m not one to ever think that pasta can be replaced, but I’m also not one to shy away from something delicious just because it’s replacing something else. And that’s what this zucchini pasta is, an extremely delicious dish that just so happens to make a healthy pasta replacement. If you’ve never tried this out before, I suggest giving it a go, you might be surprised.

Baked Pasta {via epicurious}
Good ole trusty baked pasta, you really cannot go wrong. This is hands down the recipe that I turn to when I need to make dinner but cannot pull anything together to save my life. It’s a no-thinking-very-little-effort required dish that I might even call a life saver. You are doing little more than cooking pasta then mixing it with spinach, cheese, and red sauce, and sticking it in the oven. About 35-45 minutes later you are presented with a everything you need for dinner in one hot, creamy, delicious pan. It doesn’t get better than that.

Do you have a favorite quick pasta recipe?

Featured image is from Jan Vašek.

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