To know a great bowl of pasta is to know true love.
It's funny how the simple combination of flour, eggs and water transforms into something as magnificent — and versatile — as pasta.
Today, there are more than 600 shapes of pasta cooked around the world. It's become a base for endless recipes and can be dressed in everything from a light oil with veggies to a hearty Bolognese. Even people following low-carb lifestyles had to create to zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) to satisfy spaghetti cravings.
Oct. 25 is World Pasta Day, so we've rounded up our favorite recipes that celebrate this special staple.
Spaghetti with Meatballs in Marinara Sauce by Anthony Scotto
Shall we start with the classics? Spaghetti and meatballs is the ultimate comfort food. It's easy to make, full of flavor and the whole family will enjoy every last bite of this recipe.
Linguine with Crab and White Wine by Reed Alexander
Jumbo lump crab is delicate and delicious, but it also pairs really well with pasta. This Italian-inspired dish will transport you to a candlelit dinner on a cliffside outside Genoa, Italy … but it's actually incredibly fast and straightforward to produce at home on any weeknight.
Cheeseburger Pasta by Kia Damon
We love this nostalgic recipe — which Kia Damon calls "a love letter to Hamburger Helper" — because it can be pulled together with ingredients that are usually already on hand.
One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta by Mark Bittman
You had us at one-pot. Three cups of spinach and one cup of ricotta turn this easy, one-pot pasta into a beautiful vegetarian main. It's easy to add in more veggies or swap the spinach for another green you have on hand, like kale or collards.
Penne Pie by Katie Lee
This twist on spaghetti pie from Katie Lee Biegel is perfect for feeding a group.
Giada's Short Rib Lasagna by Giada De Laurentiis
While we love traditional lasagna as much as the next home cook, Giada de Laurentiis' version made with tender, fall-off-the-bone short ribs is truly out of this world. This rich, baked pasta is made with layers of beef, creamy basil-flecked cheese and savory tomato sauce.
Bobby Flay's Eggplant Bolognese by Bobby Flay
People who want a vegan dish with the same richness of a beef Bolognese can turn to Bobby Flay's eggplant pasta. Flay even added the meatless option to his menu at Gato, his Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in New York City. It was an instant hit.
5-Minute Fettuccine Alfredo by Anthony Contrino
"Saucy" star Anthony Contrino loves how quickly this dish comes together. This take on the creamy, dreamy dish uses an unconventional ingredient, but it allows anyone to get dinner on the table in minutes.
Classic Spaghetti Bolognese by Alex Guarnaschelli
Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli encourages transforming any leftover sauce into savory meals like sloppy Joes or taco salad. But it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to just have lots and lots of perfectly sauced pasta.
Baked Cheesy Mac and Broccoli by Antoni Porowski
There are as many versions of mac and cheese as there are "Housewives" franchises — all of which have their place in our homes. Antoni's skillet version is crispy along the edges and has a wonderful, crunchy breadcrumb topping, which is his favorite part. Broccoli and cheese make a great pair, especially in a baked pasta.
Brie Pasta by Elizabeth Heiskell
We love this recipe because it comes together in a flash. Your guests will be blown away every time you serve this creamy, rich pasta.
Spaghetti all'Ubriaco (Drunken Spaghetti) by Katie Quinn
We're obsessed with this dish because it manages to be outstandingly simple (made almost entirely of pantry staples) but also a winner in flavor and gorgeousness. It's a go-to weeknight dish because it's quick and easy, as well as a dinner party standby for its show-stopping beauty and knockout taste.
Lemon Pasta by Katie Lee
The beauty of this dish is its simplicity. It's a totally elegant and delicious dish that comes together in minutes and with minimal effort.
Baked Broken Lasagna Pasta with Spinach by Yasmin Fahr
Yasmin Fahr loves this recipe because it's low maintenance, so she can put it in the oven and then finish odd tasks around her apartment while it cooks (always set a timer!). There's something so comforting about digging up the thick pieces of lasagna noodles smothered in garlicky red sauce.
Creamy Vegan Cacio e Pepe by Samah Dada
Cacio e pepe is one of those dishes that many people love because of its simplicity, but it's not easy to replicate the complex flavor of traditional Italian cheeses. Samah Dada's take on the Italian staple uses nutritional yeast and cashews to create a luscious, umami-packed sauce.
BLT Pasta by Valerie Bertinelli
One day, Valerie Bertinelli looked in the fridge and found bacon, arugula and fresh basil. She already had tomatoes in a bowl on the counter, and she thought, "Wait a minute. This is a BLT. What if I put it all together?" She did, and the result was a splendidly tender pasta with a lightly acidic tomato-wine sauce that went perfectly with the smoky bacon, peppery arugula and sweet basil.
Katie Lee's Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Pasta by Katie Lee Biegel
"I am a big fan of spinach artichoke dip," says Katie Lee Biegel. "This dish is basically the same recipe as the classic dip but with pasta. What could be better?!"