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 20 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.
Scallop & Tomato Basil Pasta
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. Tieghan of 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.
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.
Lemon Butter Pasta with Ricotta
The Recipe: Half Baked Harvest shares this 20-minute recipe that will have you drooling at the mere sound of it–garlicky, buttery pasta with caramelized lemon, fresh basil, capers, and zucchini served over whipped ricotta. Top it all off with spicy, crispy breadcrumbs, and I'm sold.
The Hero Ingredient: The creamy whipped ricotta takes the cake here. Swirling it up in the pasta creates a rich sauce that really takes this dish to the next level.
Miso Pasta With Brussels Sprouts
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.)
Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Pasta
The Recipe: Half Baked Harvest shakes up the usual zoodles with this delectable butternut squash pasta with goat cheese. Imagine pasta tossed with browned butter, creamy goat cheese, oregano, then topped with toasted buttered breadcrumbs–all made within 30 minutes. It's perfection.
The Hero Ingredient: This dish wouldn't be what it is without the pungent goat cheese. It adds a richness and depth to the overall flavor.
Tomato, Basil & Burrata Pasta
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.
Spring Pea and Burrata Pasta with Prosciutto
The Recipe: I'm sold on pretty much anything that has creamy burrata goodness, including this buttery spring pea and burrata pasta with prosciutto by Half Baked Harvest. Toss in some butter, fresh crisp spring peas, watercress, basil, burrata, and prosciutto that adds just the right amount of salty goodness. Best of all, Tieghan guarantees you can make the whole meal in 25 minutes, tops.
The Hero Ingredient: It's a tough call between the burrata and the prosciutto, but if you're a vegetarian, you could certainly skip the prosciutto and still have an amazing meal so burrata it is.
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
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.
Zucchini Blossom & Gouda Pasta
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.
Charred Tomato and Corn Pesto Pasta
The Recipe: This pasta recipe from Half Baked Harvest features roasted heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and grilled corn tossed in a light basil vinaigrette or pesto. Add a generous dollop of burrata and finish with crushed red pepper flakes.
The Hero Ingredient: Though the grilled corn is delicious, the charred tomatoes really give the flavor profile a nice, light zest.
Eggplant, Garlic & Basil Pasta
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.
Sage Butter Lemon Roasted Chicken with Brussels Sprouts Pasta
The Recipe: Prepare for a droolworthy recipe from Half Baked Harvest. It involves sage butter lemon roasted chicken with goat milk and brussels sprouts over pasta. Roasting the chicken with goat milk adds flavor, while keeping it extra tender and moist, especially when paired with butter and sage. To finish, throw in some pan-charred brussels sprouts, Manchego and goat cheese, and crushed red pepper.
The Hero Ingredient: The sage butter lemon roasted chicken with goat milk is easily the winner here. One bite, and you'll know why.
Grandma's Easy German Schnitzel
The Recipe: Picture tender, thinly sliced, panko-crusted pork chops that pair perfectly with light angel hair pasta. Heidi of Foodie Crush recommends using a fry pan to make authentic, crispy schnitzel and loves pairing it with angel hair pasta and sweet and sour red cabbage.
The Hero Ingredient: It goes without saying that the hero ingredient is the pork chop schnitzel, though you can easily substitute the pork for chicken if desired.
Miso Browned Butter and Brie with Roasted Beets and Walnuts
The Recipe: This super quick and easy, yet tasty recipe for a miso browned butter and brie pasta comes from Half Baked Harvest. This dish features a winning combination of butter, miso, pasta and brie topped with sage, toasted walnuts, and roasted beets.
The Hero Ingredient: The roasted beets add the perfect texture and touch of sweetness to this otherwise savory dish.
Pasta Burrata Bruschetta
The Recipe: This light, yet indulgent pasta dish comes courtesy of Happy Veggie Kitchen. Featuring fresh raw tomato bruschetta sauce atop a pile of light and fluffy angel hair pasta and a cool dollop of creamy burrata on top. Mixing raw tomatoes with hot pasta yields a warm instead of piping hot dish, which makes a great summertime meal option.
The Hero Ingredient: It goes without saying that the grand finale of rich burrata cheese really makes this dish complete.
Fontina Spinach and Artichoke Breakfast Pasta Hash
The Recipe: You've probably heard of breakfast for dinner, but Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest is switching things up and recommending dinner for breakfast. This hearty dish features breakfast champions, eggs and bacon, and throws in mushrooms, spinach, artichokes, fontina cheese, and pasta. I can't think of a better way to start the day.
The Hero Ingredient: The fontina cheese gives the entire dish a wonderfully creamy, buttery, nutty flavor.
Lemon Cream Pasta Bowl
The Recipe: This super simple, six-ingredient pasta bowl from How Sweet Eats is guaranteed to hit the spot when you're craving carbs and comfort food. Just lemon, cream, loads of pecorino, and fresh cracked pepper will do the trick. Curl up, cozy up, and eat up.
The Hero Ingredient: The lemon is clearly the star of the show, and just one will be enough to serve two people.
Zucchini Pasta with Poached Eggs
The Recipe: This 15-minute dish from Half Baked Harvest mixes regular angel hair pasta with zucchini noodles to add more texture and substance. Tieghan then combines it with a fresh and light heirloom cherry tomato sauce that's just the right amount of sweet and tart. The final touch of runny poached egg creates a creamy (and healthy) sauce that coats the noodles just enough.
The Hero Ingredient: The poached egg is the key ingredient that brings all the flavors together in one harmonious meal.
Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Pasta
The Recipe: Pinch of Yum shares their secret for a quick and satisfying meal–Instant Pot chicken cacciatore pasta. Everyone loves a great Instant Pot recipe, and this will be no exception. Chicken cacciatore is braised, saucy Italian chicken that's perfect on a pile of angel hair pasta. This recipe calls for garlic, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and capers to give it a bright and acidic, yet rich and savory flavor you'll love.
The Hero Ingredient: The saucy, tender chicken makes the dish, and it's one you'll want to make over and over again.
Thai Black Pepper Chicken and Garlic Noodles
The Recipe: Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest shares a super fast, super tasty meal you can whip up in 25 minutes. The Asian-inspired dish creates an explosion of flavors in the best kind of way–it's sweet, spicy, salty, and saucy. The black pepper chicken consists of garlic, ginger, chili peppers, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and of course, a generous amount of black pepper atop a heap of angel hair or vermicelli noodles.
The Hero Ingredient: The star of the show here is the juicy, peppery chicken you'll be dreaming about for days.