15 Winter Pastas that Aren't Bathed in Cheese

February 29, 2016

When you hear "winter" and "pasta," do you think of cheese? Rich and baked and bubbly dishes, so creamy and indulgent you're satiated after two bites (but when has that ever stopped you before)?

This is not that roundup. Of course, I love a good cheesy pasta as much as any person who tolerates dairy, but I think we might be limiting ourselves. Yes, winter means that fresh tomatoes are out, basil is out, zucchini and other delicate summer vegetables are out. But instead of mourning their loss with gallons of béchamel, we should evaluate all of our options. Consider veg like beets, kale, and onions; dried fruits and citrus; underutilized ingredients like nuts and chickpeas; and interesting takes on proteins like speck, swordfish, and chicken livers. Cook your colors this winter, and those tomatoes will be here before you know it!

What winter pastas make you happiest? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sainab Sharif
    Sainab Sharif
  • 702551
  • Pete
Annie Crabill

Written by: Annie Crabill


Sainab S. March 1, 2016
Ohh the pasta with chickpeas looks delicious!
702551 March 1, 2016
For me, winter pastas often include seafood since shellfish often taste better in the winter than the summer due to the colder ocean water. Since I favor simple pasta dishes, this might be clams or mussels in their juices with a little butter for richness.

As a simplicity fan, there is a big space in my heart for extremely basic "cacio & pepe" type pasta dishes: pasta, cheese, a bit of butter/olive oil, salt & pepper.

Like bread, potatoes, rice, etc., good pasta does not need a pile of flavorful additions for enjoyment.
Pete February 29, 2016
I love my pasta, and the fall and winter begs for savory flavors. One of my go-to favorites is a simple cacio e pepe style pasta but dressed up with prosciutto and sage. Heat olive oil and then render sliced, chopped prosciutto until barely crispy, then toss in some fresh chopped sage and cook another minute or so. Finish the recipe as you would cacio e pepe but after you've created the emulsion with pasta water and have added the pasta, stir in some butter that you've fried whole sage leaves in, and top the finished pasta with those fried sage leaves. A grating of Romano cheese is nice either added to the emulsion or simply topping the plated pasta.