Lazy Lasagna
Lasagna may seem like more work than it's worth to some people. But one day when I had a craving for it, I devised this simple Lazy Lasagna recipe.
—Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico

Tuna Alfredo
For quick comfort, I use a packaged noodles and sauce mix to make this old-fashioned-tasting Tuna Alfredo. When it's just my husband and me for dinner, I rely on this fast favorite.
—Vicki Didier, Manchesney Park, Illinois

Macaroni 'n' Cheese for Two
This is the simplest of entrees, so well received on cold, frosty evenings. The combination of sour cream and cheese gives this Macaroni 'n' Cheese for Two dish a distinctive taste of its own.
—Mrs. O. Lick, Boyne Falls, Michigan

Nutty Cheese Tortellini
I like to plant Italian flat-leaf parsley in a long terra-cotta planter, so I have it on hand. The Italian parsley really lends itself to this Nutty Cheese Tortellini dish.
—Barb Kramer, Endwell, New York


Pasta Tips

  • Store uncooked dry pasta in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
  • To cook pasta evenly and prevent it from sticking together, cook in plenty of boiling water. To prevent boil-over, cook in a large kettle. Cooking times vary with the size and variety of pasta. Follow recommended cooking times on the package.
  • Allow about 2 ounces of pasta per person for a main-dish serving. If you're cooking for 2, that means you need 4 ounces per meal. How do you measure that? Food Editor Karen Scales offers this easy method:

    Pasta, such as spaghetti, fettuccine and linguine, usually comes in a 16-ounce package. When you open a new box or package, divide it in half the best you can visually. Then, divide each of those piles in half again. You should have four 4-ounce portions. Tie a string around each portion and return them to the box until the next time you need 4 ounces of pasta. You can make 2-ounce portions by dividing one of the bundles in half again.

  • To test for doneness, use a fork to remove a single piece of pasta from the boiling water. Rinse in cold water and taste. Pasta should be cooked until "al dente," which means firm yet tender. Pour into a large colander (strainer) to drain.