T Nation

Pasta Recipes


Sorry for another pasta thread in a week's time... the search function is bunk and I'm too lazy to scroll through! I'd like to discuss recipes; not just brands.

Pasta seems inexpensive, and a somewhat balanced cheat meal for bulking. My family has seldom ever made pasta, and I wanted to know from T-Men and women what the best recipes were.

I'm probably going to be using the following ingredients:
-Whole wheat pasta (no clue what kind)
-Ground beef
-Arabbiata pasta sauce (Got this as a gift and can't wait to use it!)
-Parmesan cheese
-Veggies (which ones go best?)

List your favorites, I'll probably be preparing a large dinner for 2-3.


If you are going with arrabiata, I would get a bag of frozen shrimp. I don't think it would go as well with ground beef.


Arabbiata goes very well with chicken actually.


White Sauce:

Medium Temp
Starts with a roux, simply put in is cooking flour and a fat (butter) together.
It is a 1:1 ratio.
Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a pain, when melted
Slowly stir in two tablespoons of flour, one at at time.
Whisk together
It will turn into a wallpaper paste almost. Thick and Pasty, keep whisking till there are no lumps, takes about 3-4 minutes.
Add Milk slowly, one 1/4 cup at a time, stirring after each addition.
This will make a thick white sauce...add as much milk as you need to get the right conistency (up to you really). Add salt and pepper
Dump some cheese in. let it melt down. This is a bechamel sauce now. It is perfect if you want a white sauce on pasta after you make the basic sauce, you can add things like shrimp, clams, chicken, mushrooms. This is also a great base for homemade mac and cheese.


Simple Sauce quick fix:

Cover Pasta with some Olive Oil/Butter
Salt Pepper
Good Cheese.


I use to cook pasta a lot in my second and third year in university those were a couple of staples, pretty easy to do.


Shrimp and chicken both sound good. Would you match any type of pasta with arabbita, or are there any recommended choices?

What type of sauces, or pasta, would you recommend for ground beef?

Dayum, that does sound good! Is there any replacement for the milk?

The quick fix looks very convenient.


TBH, I'm not a pasta aficionado the recipes are from one of my cousins. Not sure what a good replacement for milk would be aside for maybe half and half or heavy cream but never tried it.

Chris Shugart also posted an Alfredo Sauce recipe here: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_bodybuilding_velocity_recipe/dear_olive_garden_fk_you

My cousin also gave me a ground meat recipe it's pretty basic as well but also tasty:

Meat Sauce -
Medium Temp
some Olive Oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
Add 1 Chopped Onion
Add X amount of Garlic (i usually do four cloves, peel them and bash them with the knife held flat and drop em in the pan)
Stir a bit till onions turn translucent and garlic starts getting fragrant.
Add 1lb ground Turkey (I like the slight fattier version, 7% fat, you can buy as little as 3% fat, but gets dry)
Mash it up as it cooks with the onions and garlic.
When it is done (will go from pink to gray) (I don't drain the fat)
Sometimes I will dump in 1/4 cup of red wine if I have some old stuff lying around.
If not dump in two jars of bottled sauce.
Add 1.5 tablespoons of sugar.
add some salt if you need it.
You can also add some milk or half and half or some other dairy, not required, but makes the sauce a little more rich.
Sometimes I will dump in a box of frozen spinach to get my veggies.


I prefer ziti...

Something such as
Whole grain ziti
2x 24oz Sauce ( I prefer newman's Own Roasted Garlic ) you may want something with less sugar
1 package of fat free mozzarella
1.5lb of Ground Beef
1 large onion
16 oz Cottage Cheese (fat % of your choosing)
5-6 garlic cloves minced ( i prefer minced garlic in oil )
and.. parmigiana

Dice the onion to very small pieces.

Fry the ground beef (I fry it in a little EVOO)
Strain the ground beef when done...

In a separate pan sautee the onion and garlic together in EVOO (stir frequently on slightly less than medium heat)
Do not let the garlic turn brown or burn (add EVOO if it appears to be)
Allow the minced garlic and onion to soften and then mix it with the ground beef ( I do not strain the EVOO from this )

Add the sauce which you choose to the ground beef and turn down to a simmer while mixing every 5 minutes or so.
Boil the whole grain pasta until desired softness

Preheat oven to 350

Take out a pan (i forget the measurements)...
Layer 1/2 of the pasta(ziti) and then 1/2 of the sauce/beef/onion/garlic mixture on top of that.
Then on top of the mixture you would put the 16oz of cottage cheese
After the cottage cheese add 1/2 the bag of fat free mozzarella cheese
After the mozzarella add the rest of the ziti on top of that
Then add the rest of the sauce/beef/onion/garlic mixture
Then lastly add on the remaining fat free mozzarella and top it all off with Parmesan

Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes

My only notes in regards to this is to make sure to sautee the onion/garlic for at least 10-15 minutes in a considerable amount of EVOO to get both soft.


Also if you're in Chicago, you should incorporate some of that world class Chicago sausage in your pasta.


Thanks for the killer recipe -- honored that you have been here for a year without posting and decided to chime in with a suggestion! My girl is a pasta lover I'll have to show her this. Is EVOO a supplement by Biotest? I've heard the name tossed around a lot.


You know, I have never taken advantage of the sausage here. Even when I'm bulking I've opted for lean cuts of ground beef -- maybe I'll give it a shot since I'll be doing a lot of fiddling with my macro percentages this year!


EVOO is Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Good fats, without the strong Olive Flavor)
I do a lot of cooking with it instead of using Crisco or Veg oil etc ...


OP apparently doesn't watch Rachel Ray. FAIL


You've got me there!


I like arabbiata with shrimp and angel hair. Here's a solid dinner using ground beef:

Step One: Early in the day (or the day before or whatever), get some rigatoni and boil it up in water. Just use the directions on the box as a guideline for doneness, but check frequently (by scooping one out, letting it cool a second and tasting) and when you get the perfect temperature, dump them in a strainer and douse with cold water. This stops them from cooking further so you don't end up with limp noodles. Gigity. Put the pasta in a container and put it in the fridge.

Step Two: While you're boiling the rigatoni, throw a bag or two of pre-mixed Caesar salad or Italian blend into a bowl with some dressing. Mix it up good and throw it back in the fridge.

Step Three: Heat up a pan (medium or medium high, not full blast) with olive oil. Chop some onion and garlic. I would say one clove of garlic and about a shot glass-sized amount of chopped onion per pound of ground beef that you plan to cook. Let the olive oil heat up for a couple minutes, then add the onion and garlic. After a minute or so you will start to really smell their flavor, then add the ground beef and brown it up nicely.

Step Four: Add 2 cans Organics-brand Tomato Basil per pound of ground beef to a large pot and turn it on. You can really use any brand you want, I just think that tastes good and is actually about the same price as store brand. Put the burner on high, stirring every now and then until it starts to simmer. At that point, turn the heat way down and add the ground beef. Keep it just shy of simmering (stirring sometimes to make sure the bottom doesn't burn) for an hour or so, or really however long you want to.

Step Five: When you are ready to serve, take the pasta out, put it in the strainer and run it under very hot water for a minute or so, tossing to heat up all the noodles. This is how a lot of Italian restaurants heat up their "fresh" pasta and it tastes the same as if it just came out of the pot.

Serve up your salads and pasta with the gravy on top. This is pretty easy, because you can cook up the pasta and ground beef and make the salad way in advance. You can cook the gravy in the afternoon, turn the heat off and leave it covered and it will start warm until dinnertime. Then you just take the pasta out, run it under hot water and you are good to go.

If you want to get classy, you can garnish the pasta with a little scoop of ricotta cheese and some shredded parmesan and prosciutto (or even pepperoni) on the salad.


meatball recipe

1lb ground beef
yellow onion diced finely or better grated
pecorino romano cheese
4 eggs per pound of beef
bread crumbs

don't really have exact measurements for the ingredients...just use enough dry ingredients so that you can form a ball the size of a large golf ball...

cook them in the oven...just before they are fully cooked...finish cooking them in sauce...


also i have a very simple pasta recipe...i forgot the name of it...

olive oil
red pepper flakes

heat garlic and red pepper flakes but do not burn them....add pasta to this and toss it in the pan...

you can add parsley and parmesean on it after if you wish...