For many people, nothing says "comfort food" like a giant bowl of carbs, and there's no greater carb to eat large quantities of than pasta. Whether it's covered in tomato sauce or meat sauce or it's a family recipe passed down through generations, we'll never say no to tucking into this particular carb.
Pasta is not only comforting but also a very family-friendly meal. Not only do kids love the stuff and would pick it over almost anything else (particularly if they're picky eaters), but families have also been gathering around dinner tables since forever to eat and laugh and connect with one another over pasta. A pasta dinner is just good, cozy, warm vibes all around. It's safe to say that while there are many modern recipes involving every single shape of noodle, that's not what nonnas are going for. They want traditional, tried and true recipes, and they know that red sauce is where it's at.
Not only are we amazed by some of the wacky and unique things that have been added to pasta, but we also know that a nonna would feel exactly the same way. Read on to find out about 25 of the wildest things ever done to pasta that Nonna wouldn't approve of.
25 Spaghetti With Strawberries
The Cheat Sheet includes a recipe for Spaghetti With Strawberries in an article about pasta. We don't expect that, and we're a bit intrigued but also kind of confused by this...
Do strawberries really seem like something that belongs in pasta? No, we'd have to say that they don't. We want to eat our strawberries with yogurt, ice cream, in cake form, or straight out of the package when it's spring or summer and the berries are at their delicious peak. We'd never put them on pasta, and we know that Nonnas wouldn't either.
24 Nacho Pasta Bake
Amuse Your Bouche has this recipe for a Nacho Pasta Bake. It looks insanely good: creamy, crunchy, hearty, satisfying, and like it's would be something that we'd crave pretty much all the time.
While we think that this is a brilliant idea and would happily eat this up any night of the week (because, of course, nachos are always a smart idea), we don't think that Nonnas would feel the same way. That's okay—that means that we can make this and that there'll be way more for us.
23 Chocolate Pasta
The Food Network has this recipe for Chocolate Pasta, which is probably meant to be dessert and involves making pasta dough with all-purpose flour and cocoa powder.
While this could be a fun project, especially if you have kids, we have a hunch that it might not be Nonna's style. She might prefer regular old pasta made with regular old white flour, which we can totally understand. We're not sure about chocolate and pasta being added together ourselves. Why not just keep chocolate in a baked good?
22 Carbonara Quesadillas
Now this is just insulting to both the cuisines of Italy and of Mexico. We can hear Nonna and Abuelita both, standing on opposite shores, tutting and bemoaning this train wreck.
It sounds likes something a college kid would come up with after a night out - which to be fair, is probably the only acceptable context for this. Carbonara is great, as are quesadillas, but two halves don't always make a whole, and this carbomination proves that.
21 Turmeric-Parsley Pasta Dough
Health magazine has a recipe for Turmeric-Parsley Pasta Dough. While we understand the appeal of trying to make pasta dough healthier and adding superfood turmeric, which is a very hot and trendy spice right now, we don't want to eat turmeric or parsley pasta.
Sure, turmeric is fine in a fancy latte with some nut milk, or in curry, or basically anywhere else. But on pasta? It's just not something that appeals to us, and we're sure that Nonna's would agree with us on that. The Parsley on its own could be fine if used with a seafood or carbonara sauce, but that's where we draw the line.
20 Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
Taste Of Home has given us a gift in the form of this Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta. We honestly couldn't love the idea of this meal more. While not every food mashup is a stellar idea and something that we'd actually eat, we'd totally eat this. What could be bad?! Bacon, cheese, and ground beef totally work well with pasta since they're soft and easy to eat.
But while we'd party with this recipe anytime, we can see that Nonna wouldn't. After all, bacon cheeseburgers aren't exactly part of her kind of cuisine.
19 Enchilada Spaghetti
Brit + Co mentioned this recipe in a roundup of pasta dishes. While we understand the creativity of adding enchilada ingredients to a pasta dish—and some of us might say that it's a really great idea—we're certain that a grandma wouldn't want to put these things into pasta.
First of all, this dish might be too spicy for them, and second of all, it might be a little too wacky and wild for them. We can definitely see how they'd feel that way.
18 White Chocolate Mac And Cheese
On first glance this may look like an uncontroversial bowl of cacio e pepe or alfredo sauce. But how wrong we were. Popsugar writes about this recipe for White Chocolate Mac and Cheese, and it honestly has us feeling pretty stumped.
White chocolate... mac... and cheese. What's happening here?! White chocolate seems like such a random ingredient in general. It's not something that people buy or bake with very often, and most people would go for the milk chocolate or dark chocolate stuff instead. Adding white chocolate into any kind of pasta dish, let alone mac and cheese, just doesn't seem right.
17 Crawfish Monica
Have we heard of Crawfish Monica before? Maybe not, but it's a pasta dish that involves both Creole seasoning and seafood.
According to Saveur, "In New Orleans, you can eat red gravy (tomato sauce with a little gumbo DNA) year-round. Crawfish Monica—rotini sauced with crawfish tails, butter, cream, and Creole seasoning—basically only comes out for Jazz Fest." Sound delicious, but we can just hear Nonna complaining about the spice from here.
16 Spicy Mac And Cheese
There are tons of recipes for spicy mac and cheese, including this one from the Food Network. It's got all kinds of things that a Nonna wouldn't approve of, including chili powder, cayenne pepper, cilantro, and jalapenos.
Sometimes, it's fun to add different ingredients to traditional dishes like pasta. Other times, we're craving a more typical approach, and we honestly would never turn down a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, even if that seems dull to some people. It's not dull to a Nonna who knows that this is the best food ever.
15 Peanut Butter And Jelly Pasta With Ritz Crackers
Oh yes, this is something that an actual person did to pasta. We know about it thanks to Reddit.
We barely need to even say that Nonna wouldn't approve this recipe... because we definitely don't approve of this recipe. In fact, it looks and sounds totally and completely gross. Peanut butter and jelly may be a classic duo, and it's great on toast and oatmeal and in baked goods. But on pasta?! Don't even get us started on the Ritz crackers addition. We can't even go there. If you have a Nonna, hide this recipe from her.
14 Penne With Smoked Salmon And Cream Cheese Sauce
There are tons of recipes out there for pasta that has cream cheese and also smoked salmon. All we have to say is, do we really want to put smoked salmon and cream cheese on pasta?!
No way. These things belong on bagels, and that's really the only place that we want them. We can imagine how a Nonna would feel about this, and we have to say that we're in complete agreement here. (But now, we're craving a nice bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon...)
13 Ramen Noodle Burger
Well, apparently, the Ramen Noodle Burger is a thing... and there are actually lots of different recipes for this.
We're scratching our heads, and we just don't understand this. That's okay, though, because we really don't want to understand it. While we might like ramen (you know, in an "I remember when I didn't have money for food so I ate ramen" kind of way), we're not going to put it on a burger or use it as a burger bun. We definitely know that Nonnas wouldn't even consider ramen pasta, let alone approve of this burger idea.
12 Cheesy Taco Pasta
This Cheesy Taco Pasta recipe from The Kitchn is something that we'd totally make. After all, it's got cheese, so, first of all, we're on board there. But it also has ingredients that are typically found in a taco, like black beans and ground beef with taco seasoning... and that's where a nonna would be shaking her head.
No grandma is going to agree that it's okay to add taco beef and other ingredients into a pasta dish. Grandmas will wonder what's wrong with a good old traditional tomato sauce.
11 Chicken Fajita Pasta
This Chicken Fajita Pasta from Tasty.co has got bell peppers, chicken, cumin, garlic, chili powder, shredded jack cheese, and a few other ingredients. We bet that it's totally great.
It's just not a traditional pasta dish, and while we wouldn't mind trying it and can see the appeal of turning chicken fajitas into pasta, we can tell that a grandma wouldn't be too pleased to learn about this mashup. She'd definitely want to separate the two meals and keep her pasta pure.
10 Penne With Zucchini And Yogurt Cream Sauce
Included in a roundup on Popsugar about different pasta dishes, this Penne With Zucchini And Yogurt Cream Sauce definitely includes some ingredients that aren't found in traditional pasta recipes.
A nonna would totally keep the zucchini. They have nothing against vegetables, and many sauce recipes include the green stuff. But a yogurt cream sauce? That's where things get confusing. We're not sure that yogurt and cream should go together in any way, shape, or form, and we're not sure about putting them on pasta.
9 Curry Pasta
All Recipes has a recipe for Curry Pasta, and how we feel about this might depend on how we feel about curry. Honestly, though, doesn't curry seem like something that should be kept traditional? Chicken, shrimp, beef, lamb, or veggie curry served over brown or white rice is honestly delicious, and it's kind of like "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Needless to say, grandmas won't be wanting to serve up pasta covered in curry sauce.
8 Chicken And Blueberry Pasta Salad
Many people can take or leave pasta salad. Sometimes, it can be good, but other times, it has way too much mayo (and if you're not a mayo lover, then forget it—you won't ever want to go near this popular picnic dish).
A Nonna wouldn't want chicken and blueberry in her pasta salad—if she even likes pasta salad—and that's something that we can totally understand. That's exactly where we stand on this issue. Fruit with pasta? It's just kind of odd.
7 Popcorn Shrimp Mac And Cheese
Do you want popcorn shrimp in your mac and cheese? Let's go with no. That seems like a pretty typical reaction.
Shrimp and pasta can totally go well together, but that's if you add parsley and garlic and butter and maybe some lemon. But popcorn shrimp, aka breaded shrimp? Not so much. We wouldn't be rushing to make this recipe, and we know that a Nonna wouldn't be either.
6 Sweet Potato Noodles
Sweet potatoes are delicious. They're obviously perfection when sweetened with maple syrup, seasoned with cinnamon, and topped with marshmallows for the classic Thanksgiving side dish. They're even great in a pie.
But sweet potato noodles? We can probably agree that this is taking the whole "let's turn any vegetable (no, really, any vegetable at all) into a noodle" craze too far. Let's just eat regular pasta when we want to and not turn sweet potatoes into pasta. We don't think that any Nonna would approve of this at all.
5 Carrot Noodles
Carrot noodles are even worse than sweet potato noodles. We wouldn't even want to tell a grandma about this because we don't think that they'd be too happy.
Why would you even turn a carrot into a noodle? We get wanting to eat low carb, but then, wouldn't you just avoid pasta anyway? While there's nothing wrong with making rice or pizza out of cauliflower (and these can actually taste pretty good), we think that we should draw the line at pasta. The only noodle worth eating is a regular one.
4 Pasta With Hummus And Tomatoes
Hummus is a great dip to serve friends and family when having them over for dinner. Add veggie sticks and pita and crackers, and you have a nice appetizer.
But hummus on pasta?! What?!
We can agree that this recipe from Turnip The Oven for Pasta With Hummus And Tomatoes will be delicious if we like hummus and tomatoes (and pasta, of course). But if we're not big fans of hummus and tend to avoid beans and chickpeas in general, we might agree with a Nonna that adding hummus to pasta is a pretty wild thing to do.
3 Simple Pasta With Hearty Tofu And Tomato Sauce
This recipe from Honest Cooking will appeal to anyone following a vegan or vegetarian way of eating (or anyone who just wants to eat a bit healthier). We totally respect and understand that.
But it's safe to say that a Nonna wouldn't understand putting tofu into pasta. In fact, she wouldn't really like the idea of eating tofu at all, right? It's not really an ingredient that's cooked with in her type of cuisine.
2 Avocado Pasta
Did we know that you can put avocado on pasta? More than that, you can turn them into a sauce for this beloved carbohydrate. While not traditional by any means, we have to say that this idea is kind of appealing. After all, we love our avocados (and our avocado toast), and while green pasta might gross out kids, we're old enough to know that green things can be delicious.
Do we want to tell a nonna about this, though? Probably not. She might not think that it's the best idea ever... and might ask us where the red sauce is.
1 Zucchini Noodles
The final thing that people have done to pasta that Nonna wouldn't be too happy about would be turning zucchini into noodles.
We've all heard about this trend by now, and while we do get the impulse to make healthier versions of popular foods such as pasta, it just doesn't make any sense. There are so many ways that this can go wrong. Zucchini gets totally watery when you try to turn it into noodles, and it's not filling or satisfying at all. We totally agree with Nonna that a simple and traditional pasta sauce is best.