There are good pastas, there are great pastas, and then there are genius pastas. Sometimes this title is bestowed thanks to an ultra-creative swap (like Tony Kim's "Cacio" e Pepe, which forgoes cheese and calls in miso instead). Other times, it's because you flip a technique on its head (like Ina Garten's roasted-not-simmered vodka sauce). And other times still, it's because the recipe is superiorly simple.
Today, we're focusing on the last one — the easiest, genius pasta recipes. Bookmark for an extra-tired weeknight or, you know, whenever you just want something really good without a lot of effort. (This is all of us always, right?)
Egg noodles, lemons, and cream are all you need to make this recipe — one of my favorite pastas of all time, dreamed up by the late Barbara Kafka. Don't skimp on the black pepper!
More lemon magic! This time, instead of egg noodles, there is broken-up angel hair, and instead of cream, chicken stock and butter. You'll just have to try both to pick your favorite.
Is there a simpler tomato sauce in the world? Let's go with no. Tomatoes, butter, and an onion team up to create something good enough to eat like soup (and yes, I have done this).
If you can boil pasta and combine ingredients in a mixing bowl, then you can make this creamy, cheesy baked pasta. Bonus: It's infinitely adaptable, so you can riff on its flavors to your heart's content.
For your new favorite creamy pasta sauce, just turn to that tub of Greek yogurt in the fridge. Slowly caramelized onions and salty kefalotyri cheese to send it over the top.
To learn the art of no-fuss, read Nigella Lawson's recipes. Here, you combine thinly sliced mushrooms, garlic, thyme, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl for a breezy sauce.
Chickpeas and tiny pasta swim in a tomato-y, garlicky broth. The recipe has one step, which gives you some idea of how uncomplicated this is.
Your new favorite mac and cheese in T-minus 15 minutes? Yep, it's a thing, thanks to Melissa Clark's method: Cook then drain pasta, simmer it with some cream, add lots of cheddar. Ta-da.
Weeknight lasagna, here we come. This skillet version features no-boil noodles, pick-your-own sausage (sweet or hot), and two types of cheese for double the goodness.
To all those pasta recipes that you have you cook your pasta in one pot and make your sauce in another, Martha Stewart says: no thanks. Besides the fact that you save a dirty dish, the whole thing comes together in circa nine minutes.
This story was originally published on Food52.com: 10 genius pasta recipes that honestly couldn't be easier.