Easy penne recipes... direct from Italy

If you have a cupboard full of penne pasta but little clue what to do with it, this penne recipes section will quickly put a stop to all that head-scratching.

The penne recipes here are all perfectly suited to this succulent short pasta... they employ thick n' chunky sauces (in keeping with the 'pasta rules'!), and luckily for these credit-crunch times they're all fairly low budget recipes too.

Dinners that are both tasty and cheap? A bonafide double-whammy of pasta pleasure!

Let's take a look...

penne pasta recipe Easy cream penne pasta recipe

A scrummy, creamy bacon-packed treat to start us off. Featuring just 6 ingredients and 4 cooking steps, this 15-minute beauty is the definition of 'moreish'.

vegetable pasta recipe Nuccia's vegetable pasta recipe

Direct from sunny Sicily, this molten veg winner takes a little while to prepare but is still 100% idiot-proof. It's vegetarian-friendly (in that you'll befriend one if you serve them this!), and features zucchini (courgette), toms, basil and chili.

artichoke pasta recipe Artichoke pasta recipe

Another goodie from my mamma-in-law's friend Nuccia, this crunchy munchy veggie dish takes a criminally under-used ingredient (artichoke) and serves it up with a little parsley and some glugs of extra virgin olive oil. Fresh and then some.

authentic italian pasta recipe Pasta alla norma

No question about it, this sweet 25-minute aubergine (eggplant) dish is one of my favorite top 3 Italian pasta recipes. There's no meat in there at all, but don't let that put you carnivores off - you should still try it, because I'm positive you'll love it too.

blue cheese pasta recipe Blue cheese pasta

Prepare for your face to make some funny shapes, because this fromage-friendly meal is one of the cheesiest penne recipes around. Nuclear strength gorgonzola, creamy soft ricotta... mmm, and there's no cooking involved except boiling up the penne. Nice.

pasta with ricotta Pasta with ricotta

As a result of its mouth-watering tomato, bacon and creamy ricotta sauce, this dish is the one we whip up most often at home. It's just that much of a staple dish for us. (This is also the dish my wife's friends tell her they still make, after she taught it to them years ago!)

pasta with meat sauce Pasta with meat sauce (AKA Ragu-lite!)

This dish takes your humble penne pasta shapes and smothers them in a slow-cooked, sausage meat sauce. As such, it's very nearly as tasty as a super-slow-cooked 'ragu' sauce - only without the hours upon hours of Goodfella's-style stirring.

penne pasta with vodka saucePenne pasta with vodka sauce

Although it might sound like it, this dish won't get you drunk. What it will do instead is cover some short pasta shapes (penne or similar) in a creamy pink sauce that has real hidden strength. Not boozy, just a deliciously serious taste.

penne pasta bake recipe Penne pasta bake recipe with tomato

This dish is one for serious tomato lovers only, as it's packed choc-a-block full of the fresh red stuff - from oven-roasted baked toms to fresh pure tomato juice, and all mixed with oil-drizzled penne shapes and oregano. Simple to prepare and scrummy to munch.

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