My go-to recipe – this easy Parmesan Pasta is only 5 ingredients and dinner is on the table in under an hour. This is an easy pasta recipe that the kids and adults love!
I sometimes feel like a broken recipe. Because schedules are so busy, I have another no-brainer recipe. Pretty soon here, we might just have to re-name my blog – The Easiest Recipes Ever Blog.
But really, with the craziness of my life lately, I wouldn’t mind that new blog title. Because most nights, that is exactly what is happening around here. Easy. Super easy.
That is actually why I am showing you this recipe. This is one of our go-to meals. I’m sure you all have one or two of those recipes in your back pocket. The ones that you can always make at a moments notice. The ones that you always have the ingredients on hand for. I love this one because there are only 5 ingredients, and you can seriously have this on the table in under 30 minutes. Even less if you live at sea level and can get your water boiling quickly!
This recipe falls into the category of recipes I can make from pantry staples. Because there are only 5 ingredients and I pretty much always have all of them on hand.
- Dry Spaghetti – I always pick up extra when it’s on sale so that I always have a stockpile in the basement.
- Half and Half – This is the liquid that will bring it all together and create a silky sauce.
- Parmesan Cheese – This is a time for the real stuff. That you grate yourself. If you use pre-grated cheese, you’ll probably end up with clumps of cheese that don’t melt into the sauce quite right.
- Salt and Pepper – So I’m counting this as one of the ingredients, but I think these are just a given, right?
- Fresh Minced Parsley – You could really make this into a 4 ingredient dinner because the parsley can totally be skipped. But I love the freshness it brings.
How to Make Parmesan Pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it well, then add in your pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve some of the cooking water.
- Add the pasta back to the pot, then add the half and half and the parmesan cheese. Start tossing everything together until it forms a silky smooth sauce over the pasta.
- If it is too dry, add some of the reserved water and continue to toss until it is all combined and smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, then top with more parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
I get this question all the time, so I’m guessing that in countries outside of the US (or maybe even other US states) they don’t have anything called half and half. But basically, what it is is half milk, half cream. I’ve read some articles stating that it’s not a 50/50 ratio, but other articles that says that it is.
All I know is that if you don’t have half and half, you can totally just sub in half milk and half cream. And you can even make this recipe a little more indulgent by using a higher ratio of cream.
The key to the success of this recipe is the tossing of the hot pasta with the half and half and the parmesan. When you’ve got everything together, use a pair of tongs and toss, toss, toss the pasta. At first, it won’t seem like much is happening, but after a minute or two, a glossy, delicious sauce is formed. It really is super easy, and you’ll find yourself wanting to coat your pasta like this all of the time. To make it a little bit richer, you can always add in a pat or two of butter, too. Not necessary, but delicious!
This recipe is super, super basic. And because of this, you first want to make sure you are seasoning correctly. Salt and pepper in this recipe can totally make it or break it.
If you want a little more, try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes. Garlic would also be a great addition, (although I do already have a garlic spaghetti!). Or switch out the parsley for any different fresh or dried herbs.
More Pasta Recipes
Looking for more free recipes?
My go-to recipe – this Easy Parmesan Pasta is only 5 ingredients and dinner is on the table in under an hour. This is an easy pasta recipe that the kids and adults love!
- 12 oz dry spaghetti
- 1 cup half and half*
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh minced parsley
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
- When the pasta is done, reserve a mug full of the pasta water. Drain the pasta then return to the pot.
- Add the half and half to the pasta along with the Parmesan. Start stirring the pasta until it a smooth sauce starts to form. This might take several minutes – I like to use a set of tongs to toss it all together. If needed, use some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with fresh parsley, and more Parmesan, if desired.
*If you don’t have half and half, you can use 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of cream.
Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 453
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 375 mg
- Fat: 13 g
- Saturated Fat: 7 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 68 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 18 g
- Cholesterol: 37 mg
Keywords: parmesan pasta, easy pasta recipes