Mark Bittman makes pasta 3 ways

Love pasta? Looking for ways to jazz it up when you prepare it at home? Then you're in luck. Here, food writer Mark Bittman shares three mouthwatering pasta recipes that are easy to make in a hurry but hard to forget.

Tagliatelle with peas, pecorino, chili and mint
Servings:

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Time: 25 minutes.

Ingredients

    • Salt
    • 2 cups shelled peas
    • 1/2 to 1 pound tagliatelle
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh hot chili (like Thai)
    • 1/2 cup chopped mint, plus more for garnish
    • 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the shelled peas and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes; remove with a sieve. 2. Add the tagliatelle to the boiling water. 3. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced hot chili and the peas, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. 4. When the pasta is tender but not mushy, drain it, reserving some of the cooking water.5. Return the tagliatelle to the pot and toss with the peas, chopped mint and grated pecorino Romano cheese. Add a bit of cooking water, if you like. Serve garnished with more mint and pecorino.

Spaghetti with leeks, bacon and eggs
Servings:

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Time: 30 minutes.

Ingredients

    • Salt
    • 1/2 to 1 pound spaghetti
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 4 ounces chopped pancetta or good bacon
    • 2 chopped, cleaned leeks (about 1 pound)
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • Freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the spaghetti.2. Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon. 3. Add the leeks to the saucepan and cook in the rendered fat until soft, golden and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. 4. Make four wells in the cooked leeks, add a little olive oil to each (about 1 tablespoon total), and crack the eggs into the wells. Fry until the whites are barely set; the yolks will be runny. 5. When the pasta is tender but not mushy, drain it, reserving some of the cooking water.6. Return the spaghetti to the pot and toss with the pancetta or bacon, leeks and eggs, and grated Parmesan. Add a little of the cooking water, if you like. Serve garnished with freshly chopped parsley.

Capelli d'angelo (angel hair) with creamed spinach
Servings:

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Time: 25 minutes.

Ingredients

    • Salt
    • 2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and leaves picked over
    • 1/2 to 1 pound capelli d'angelo
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1 cup cream
    • Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the spinach; cook for 1 minute, then remove with a sieve, cool and chop.2. Add the capelli d'angelo to the boiling water.3. Meanwhile, put the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the cream and spinach, and cook until thick; about 5 minutes or more. 4. When the pasta is tender but not mushy, drain it, and add it to the saucepan with spinach and cream; stir to combine. Serve garnished with freshly grated nutmeg.

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