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10 pantry-friendly pasta recipes

Pasta may be the ultimate pantry powerhouse. It's shelf-stable, versatile, and just as easy to whip up for a quick weeknight meal as a long-simmered Sunday supper. We've rounded up ten ways to play with pasta courtesy of Winnipeg's best chefs.

Almond Chicken Pasta

Making the fragrant sauce for this spring-y pasta is a perfect excuse for opening a bottle of white. Developed by chef Peter Karamchand, former chef at Buffalo Stone Cafe, this is a perfect protein-packed pantry dish with chicken, slivered almonds, and frozen peas and spinach.

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Bucatini pasta with basil cashew pesto

Creamy cashew pesto is a delicious and economical twist on the typical pine nut version. The sauce is the secret in this recipe from chef Wayne Martin of Capital Grill & Bar. Use it to tie together whatever fresh vegetables you have available and whip up a restaurant-worthy plate. Keep a big batch in a jar in the fridge for a quick meal.

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Curry cream pappardelle

Cafe Carlo is famed for its spicy, flavourful twists on pasta dishes, and this recipe from chef David Hyde is no different. Adding a hefty tablespoon of curry paste—another nice pantry staple—is an easy and delicious way to change up a cream sauce and electrify your alfredo.

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Pappardelle alla boscaiola

This pasta is prepared ‘alla boscaiola’—meaning ‘woodsman’s style’—a traditional preparation combining the best of hearty, rustic Italian cooking: salty prosciutto, earthy mushrooms, white wine, and plenty of cream. This recipe from Nicolino’s comes together in about 30 minutes on the stove.

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Hemp pasta and pesto with roasted tomatoes

Making your own hemp pasta might be the perfect weekend cooking project. If you don’t have time to make the pasta from scratch, try regular dried pappardelle or another long, flat pasta. You’ll still get hemp’s distinctive nutty flavour from the fresh pesto in chef Ben Kramer’s recipe. Top with sweet, ultra-flavourful roasted tomatoes for extra punch.

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Pesce asiago

The secret’s in the sauce in this preparation by chef/owner Greg Anania of Bellissimo. Sweet, pungent roasted garlic and heaps of Asiago cheese are the keys to a luscious sauce you’ll want to use on anything. Here it’s paired with scallops, mussels, and prawns.

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Orecchiette with sausage and rapini

A favourite pasta of Chef Anna Paganelli, the longtime force behind DeLuca’s Cooking School, this rustic pasta dish achieves perfect balance between fatty sausage, bitter rapini, and zippy dried chiles.

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Fettuccine alla diva

Basic tomato sauce gets an upgrade in this recipe from Tre Visi’s chef Giacomo Appice. Here the sweet and creamy rose sauce is paired with prawns and studded with asparagus and cremini mushrooms and comes together in a single skillet.

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Mee Kha Tee

It may not be ‘pasta’, per se, but these noodles make for a must-cook meal. If you find yourself with red sauce fatigue, pull out the rice noodles and try this sweet and spicy dish from chef Toui Savangsengouthay at Bangkok Thai. Kicky curry paste and creamy coconut milk are a match made in heaven.

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