Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes for Dinner in a Pinch
Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes for Dinner in a Pinch

To all the home chefs out there, we salute you. It’s no easy feat getting dinner on the table after a long day at work.

Our meal kits help take the stress out of weekly meal prep, but what about those in-between days? Or when you need a quick and nourishing lunch when you’re working from home? When in doubt, take the pasta route.

Pasta is the perfect blank slate to let your imagination run wild and a great opportunity to use up those vegetables at risk of withering away in the crisper. When it comes to hearty, delicious, easy-to-cook meals ready in a jiffy, no one does it better than pasta.

Here are a few of our favourite quick and easy pasta recipes to get dinner (or lunch) on the table sooner rather than later.
 

Cheesy Skillet Torchietti with Pancetta-Panko Topping

 
Cheesy Skillet Torchietti with Pancetta-Panko Topping

You’re never too old for mac and cheese. This dreamy recipe takes things up a notch with a creamy bechamel sauce, fresh Torchietti pasta (AKA big kid macaroni), and crispy-golden panko and pancetta crumble — all topped with vibrant green scallions because you’re an adult, after all.

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

• 85g Diced pancetta • 100g Small-diced Louis d’Or cheese
• 1 Scallion • 2 tbsp Butter
• 38g Panko • Oil
• 20g All-purpose flour • Salt and pepper
• 225g Fresh Torchietti pasta • 150ml Milk or milk alternative
• 10g Roasted garlic and red pepper spice blend (salt, garlic, sugar, red bell pepper, vinegar powder, green bell pepper, sunflower oil, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper)

 


 
Mise en place

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cut off and discard the root end of the scallion; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops.

Make the pancetta-panko topping

In a large pan, heat a drizzle of oil on medium-high. Add the pancetta* and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, until beginning to brown; season with half the spice blend. Add the panko and half the white bottoms of the scallions (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of oil). Cook, stirring frequently for 1 to 2 minutes until the pancetta is cooked through and the panko is golden brown; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe out and reserve the pan.

*Health Canada recommends cooking pork to a minimum internal temperature of 71°C.

Cook the pasta

While the pancetta cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook, 3 to 5 minutes, until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving half a cup of the cooking water, thoroughly drain the cooked pasta. Toss with a drizzle of oil to prevent sticking.

Make the cheese sauce

In the reserved pan, melt 2 tbsp butter on medium-high. Add the remaining white bottoms of the scallions and the flour. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, until a paste forms. Add the milk and reserved cooking water, whisking constantly, 4 to 6 minutes, until thickened; season with the remaining spice blend and salt and pepper. Add the cheese and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, until smooth.

Finish and serve

Add the cooked pasta to the pan of cheese sauce; cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, until the pasta is coated with the sauce. Divide the finished pasta between your plates. Top with the pancetta-panko topping and as many of the green tops of the scallions as you’d like.

 
Featuring:

Fresh Torchietti Pasta Diced Pancetta Louis d’Or Firm Cheese
Fresh torchiette pasta from Goodfood Diced pancetta on parchment paper Sliced Louis d'Or cheese on a marble board

These ingredients are available directly from your selection page! Add them to your basket this week.

Chef’s tip: Portion and freeze any leftover uncooked fresh pasta for the next time you need a quick and easy meal!

 

Chicken Piccata with Fresh Torchietti

 
Chicken Piccata plate

Our take on this classic Italian-American chicken and pasta dish is designed to maximize flavour and minimize cook time. Plump and juicy chicken thighs are cooked with a lip-smackingly delicious mix of capers, garlic, and lemon and served with twisty Torchietti noodles and crunchy sugar snap peas. This might be your new pasta night go-to!

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

• 4 Boneless skinless chicken thighs • 20g Capers
• 1 Bunch of parsley • 225g Fresh Torchietti pasta
• 2 Garlic cloves • Olive oil
• 1 Lemon • Salt and pepper
• 115g Sugar snap peas (or snow peas) • 9g Lemon and herb spice blend (spices, salt, granulated garlic, carrots, red bell pepper, sugar, sunflower oil, lemon oil)

 


 
Mise en place

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Trim off and discard the ends of the snap peas; pull off and discard the string that runs the length of each pod. Thinly slice the garlic. Quarter the lemon. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

Cook the chicken

In a large pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel; season with the spice blend and salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and cook, partially covered, 4 to 6 minutes on the first side. Flip and add capers, garlic and the juice of 1 lemon wedge. Cook, partially covered, 4 to 6 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan.

Cook the pasta

While the chicken cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, 3 to 5 minutes, until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving half a cup of the cooking water, thoroughly drain the cooked pasta; toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.

Cook the sugar snap peas

In the reserved pan of fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high. Add the sugar snap peas; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, until beginning to soften.

Finish and serve

To the pan, add the drained pasta, half the parsley, the juice of 1 lemon wedge and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until thoroughly combined and heated through (if the pasta seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to achieve your desired consistency). Divide the pasta and vegetables between your plates. Top with the cooked chicken and remaining parsley. Garnish with the remaining lemon wedges.

 
Featuring:

Chicken Thighs Fresh Torchietti pasta Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 uncooked chicken thighs on parchment paper Fresh torchiette pasta from Goodfood A bottle of Goodfood extra virgin olive oil

 Make this quick and easy pasta recipe with ingredients available from your selection page!

Chef’s tip: If you’re looking to reduce your carb intake, swap out pasta noodles for spiralized veggies!

 

Shrimp with Fresh Spinach Linguine, Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce, Spinach and Garlic Green Beans

 
Shrimp with Fresh Spinach Linguine

Getting your greens in has never been easier. Brimming with spinach, green beans, basil, and even a whole pint of cherry tomatoes, this garlicky shrimp pasta checks off all the boxes and then some.

To seal the deal on this meal, bake a Baguettine de Paris and cut in half lengthwise, drizzling each half with olive oil. Brush on minced garlic, season with salt and pepper, and broil in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown for perfectly paired garlic bread.

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

• 285g Tail-on Pacific white shrimp • 30ml Tomato paste
• 100g Trimmed green beans • 30g Vegetable demi-glace
• 60g Baby spinach • 225g Fresh spinach linguine
• 15ml Minced garlic • Olive oil
• 1 Bunch of basil • Salt and pepper
• 140g Cherry tomatoes • 5g Bruschetta spice blend (garlic, red bell pepper, dried black olives, basil, oregano, salt, parsley, lemon powder, sunflower oil, black pepper)

 


 
Cook the green beans

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. In a large pan, heat a drizzle of oil on medium-high. Add half of the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the green beans and 1 tbsp of water; season with a third of the spice blend and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, until crisp-tender and beginning to brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in a warm spot. Reserve the pan.

Cook the pasta

While the green beans cook, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water, separating the strands with your hands as you add them. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 3 minutes or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving half a cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta thoroughly. Toss with a drizzle of oil to prevent sticking and set aside in a warm spot.

Start the shrimp

While the pasta cooks, heat a drizzle of oil on medium in the reserved pan. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towel and remove the shells from the tails; season with half the remaining spice blend and salt and pepper. Add the shrimp* in a single, even layer and cook, 1 to 2 minutes per side, until opaque and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm spot.

*Health Canada recommends cooking shellfish to a minimum internal temperature of 74°C

Make the sauce

Halve the cherry tomatoes. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of oil on medium-high. Add the remaining garlic and cook, 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, until dark red. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to soften and release their juices. Add the demi-glace and half the reserved cooking water. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened (if the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to taste); season with the remaining spice blend and salt and pepper.

Finish and serve

To the pan of sauce, add the cooked shrimp, cooked pasta, spinach, and basil (pick the basil leaves off the stem before adding). Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the pasta is coated with the sauce. Divide the shrimp linguine between your plates. Serve the garlic green beans on the side.

 
Featuring:

Tail-On Pacific White Shrimp Fresh Spinach Linguine Baguettine de Paris
Tail-on Pacific white shrimp in a bowl Fresh spinach linguine on a granite board A cooked and sliced baguettine de Paris on a cutting board

 You can find these ingredients and much more on your selection page!

 
From cooking oils to fresh pasta to gourmet meats and cheeses, we’ve got all the grocery essentials you need to whip up a quick and easy pasta dinner the whole family will love. Bon appétit!

 
Image Credits

Feature Image, Image 1-12: via Goodfood

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