What are good non-tomato based pasta sauces?

Pesto sauce is a pretty good alternative — it involves blending pine nuts, basil, and olive oil (cream optional), and goes especially well with short pasta (rigatoni, farfalle, etc.) tossed with shrimp or chicken. It's fairly easy to make (no actual cooking required, just a blender; check sites like epicurious.com for a bunch of easy recipes), and keeps well in the freezer — try freezing cubes of pesto in ice-cube trays for easy single-serving defrosting.

 

Pasta carbonara is also amazing, if you like slightly runny eggs and cheese — you basically toss cheese (pecorino or parm are popular), a sunny-side-up egg, olive oil, and pancetta/bacon.

What is the difference between pasta and noodles?

Noodles is the umbrella name – the genus, the English word for dough that is cut, formed etc. into a zillion shapes then boiled, fried, etc. (Interesting that nudel, is the older, German word)

Pasta is simply the Italian name for noodles.

Chūka men – a Chinese noodle name.

Lagman – an Uzbek noodle name.

So, all of these are noodles – pasta is just the Italian WORD for noodle.

What types of pasta are common in Italy but rare in the US?

Being in the pasta business myself, I don't know of any pasta not available here in New York that is available in Italy.

One must remember though, that in different regions of Italy, different pastas are more commonly made (Orecchiette in Bari, Anellette in Sicily, Pici in Tuscany, etc) and aren't common throughout Italy. In my experiences, here in NYC alone, we have pasta shapes that are more available than in Italy.

Every pasta shape mentioned in the answers to this question, except one, are readily available throughout my area, and that one (corzetti) is an artisan pasta that are made in some ravioli stores.

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What are some great simple pasta recipes?

I’m a working single person. It’s 7 p.m. already, and need to make dinner after a long tiring day at work. Thinking what to cook that requires zero effort and prepared quickly. Have no time to go for a grocery store or order ingredients online. Pasta is the perfect option for such situation, am I right! It’s the best option for lazy moms to make easy yet yummy dinner for kids as well for the whole family.

These simple yet tasty pasta dishes are blissful when you are hungry but too lazy to cook for yourself.

1. Tagliatelle Makhani Carbonara

It’s a weeknight dinner masterpiece recipe for pasta lovers. Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome. You will need fewer ingredients and a short time to whip up. For this recipe, you need to add a little cream as it helps keep your food moist and not dry like the authentic recipes can be.

Get the full recipe: Tagliatelle Makhani Carbonara

2. Two Cheese Garlic Pasta

The laziest girl in the world could make this pasta dish and will taste like you spent all day on it. Pasta tastes its best when served with a rich, creamy cheese sauce. You can use any other pasta if you don’t have spaghetti. For cheesy and creamy look add cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.

Get the full recipe: Two Cheese Garlic Pasta

3. Penne Pasta with Salmon and Broccoli

If you need to make dinner immediately, try this speedy and creamy delicious Italian pasta with the nourishment of fish and broccoli. This pasta dish is full of protein because of the fish and other green vegetables.

Get the full recipe: Penne Pasta with Salmon and Broccoli

4. Smoke Penne Pasta with Makhani Sauce

Do you like pasta on the spicy side? Then this pasta dish ensures every bite has the right mix of Indian spices, sauce, pasta, and cheese. Penne pasta in Indian spices makhani sauce, it is a fusion of two cuisines traditional Italian cuisine and authentic Indian cuisine. With the smoke effect, it tastes more rich and savory.

Watch full recipe video: Smoke Penne Pasta with Makhani Sauce

5. Quick and Healthy Garlic Shrimp Pasta with Spinach

It’s a quick go-to pasta dish made with 5 ingredients for a weeknight meal, ready in just 20 minutes! It is creamy, savory and its instagramable. It gets tossed in spinach and pasta, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. It’s an ultimate creamy cheesy pasta to die for…

Get the full recipe: Quick and Healthy Garlic Shrimp Pasta with Spinach

6. Baked Vegetable Lasagna

The more layers the more yum! Yes, let the world meet your favorite dinner, baked vegetable lasagna. Lasagne is wide, flat-shaped pasta, and possibly one of the oldest types of pasta. This baked vegetable lasagna is a perfect combination of lots of vegetables and lots of cheese.

Get the full recipe: Baked Vegetable Lasagna

7. Macaroni Salad

If you can mix few ingredients or make Meggi, you can make this. Macaroni salad is a type of pasta salad, served cold made with cooked elbow macaroni. It normally made for summer events, because of its coldness and high nutrition.

Get the full recipe: Macaroni Salad

Still not satisfied, to get detailed recipes click on 7 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes for Busy Weeknights

For more veg, Non-veg pasta recipes click on, Garlic Chilli Mussels Pasta

What are some interesting macaroni and cheese recipes that make use of other cheeses besides cheddar?

I'm obsessed (seriously, it's the only recipe I make at home) with Morton's macaroni and cheese recipe.

Sharp cheddar, cream cheese, parmesan and swiss.

Recipe:
http://thebeststeakanywhere.com/…

Honestly, I think swiss and onions are under-the-radar mac and cheese ingredient all stars.

How do rice, pasta, quinoa, couscous, wheat and multigrain flour  etc., compare in terms of nutritional value?

Quinoa is quite literally the greatest food. Ever. It is the only plant-based food that has all of the essential amino acids. NASA has declared it an essential staple food that will be used on the first manned mission to Mars.

Quinoa: 180 calories, 3.5g fat, 11g fiber, 7g protein, 29g carbs
White Rice: 171 calories, 0.3g fat, 1.3g fiber, 3.1g protein, 39g carbs
Plain Pasta: 97 calories, 0.4g fat, 0.8g fiber, 3.4g protein, 20g carbs
Brown Rice: 171 calories, 1.4g fat, 1.6g fiber, 3.7g protein, 36g carbs
Cous Cous: 163 calories, 0.3g fat, 2.2g fiber, 5.5g protein, 34g carbs
Millet: 189 calories, 2.1g fat, 4.2g fiber, 5.5g protein, 36g carbs

Why do parents order pasta with butter for their children?

I know how to cook, we eat at home about 75% of the time, I am married to a half Italian-American, I was raised on Eastern European food, I can afford to feed my kids most things off most menus, my kids like spicy foods, my kids try new foods regularly…and yet I have one son who loves tomato sauce and one son who hates it. So, and this is sort of a no-brainer, I don't order him pasta with tomato sauce but butter instead if there isn't anything else available.

Is 'carbo loading' still the best thing to do the night before a big bike ride?

Carbo-loading is good, yes, but not the night before your event! To properly carbo-load, you should begin about a week before your event and taper your carb intake to something light and simple the night before (like a salad).

Pasta takes a long time for your body to break down, so it's essentially an anvil in your stomach if you pack down some Rigatoni the night before.

Ultimately, whatever gains you'd get from the extra carbs in your body are completely negated by how awful you'll feel with a brick of pasta sitting in your stomach if you do it the night before.