Giada's 10 Best Summer Pasta Recipes

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We love coming home to a big bowl of pasta at the end of a long day, but during the hotter months our go-to cream sauces and baked pasta casseroles feel too heavy for steamy summer nights. To satisfy your carb cravings at this time of year, stick with Giada De Laurentiis’ best recipes for fresh, veggie-focused pastas that are refreshing and surprisingly light.

Pasta Ponza (pictured above)

Baking juicy tomatoes with tangy capers gives this dish bold flavors, while a breadcrumb crust delivers a satisfying crispy bite.

Pasta Primavera

Make this top-rated recipe for dinner to use up this weekend’s farmers market haul. Giada roasts fresh picks like squash, carrots and onions before tossing the tender veggies with pasta and juicy cherry tomatoes.

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Upgrade classic basil pesto with a can of sun-dried tomatoes for a bold layer of sweet-savory flavor.

Basic Parmesan Pomodoro

This recipe has all the rich, luxurious taste of a tomato cream sauce, but no cream at all. Giada’s secret? Cooking the canned-tomato base with Parmesan cheese, which slowly breaks down and releases its rich, nutty flavor.

Spaghetti with Pinot Grigio and Seafood

Pinot Grigio is crisp and floral, making it an ideal wine for the base of a light seafood broth. Toss in sun-dried tomatoes and peppery arugula for added heft and texture.

Penne with Spinach Sauce

Tangy goat cheese and cream cheese pack tons of flavor into this surprisingly light pasta sauce, which comes together right in the food processer for simple prep.

giada-antipasto-salad-recipe

Antipasto Salad

Giada tosses pasta with some of the best elements of a classic antipasto platter, like meats, deli cheeses and green olives. When it comes to the dressing, she opts for a garlic-mustard vinaigrette instead of the usual mayo, for a light finish.

Linguine with Anchovy and Walnuts

If you don’t eat anchovies except in your Caesar salad, let Giada’s simple recipe introduce you to a whole new world of flavor. These small, salty fish are caught in the Mediterranean around Italy, and are then preserved until they’re flavor-filled bites, perfect for adding to a light pasta dish.

Round and Round Pasta

Giada’s kid-approved recipe is named for the shape of all its ingredients, including the rotelle noodles. “You’ve got to kind of pick and choose all the veggies that your child likes, and then you can make this pasta with whatever veggies they like,” she recommends.

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

For a quick-fix dinner packed with flavor, Giada combines extra virgin olive oil with bright lemon zest for a fragrant mixture, which she uses as a fruity finish for her shallot-garlic sauce with tender shrimp.

Watch the video below to see how it's done.