Brown butter-mushroom orecchiette
If the sound of this dish doesn’t automatically make your heart skip a beat, this article might not be for you. Regardless of the season, this creamy dish should be a part of your staple repertoire and it’s no trouble to cook. The key ingredients here are butter, mushrooms, parmesan and cream, which will clue you in to its heavenly and satisfying properties. The dish also utilises the ear-shaped orecchiette pasta, allowing for smaller bites, which is great for savouring. Simply brown some butter, cook down some mushrooms, add a splash of heavy cream, boil your pasta until it is on the cusp of cooked (it will cook a bit more when mixed with the rest), sprinkle on some parm and boom – you’ve got yourself a tasty pasta staple.
Image: Bon Appétit
Pork and fennel lasagne
Crispy and cheesy on the outside, saucy and molten on the inside – lasagne is a no-brainer choice when it comes to satisfying our bellies and our tastebuds. This particular recipe comes from acclaimed Fitzroy eatery Alimentari and its stellar cookbook of the same name, so this recipe is legit. For this dish, you’ll be layering a lovingly simmered combo of pork mince, fennel seeds, wine and tomato with pasta sheets and a buttery bechamel sauce. Plonk this down in front of a group of dinner guests and bask in the adulation – this is a certified crowd pleaser.
Lemon poppy seed cream pasta with oyster mushrooms and asparagus
While this number strikes a perfect balance between creamy moreishness and zesty punch, it also ticks a few extra boxes – it’s meat free and can also be whipped up at any time of year. A light lemony twist cuts through the creaminess and tantalises tastebuds, while the asparagus and spinach add a pop of colour to the mix. The recipe also offers up some handy tricks for budding cooks, including cooking the pasta in vegetable broth – and melting the cheese in it too!
Image: Killing Thyme
Sicilian lemon pappardelle with ‘nduja and crunchy breadcrumbs
Any recipe from Sicily is bound to be scrumptious, so naturally we had to include a sprinkle of Sicilian flair into this list. This dish has a hands-on time of around 30 minutes, which is good if you are time poor but don’t want to sacrifice taste. The recipe calls for ‘nduja – that delightful spreadable pork salumi that we devour first on any charcuterie board – but now the spicy protein is adding pep to this dish alongside lemon, a nice sharp parmesan and a good amount of breadcrumbs to give it a crunchy twist.
Image: Delicious Magazine
Fontina spinach and artichoke breakfast pasta hash
When we’ve been feeling lazy, we’ve been guilty of doing breakfast for dinner. There’s no shame in it, but perhaps it’s time we flipped things the other way around for a change. This dish does dinner for breakfast and we’re all for it. Ditch the cereal and toast in favour of angel-hair pasta, bacon, eggs, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms and loads of cheese. Once all of your bits and pieces are sautéed and cooked to perfection, simply toss them all in a skillet and bake until the egg whites are set but still runny. This is a dish worth getting up early to enjoy, but the leftovers can be enjoyed for any meal.
Image: Half Baked Harvest
Honourable mentions: There are countless dishes out there that will put a smile on your face, but unfortunately we don’t have enough space to take you through them all. If we might suggest a few extras, we love the sound of this rigatoni with spicy calabrese-style pork ragu, this gargantuan baked ziti, a nice pumpkin gnocchi with oregano butter and some sausage, pepper and mushroom risotto.
Image: Food Republic