For those who enjoy the art of Italian cooking, the differences between fusilli, tagliatelle, and capellini aren’t so subtle. They may sound similar scanning the menu at an Italian restaurant, but in fact there are variations in each pasta's shape and consistency that lend themselves to different sauces, meats, and vegetables that combine in a well-made plate of pasta.
So, if you’re looking for a lighter pasta dish than a traditional spaghetti or ravioli, try capellini, otherwise known as angel hair pasta. We've got seven capellini-centric pasta dishes to try below. And when making capellini, it’s best to pair the pasta with a light sauce to avoid weighing down the thin strands, and be sure to add herbs or diced tomatoes for standout flavor.
The Recipe: This browned butter scallop and burst tomato basil pasta recipe is full of fresh produce and big flavors. Brown scallops in a skillet while the pasta is cooking, then prepare a fragrant garlic, olive oil, and wine sauce to pair with the angel hair, tomato, corn, and scallops. Blogger Half Baked Harvest also suggests adding sweet corn, parmesan and burrata.
The Hero Ingredient: This recipe wouldn’t be the same without fresh basil. Make sure you purchase it fresh at the market or start growing it in a garden at home. It makes all the difference.
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The Recipe: For a light and satisfying pasta dish, try Foodie Crush's shrimp scampi recipe. Enjoy the classic flavors of fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil. All you have to do is sauté shrimp with garlic and seasonings for a few minutes before adding white wine, lemon, and tomatoes. Top with basil and Parmesan to complete the dish.
The Hero Ingredient: With such a light sauce, the tomatoes are really the hero ingredient of this dish, providing a fresh flavor to the pasta.
Sur la Table Walnut Pasta Fork ($18)
The Recipe: A nontraditional take on angel hair pasta, this creamy miso pasta with Brussels sprouts from Love & Lemons will shake up your weeknight meal routine. It’s a creamy dish, thanks to a sauce made with miso, lemon, and cashews. Add sautéed Brussels sprouts to give the meal more depth and to keep you satisfied.
The Hero Ingredient: The miso paste is what gives this dish its unique flavor. Expand your palate, and experiment with this flavor in the kitchen (for example, try a dollop in stir-fries or in place of salt in salad dressing.)
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The Recipe: For a vegan pasta recipe, enjoy this roasted red pepper pasta from Minimalist Baker; it's assembled with ingredients like shallots, garlic, red peppers, and nutritional yeast. The result? A creamy red sauce that’s somehow both savory and sweet, with just a kick of spice from red pepper flakes. Add your own additional proteins, herbs, and veggies, or let the sauce stand alone.
The Hero Ingredient: The red peppers contribute to the wow factor of this pasta and give the sauce a lovely and unexpected kick of flavor.
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The Recipe: The best part about this tomato basil and burrata pasta recipe from I Am a Food Blog is that it can all be made in one pot, thereby leaving you with easy cleanup. To make, add all the ingredients together in one pot or pan that’s large enough to accommodate the long, thin noodles without them breaking. Once the water is nearly evaporated after draining, add olive oil, basil, and burrata.
The Hero Ingredient: This recipe wouldn’t be complete without a bit of fresh burrata cheese to top the creation.
Willful Oxidized Oak Bowl ($118)
The Recipe: If you’ve never thought to add gouda cheese to a pasta dish, this recipe for zucchini blossom and smoked gouda pasta from Spoon Fork Bacon will change your mind. Zucchini blossoms are generally served stuffed and fried, but you can incorporate them into this pasta by gently sautéing them on the stove before tossing them with tomatoes and smoked gouda.
The Hero Ingredient: The zucchini blossoms are the star of this pasta recipe, pairing nicely with melty gouda cheese and angel hair pasta.
Willful Hand-Dipped Cherry Wood Bowl ($110)
The Recipe: For a hearty vegetarian pasta dish, turn to this roasted eggplant, garlic, and basil pasta dish by Salt & Wind. Roasting the eggplant results in fabulous flavor and less mess than the pan-fried cooking method. Then, use garlic and basil to enhance the traditional flavor of the tomato sauce.
The Hero Ingredient: The eggplant carries this otherwise light plate. It’s a great way to incorporate a hardy vegetable into a pasta dish to layer in another dimension to the flavors.
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