Spaghetti noodles can get you out of a pinch, so it’s always wise to stock your pantry with a few boxes. Aside from whipping up spaghetti with a quick tomato sauce or with butter and parmesan or olive oil and nutritional yeast, you can break up the noodles into segments to throw into soups, use them in a stir-fry, or toss them in a vinaigrette for a pasta salad.

Soup: Combine chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes, assorted fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice. Let come to a simmer, add broken spaghetti noodles to make a vegetable noodle soup. Be sure to season to taste with salt, pepper, chopped fresh parsley and thyme, or a teaspoon of ground cumin. You can add some crushed fresh garlic to this, too.

Stir-fry: An easy way to “stir-fry” is to throw some vegetables into the pasta water when you have about two minutes left on the pasta cooking time. Drain the pasta and blanched vegetables. You can leave just a touch of pasta water in the bottom of the pot. Put the pot back on the stove. Add some soy sauce or tamari to taste. Stir together until the sauce has been incorporated with the noodles and vegetables. Serve. The adults can add some hot sauce for more flavor.

Pasta salad: Toss the cooked and slightly cooled spaghetti with vegetables, some olive oil and wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, chopped flat-leaf parsley, grated parmesan. With any of these recipes, you can add some cooked chicken or protein of choice.

What’s your favorite way with spaghetti? Share the recipe love in the comments below!

— Hsiao-Ching Chou

photo: jeffreyw via flickr