Pasta is the great equalizer. Whether you’re trying to get dinner on the table for your family on a hectic weeknight or you’ve invited your boss over for a fancy dinner party, you can always count on this fast and filling pantry staple to satisfy everyone.
If you preach the pasta gospel, you’ll love Colu Henry‘s debut cookbook, Back Pocket Pasta. The #backpocketpasta idea was conceived originally as a way to document the on-the-fly pasta concoctions Colu would “cobble together” after long, tiring work days. Thankfully for all of us, the project eventually morphed into this collection of inspired, deeply personal recipes. The pastas range from classics passed down through her Italian family (like Mama’s Marinara and Nonni’s Tuna-Clam Sauce) to dishes influenced by her travels and home in New York (like Moroccan Lamb Ragu and Creamy Saffron Risotto-Style Fregola). Most recipes have short ingredient lists, so you can easily whip them up at a moment’s notice, and there’s also a side dish and cocktail section to round out the meal if you’re entertaining.