Linguine is the unsung hero of pasta. Not quite as wide as fettuccine and not quite as skinny as spaghetti, linguine is thick enough to pair with creamy sauces without losing that alluring element of delicacy. In Italian, linguine literally translates to "little tongues." This pasta shape hails from the Northern region of Liguria, which is set along the Mediterranean coast. It's also known as trenette or bavette in its home country.
While linguine––also spelled linguini––is most often associated with clams, it's a versatile noodle that can be paired with everything from spicy chorizo and saffron shrimp, to crunchy cauliflower and earthy mushrooms. Ahead are 12 linguine recipes that showcase the noodle in all its glory so you can transport your taste buds to Italy.
Creamy Cauliflower Pasta With Garlic and Roasted Tomatoes
The Hero Ingredient: The creamy cashew sauce. This linguine pasta dish from The First Mess is made with raw cashews soaked overnight, making the sauce 100 percent vegan and thoroughly delicious. Basil, chilies, and green onions also get high marks on the flavor front.
Pro Tip: "If you don't want to slow-roast some tomatoes for this recipe, I'd recommend replacing them with a 1/4 cup of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil," says Laura Wright, the recipe creator behind The First Mess.
Garden Herb Shrimp Scampi Linguine
The Recipe: Garden Herb Shrimp Scampi Linguine
The Hero Ingredient: It wouldn't be shrimp scampi without succulent shrimp! Half Baked Harvest's pasta recipe calls for shrimp pan-seared in olive oil. Thyme, shallots, garlic, and butter add flavor. You'll need zucchini and chives, too.
Pro Tip: Be generous with the lemon to coax out all of this dish's potential. Plus, if you're scrambling for a quick dinner, this recipe is done in 30 minutes.
Creamy Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta With Mushrooms
The Recipe: Creamy Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta With Mushrooms
The Hero Ingredient: Spanish chorizo sausage, which comes dried and cured (as opposed to Mexican chorizo, which is sold fresh) is loaded with spices like smoked paprika and herbs. In Salt & Lavender's pasta recipe, dry white wine, oregano, and garlic are all that's needed to complement its flavor profile.
The Pro Tip: Note that chorizo is already salty, so you likely won't need to season with additional salt.
Butterless Alfredo Pasta With Peas
The Recipe: Butterless Alfredo Pasta With Peas
The Hero Ingredient: Olive oil. This ingredient is what allows this Alfredo pasta recipe from Minimalist Baker to be butterless. The trick is to whisk the olive oil, flour, and garlic before adding the stock.
Pro Tip: Although peas are the main add-in to this dish, you can "add some grilled chicken for more protein or even some toasted walnuts or pine nuts for a little vegetarian staying power," says Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker. This recipe also comes together in 30 minutes.
Linguine With Butternut Squash Vegan Cream Sauce
The Recipe: Linguine With Butternut Squash Vegan Cream Sauce
The Hero Ingredient: The butternut squash cream sauce. Spoon Fork Bacon's recipe calls for butternut squash and raw cashews that have soaked in water, which blend together in this vegan-friendly sauce.
Pro Tip: Top pasta with sage, or pancetta and Parmesan as non-vegan options. "I also really like pouring this sauce over roasted fish and chicken," confesses Jenny Park of Spoon Fork Bacon. "So good!"
Shrimp Linguine With Garlic and Saffron Cream
The Recipe: Shrimp Linguine With Garlic and Saffron Cream
The Hero Ingredient: Saffron. This spice gives the dish its yellow hue and its subtle floral flavor and aroma. Bon Appétit reports saffron likely originated in Greece, though these days the pricey spice is predominantly grown in Iran, Greece, Morocco, and India.
Pro Tip: "I'm a huge pasta lover, and my absolute favorite thing about pasta is that it's so timeless and classic, and yet at the same time, it has the ability to be so versatile," says Park of Spoon Fork Bacon. This recipe takes 40 minutes to prepare.
Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Pasta
The Recipe: Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Pasta
The Hero Ingredient: The mushrooms lend a rich, earthy flavor to I Am a Food Blog's pasta recipe, which pairs well with fresh, wilted spinach.
Pro Tip: "This creamy spinach and mushroom pasta always hits the spot when I'm craving something comforting and quick," says Stephanie Le of I Am a Food Blog. "I love it because the sauce comes together in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta." Pull this easy weeknight dinner together in 25 minutes.
Creamy Avocado Linguine With Meyer Lemon and Arugula
The Hero Ingredient: Meyer lemons are "juicier, sweeter and less acidic than a lemon," writes Feasting at Home of her recipe. Paired with creamy avocado sauce, this dish makes a satisfying, vegan lunch or light dinner.
Pro Tip: In addition to lemon zest, you can also choose to top with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil for added texture and herby finish. Make this dish in 20 minutes.
Red Pepper Pesto Pasta
The Recipe: Red Pepper Pesto Pasta
The Hero Ingredient: Roasted red peppers add dimension to a pesto sauce made with tomato and walnuts in A Couple Cook's recipe, which also calls for whole wheat linguine. Kale adds color and feta crumbles contribute additional flavor.
Pro Tip: Finish with a drizzle of olive oil to complete the dish. The food blogging duo also includes a video within the recipe for how to cut the kale that's needed. Make this dish in 30 minutes, including prep time.
Champagne and Cream Clams With Linguini
The Recipe: Champagne and Cream Clams With Linguini
The Hero Ingredient: Clams star in this zesty and creamy pasta dish by The Modern Proper. After sautéing the aromatics, clams are quickly cooked in five minutes. Fresh tarragon, thyme, and parsley accent the dish.
Pro Tip: Garnish with parsley and Parmesan, and remember to pick up a loaf of crusty bread to serve alongside this dish. This recipe comes together in 40 minutes.
One Pot Creamy Tuscan Pesto and Artichoke Pasta
The Recipe: One Pot Creamy Tuscan Pesto and Artichoke Pasta
The Hero Ingredient: Kale and white beans add plant-based protein to Half Baked Harvest's easy, one pot pasta dish. We're also into the creamy, lemony sauce that you can make with heavy cream or coconut milk.
Pro Tip: Garnish with pine nuts for an earthy finish. This large format meal takes 45 minutes.
Slow Roasted Mushroom Pasta With Crisp Rosemary Chickpeas
The Hero Ingredient: A generous dousing of heart-healthy olive oil on mushrooms helps them roast up tender and meaty. It also makes the chickpeas crispy, giving this pasta dish from Half Baked Harvest crunchy texture.
Pro Tip: You can also swap ricotta cheese for burrata, and use dried herbs if fresh aren't handy. This recipes needs 45 minutes of prep and cook time.