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Pasta with Greens & Beans

I’m trying to eat more greens, more beans, and less meat. This warm, hearty dish is a delicious way to get collard greens on the table.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Farfalle with Spicy Sausage & Butternut Squash

This weeknight comfort food pasta dish is an easy-to-make family favorite.

Yield: 4 servings

Cacio e Pepe

Shortly before I hosted my Italian Party book club dinner, Deb Perelman wrote about the challenge of making the perfect three-ingredient Cacio e Pepe and published her foolproof recipe on Smitten Kitchen. It was the perfect complement to the stew of kale, tomatoes, and beans known as Ribollita.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings Total time: 30 minutes

Tortellini Skewers

When you’re squeezed for time and trying to get dinner on the table, your grocery store’s deli will save the day. Prepare any flavor of tortellini from the refrigerator case, and thread onto skewers with antipasti favorites.

Total time: 25 minutes

Tomato Sauce with Vegetables

On my road trip earlier this year, a family friend invited us to his lake house and served pasta with a tomato sauce much like this one. He sautéed his vegetables first, and said that you can use bell peppers, zucchini, or any other veggie you have on hand.

Once you run everything through the food processor, you’d never know the veggies were there, except the flavor of the sauce is a little richer. This is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, especially if you have kids who need more veggies in their diets.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Lee’s Fideo

These short noodles, toasted and then cooked until tender in a broth of tomato sauce and cumin, are a classic Mexican comfort food dish.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings Total time: 20 minutes

Sausage Broccoli Pasta

Use one pot of boiling water to cook the broccoli, spinach, and the pasta. Brown Italian sausage, and combine everything for a super easy, satisfying weeknight meal.

Yield: 6 servings Total time: 30 minutes

Pendley Pasta

This tomato-based pasta salad has been a favorite in our group of friends for years. It’s a vegan dish that travels well to pot lucks and can also serve as a main dish, especially topped with chunks of warm salmon.

Yield: 10 side-dish servings Total time: 30 minutes

Doni’s Caramelized Onion & Roasted Red Pepper Linguine

Caramelize onions and roasted peppers, add a bit of butter and broth, and then swirl in cooked linguine and top with crumbled feta cheese. Doni serves this with pesto-crusted chicken breasts.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings Total time: 1 hour

Grammy’s Spaghetti Sauce & Mom’s Meatballs

This combination of my grandmother’s recipe for spaghetti sauce and my mother’s meatball recipe is a family treasure and a Christmas Eve tradition – whether we’re together or apart, we always have spaghetti and meatballs.

The sauce, which simmers in the slow cooker all day, starts with garlic warmed in olive oil and includes a distinctive scent of celery seed. Bread, eggs, and Parmesan cheese make the meatballs tender. Brown them and add them to the sauce in the last 30 minutes.

Yield: 10 servings Total time: 8 hours