Stop Ordering These 10 Pasta Dishes You Can Just Make At Home, Order These 10 Instead

Stop Ordering These 10 Pasta Dishes You Can Just Make At Home, Order These 10 Instead

Who doesn't love a fresh bowl of delicious pasta? With so many different ways to have it, from different sauces to noodles, the customizability is endless. There's definitely a pasta dish out there with your name on it! While they're certainly delicious to devour, making it is another story. So the next time you're at a fancy Italian restaurant, we want you to think about this first: is this worth ordering, or can I just make it at home? When you're spending the big bucks on a fancy Italian dinner, it might be worth trying something new or a bit more extravagant. That's why we've created this list for you: 10 pasta dishes to skip at the restaurant because you can make it at home, and 10 you should definitely order and experience instead.

1. Spaghetti Carbonara

A popular favourite among many pasta lovers, Carbonara is a rich and creamy pasta dish that's made with egg, hard cheese, pancetta, and pepper. There are so few ingredients you can just count it on one hand! It's a pretty easy pasta dish to make, so maybe you can save your restaurant order for something else you've never tried before.

Pasta-712664 1280Image by Wow Phochiangrak from Pixabay

2. Aglio e Olio

Another simple but classic dish, Aglio e Olio is an inexpensive and easy-to-make pasta dish. It's as traditional as it gets, relying entirely on the lovely flavours of garlic and olive oil, and a spicy kick from red pepper flakes, to bring the whole thing together. The best part about this dish is that everything you need to make it should be readily available in your home! So why not skip this one when you're ordering next time and try something you definitely can't make yourself?

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio AcciugaSchellenberg on Wikimedia Commons

3. Cacio e Pepe

Literally translating to "cheese and pepper", the taste of Cacio e Pepe is exactly that. For those who love simpler tastes, this will be right up your alley. This pasta dish is creamy and packed with sharp cheese and black pepper flavours. You really only need 3 ingredients to make this one (spaghetti, cheese, black pepper), meaning it's a good one to make at home while you try other unique dishes at the restaurant.

Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe (Creamy As It Should Be) (1)Der Zahir on Wikimedia Commons

4. Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is actually an American-Italian dish that originated right here in the United States back in the 1970s. This pasta dish is so hearty and flavourful, celebrating spring vegetables in a light and refreshing sauce. It's a great way to use up a lot of leftover veggies in your fridge, meaning this is a great one to whip up in your kitchen instead of ordering. 

1024Px-Pasta Primavera (1) (Cropped) (1)Stacy Spensley from San Diego on Wikimedia Commons


5. Tomato Basil Pasta

Does it get more simple than spaghetti in a tomato basil sauce? Although it's certainly one of the most basic forms of pasta, it doesn't mean it's not good! Fresh and vibrant, and perfectly highlighting the freshness of tomatoes, this is one pasta dish that is not only easy to make at home, but also incredibly cheap to do so. You can easily make one that tastes restaurant quality, so it's a good idea to pick something a bit more complex while you're out!

Danijela-Prijovic-Qits91Izv1O-Unsplash (1)Photo by Danijela Prijovic on Unsplash

6. Fettuccine Alfredo

Creamy, rich, and so so delicious, Fettuccine Alfredo is a favourite for many. It's a classic Italian dish that features fettuccine pasta tossed in a sauce made of butter and Parmesan cheese. It's the epitome of comfort food, and to make things even better, it's simple enough to make yourself at home! Not only do you get to decide the final texture and consistency of the sauce, you'll definitely be able to make it restaurant-quality. 

Pasta-5579058 1280Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

7. Gnocchi

Gnocchi is surprisingly a lot easier to make than you might think! These soft, pillowy dumplings are made from a simple mixture of potatoes, flour, and egg. They can be served with a variety of sauces, even simple ones like a sage butter or rich tomato sauce. Making gnocchi at home can be a fun and rewarding experience too, so maybe consider giving it a try and ordering something else next time!

Gnocchi-842305 1280Image by pixel1 from Pixabay

8. Spaghetti and Meatballs

It truly doesn't get any easier than Spaghetti and Meatballs. This classic Italian-American dish is a family favourite, combining simplicity with delicious, hearty meatballs. The best part about this dish is you don't even have to make your own meatballs! Storebought ones will taste just as delicious, turning this pasta dish into an incredibly easy-to-make one. Just smother it all in your favourite tomato pasta sauce recipe and you've got something that'll satisfy the whole family. It's definitely a make at home and try something else in a restaurant angle!

Spaghetti-6681830 1280Image by gian yasa from Pixabay

9. Pesto Pasta

For those that love a delicious, earthy flavour, you can never go wrong with a Pesto Pasta (even when made at home!). It's vibrant and herby, all thanks to that delicious basil pesto sauce. It's a great weeknight dish because of how simple and quick it is to make. Any beginner can successfully make this!

Pasta-1033216 1280Image by Andy Walther from Pixabay

10. Spaghetti Bolognese

When you think of pasta, it's likely that your mind instantly jumps to the iconic Spaghetti Bolognese. Hearty, comforting, and so satisfying, this pasta dish is all about that flavourful meat sauce. Nail that, and you've got yourself a restaurant-ready meal! With so many different variation of recipes online, you can definitely find one that'll match your preferences. But no matter the recipe, bolognese is one sauce you can definitely master at home. Once you've created your own perfect bolognese recipe, there's no need to order it at restaurants anymore!

Spaghetti-787043 1280Image by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay


1. Ravioli del Plin

This Piedmontese ravioli requires painstaking attention to detail in making the tiny, pinched "plin" (meaning "pinch" in Italian) edges that seal the delicate meat filling inside. The dough must be rolled out thinly and evenly, and the filling must be perfectly seasoned and portioned. It's a lot of work for any home cook, especially if you're just a beginner. Best to save this one for the experts; it's a food experience worthy of being ordered in any fine Italian restaurant.

Lamb-2322681 1280Image by jackouffer69 from Pixabay

2. Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Truffles

The difficulty in this dish comes from the noodle-making process itself; this pasta needs to be cut on a chitarra, a traditional Italian instrument that gives this spaghetti its unique texture. You definitely need to try it! It also has a cool square cross-section, differentiating itself from your typical spaghetti. 

Spaghetti Alla Chitarrafugsu on Wikimedia Commons

3. Tortellini in Brodo

Making fresh tortellini by hand is truly an art form. It requires the dough to be rolled out extremely thin and then filled with a precise mixture of meats and cheeses. In this pasta dish, it's served in a hearty broth that is quite complex. It needs to be rich and clear, which can be difficult to achieve if you're not the strongest cook in the kitchen.

Tortellini Nel BrodoMarica Massaro on Wikimedia Commons

4. Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Now that's a pasta dish you've probably never heard of before. Step out of your comfort zone to try something different, like Orecchiette. It's commonly made in a Broccoli Rabe and Sausage sauce that has a great balance of flavours, from the spiciness of the sausage to the bitterness of the broccoli rabe. It's definitely a complicated dish to get right, so it's a great option to order at a restaurant.

Orecchiette With SausageTaz from Vancouver, Canada on Wikimedia Commons

5. Lasagna Bolognese

A comfort classic, a true Lasagna Bolognese is a work of art to be admired. It's just the dish to order after a long day, sure to bring a smile to your face and calm your nerves. To make a truly delicious lasagna, you have to make several components all from scratch: the ragù, béchamel sauce, and pasta sheets. Each layer needs to be perfectly cooked and seasoned for the lasagna to have the right balance of flavors and textures. This is one pasta dish that definitely tastes more delicious when ordered in a restaurant - they have the time to make these where you don't always!

Food-5987888 1280Image by Romjan Aly from Pixabay

6. Squid Ink Pasta with Seafood

Though it may look a bit frightening or unappetizing, squid ink pasta is a food experience you don't want to miss out on. It's a complicated process, one that you should probably leave to the professionals. It requires incorporating squid ink into pasta dough, which is very messy and requires precision to achieve the right color and flavor. Often cooked with a seafood sauce, the seafood, which can include a variety of shellfish and mollusks, must also be perfectly cooked to avoid becoming rubbery.

1024Px-Squid Ink Pasta (Cropped)tednmiki on Wikimedia Commons


7. Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu

The difficulty in a Pappardelle pasta dish is all in finding the perfect way to complement the noodle with the sauce. When made fresh, it's absolutely delicious, but has to be rolled out to the perfect thickness so it can cling onto the sauce. It can't be too thin or too thick, which requires an experienced hand. Not to mention, wild boar ragu is a step up from your usual meat sauce, taking a lot of time and patience to allow the flavors to develop fully. You won't be disappointed if you ever get a chance to order this though!

Pappardelle Ternane Al CinghialeI-Food on Wikimedia Commons

8. Cannelloni

Cannelloni is a difficult pasta dish to get right. Filling and rolling up the cannelloni is a challenge - you have to do it without tearing the delicate noodle! The filling also has to be the perfect balance of flavourful but not too wet, or else all it does is make the pasta soggy. The amount of care and effort that has to go into making this dish work might just be better left to the chefs.

Cannelloni Ready To Eat (504724484)Francis Bijl from Groningen, Netherlands on Wikimedia Commons

9. Tagliolini with Truffle

Tagliolini is a thin and flat pasta noodle with a great bite to it. It's commonly paired with truffle, elevating this dish to new heights that might be too complex to make at home. As with most truffle dishes, the difficulty lies not only in the handling and shaving of the truffles, but also in balancing the flavours so that it's not too overpowering. The combination of noodle, truffle, and sauce is absolutely delightful, making it worthy of being experienced in a fine Italian restaurant. You won't regret it!

Tajarin Al Ragùlazy fri13th on Wikimedia Commons

10. Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca is an interesting dish; there are a whole lot of bold flavours like anchovies, capers, olives, and tomatoes that have to come together in order for this dish to work. Balancing those flavours is a challenge in of itself; you have to be able to blend the ingredients without overpowering any of the others. And for a home cook, this can definitely prove to be a hard challenge. Why not save the effort and order it in a restaurant so you'll know it'll taste good!

Pasta PuttanescaPopo le Chien on Wikimedia Commons