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27 Easy Pastas That Don’t Use Sauce From A Jar, Because You Deserve Better

There’s only one problem with recipes prepared by blindfolded, shackled cooks: They usually taste like they were prepared by blindfolded, shackled cooks. Recipes that are too easy can tend to be a bit of a letdown in the flavor department. 

Take pasta, for instance. In the desperation of a busy weeknight, you’ve probably popped open a jar of red sauce and dumped it on some freshly boiled dried pasta. If you were feeling extra energetic, you might’ve sprinkled on some of that powdered “Parmesan” cheese stuff that’s not actually Parmesan, but smells like feet. It’s good enough, but you’re worth more.

We’re going to offer a compromise. We’ve picked 27 of our favorite pasta recipes that are low-maintenance but actually use real ingredients and lots of vegetables, meaning they taste like something you’ll look forward to eating. They all start off with dried pasta, which many chefs argue is better than fresh, but not a single one of these recipes call for a jar of sauce. Get that stuff out of here.

We’ve taken it easy on you and avoided any recipes that call for pesto, because no one wants to get out their food processor at night. There ARE are couple of recipes that require a sauce that can be made a day in advance, because they were just too delicious to leave off the list. And if you’re not in the mood for hot pasta, we’ve also got some pasta salad recipes for you too. They’re perfect for packing up for lunch the next day.