If there's a more versatile staple than pasta, I don't know what it might be. Its shapes - long and straight (fettucine, spaghetti) to short
and curly (rotini) to rice-like (orzo) to beautiful bows (farfalle) - make it suitable for endless toppings and garnishes.
Along with variety, pasta dishes can be among the easiest you're likely to find. If you can boil water and chop a few items with a knife,
you can make a hearty pasta meal. Here's an example.
Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Feta Cheese
Cook a long, thin pasta (linguine, spaghetti, fettucine) in boiling salted water, per package directions based on the number of people
you'll be serving. While pasta is cooking, coarsely chop fresh tomatoes (roughly one per serving); but in a bowl and toss with a pinch of
Here's an idea for a more traditional, tomato-sauce type of pasta meal.
Penne with Sausage
8 ounces penne (or other tubular pasta such as ziti) , 1 tablespoon olive oil , 2 Italian sausages , 1 cup chopped onion , 1 red bell
pepper, sliced thinly , ¼ cup dry red wine , 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes , 1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil , 1/3 cup grated
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water, per package directions. Drain and return to pot.
While pasta is cooking, remove casings from sausages and saute in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into chunks as it
browns, about 5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper to sausage and cook for another 5 minutes. Add wine and boil for about 2 minutes,
scraping up any sausage pieces that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add tomatoes and
oregano or basil. Simmer for another 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Add sauce to pasta in pan, tossing to blend until mixture is heated through again. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.