7 New Pasta Classics: No Primavera, No Ziti
Photo: Con Poulos
The new way: A salty, intensely savory spin on the familiar mixture includes salt-packed capers, anchovies and parsley, plus the usual garlic, cheese and oil. Whole wheat pasta is the perfect pairing to stand up to such a complex, interesting topping.
Get the recipe: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Caper Pesto Sauce
Photo: Anna Williams
The new way: Thin premade wonton wrappers shrink the prep time significantly, and a filler of crabmeat, goat cheese and herbs is easy to assemble and not something you'd see at your average red-sauce restaurant.
Get the recipe: Crab-and-Goat Cheese Wonton Ravioli with Tomato Sauce
The new way: Chef Gabriel Thompson reinvents the much-loved tagliatelle topper at his New York restaurants, L'Artusi and dell'anima, skipping whole tomatoes completely and using only a teaspoon of tomato paste—which caramelizes slightly, adding a hint of sweetness. The finished dish is outrageously smooth and rich.
Get the recipe: Tagliatelle Bolognese
The new way: A Parmesan brodo (essentially a stock made from cheese rinds and water) gives the dish a sturdier backbone. Sprinkling lightly browned bread crumbs on top of the plated pasta adds warm, toasty crunch.
Get the recipe: Spaghetti with Garlic
Photo: Dana Gallagher
The new way: We love this plum tomato sauce because its extra ingredients—canned tuna and Italian or Greek black olives—are so common yet add such depth.
Get the recipe: Penne with Tuna, Plum Tomatoes and Black Olives
Photo: Cristina Ferrare
The new way: Cristina Ferrare uses low-fat milk and fresh peas. She also leaves out the egg and brightens the flavor with fresh mint.
Get the recipe: Low-Fat Spaghetti Carbonara Pasta with Peas
The new way: At Trento, a new restaurant in Austin, Texas, chefs Alex Kahn and Andreas Exarhosa add a generous heaping of serrano chili for bright but potent heat. The chefs also make this dish with conchiglie (shell) pasta, which does an excellent job of scooping up the tomato chunks so you get some in every bite.
Get the recipe: Conchiglie all'Arrabiata
Keep reading: 11 healthy Italian dishes