Pasta is one of those fun ingredients to cook with because it comes in so many different shapes and sizes. We’ve put together these easy, best ideas for pasta dishes using the fun and springy corkscrew pasta.
These corkscrew pasta dishes will delight your friends and family, and you won’t have to slave over the stove because they are easy dishes, that are simple to make.
In Italy, the different shapes of pasta serve different purposes depending on the sauce you toss the pasta in. Spaghetti is often served with tomato sauce because its thin rounded shape holds the sauce nicely as you slurp it down.
Here, we are featuring corkscrew pasta dishes, which are great for all kinds of sauces because of their corkscrew shape.
You might wonder, what is corkscrew pasta called?
In Italy, they call it fusilli. That translates to “spiral shaped”. But there are also many other pasta shapes similar to fusilli. For example, cavatappi! What is cavatappi used for? Traditionally it’s served with chunky sauces like ragu or bolognese, packed with cherry tomatoes and succulent sausages or ground meat.
The little ridges in the corkscrew shape help to hold those ingredients so you can get a little of everything in each bite.
So, what kind of pasta is shaped like a corkscrew?
We’ve already talked about Fusili, and Cavatappi, but there is also Rotini, which is shaped more like a spiral than a corkscrew but works just as well for these recipes.
These are the 12 best recipes for corkscrew pasta, which you are sure to enjoy and make over and over.
1. Sausage, Tomato and White Bean Pasta
This corkscrew pasta dish is packed with the familiar flavors of creole style food, with spicy sausage tomatoes, herbs and white beans.
It comes together in no time, and serves as a hearty meal with protein from both the sausage and the white beans.
The tomatoes in this give cling to the ridges of the corkscrew shaped pasta nicely, and you get a little bit of everything in each bite. It’s a hearty, crowd pleasing meal that you will be sure to make again.
2. Summer Time Pasta Salad
Pasta does not have to always be hot, this summer pasta salad is the perfect example. It’s packed full of fresh vegetables and herbs, with a lovely light dressing that makes everything come together and sing.
This corkscrew pasta dish makes you feel like you’re sitting in the Italian countryside, enjoying the sun and breeze, eating a delicious and light pasta dish full of the season’s peak offerings.
Basil and tomatoes with zucchini and olive oil nestle themselves into the springs of the corkscrew pasta.
3. Baked Mac and Cheese
What is cavatappi pasta used for? Mac and cheese! This is the perfect recipe to use for cavatappi pasta because it soaks up all that cheesy goodness into the tender spiral shape. This is the best baked mac and
cheese recipe for corkscrew pasta. The sauce is a luscious combination of cream and two kinds of cheese to create a sauce that envelopes the corkscrew pasta to create this comforting dish.
Baked mac and cheese is simply the best because the cause is absorbed by the pasta to give you a cheese, creamy bite every time.
4. Cheesy, beefy pasta bake
Ground beef and parmesan cheese create this delicious baked pasta dish that comes together simply and so fast!
The ground beef in this recipe holds so nicely in the ridges of the corkscrew pasta and it’s cheesy without being too overly rich.
Caramelized onion and green pepper round out this recipe to make it lighter than your average baked pasta and by using lean ground beef you make it a healthy weeknight dinner option.
5. Creamy Cavatappi Pasta
If you love fettuccine alfredo, you will love this cavatappi pasta recipe! Cavatappi is the corkscrew pasta that soaks up all the deliciousness of a cream sauce to give you a decadent meal full of flavor.
Sun-Dried tomatoes, spinach and cream come together simply and quickly to make this delicious pasta dish.
The spinach in this clings to the corkscrew pasta and gets a little bit in each bite. The sun dried tomatoes add a little bit of zing to each bit as well.
6. Cacio Pepe Cavatappi
This may be the most classic Italian version of a corkscrew pasta recipe. Cavatappi is perfect here with it’s corkscrew shape to hug the delicious creamy sauce of cacio pepe, which means spicy cheese!
Cream and parmesan cheese make up your sauce, then you toss your pasta with all that luscious cheese sauce and hit it with lots of cracked black pepper for a zingy addition to this bowl of pasta.
7. Tex-Mex Cavatappi
Pasta meets tex-mex cuisine in this inventive, and delicious, creative use of corkscrew pasta.
All the flavors of your favorite burrito come together to make a pasta dish which you may think, how can that be? But making a sauce of ground beef, spices and melted cheese goes perfectly with the shape of the cavatappi because it hugs all those yummy morsels and gives you flavor in every bite.
You can even top it with cilantro and lime for a truly fusian meal that will absolutely delight those eating it.
8. Mediterranean pasta salad
Imagine yourself on the boat in the Aegean sea, sitting on the back deck enjoying a light lunch of bright, flavorful pasta, perhaps some lemon ice tea and an assortment of seafood dishes to go along with it.
This pasta dish will transport you! Its light but filling, using all the flavors of the mediterranean like olives, tomatoes, lemon and olive oil to bring together a delicious and nutritious pasta dish.
Corkscrew pasta, or fusilli is perfect there as it holds all those fresh tomatoes and olives in its ridges to deliver flavor in every bite.
9. White Cheddar Mac and Cheese
This mac and cheese is particularly special because it utilized only white cheddar for its sauce.
White cheddar is more mild than the traditional sharp cheddar used for mac and cheese, which makes this recipe more of an alfredo meets mac and cheese situation.
The corkscrew pasta soaks up the sauce so nicely and with a bake in the oven this dish becomes an ooey-gooey delicious dish that will please just about anybody.
10. Creamy three cheese mushroom pasta
The secret ingredient in this dish? Cream of mushroom soup!
Those cans are gold for creating a truly delightful and rich sauce with little to no hassle at all.
This sauce is completed with three different kinds of cheese that come together in a symphony of a sauce to decorate the classic corkscrew pasta that holds it all together.
Don’t be scared off by the cream of mushroom soup because it really is the hack that we all need for our pasta dishes.
11. Baked Cavatappi
This is the “adult mac and cheese” that everyone needs to know about.
What is cavatappi pasta used for? This dish the perfect application. A really easy cream sauce is made then tossed with the pasta and set into a baking dish.
You then sprinkle with crunchy breadcrumbs and parsley to make a grown up and equally delicious version of mac and cheese! The effort is minimal and the reward is great.
12. Tri-color spiral pasta
This corkscrew pasta recipe is healthy, colorful, and full of vegetables.
The colorful variety of pasta is easy to find just look for tri-color fusilli! Adding broccoli, cherry tomatoes and olives makes this pasta dish extra colorful and extra delicious with lots of veggies and fun pasta.
This is a dish you would easily find in a little town in Italy, or on the coast of Greece where pasta salads are prevalent and vegetables are always featured in a meal.
12 Best Corkscrew Pasta Recipes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 links (6 ounces) low-fat Italian sausage
- 1 (26-oz) can diced tomatoes,
- 1 (15-oz) can unsalted cannellini beans
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- ½ lb whole-wheat fusilli pasta
- ¼ c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Cook pasta according to box instructions in a large pot of boiling water with about 2 Tbsp of salt
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until just sizzling.
- Add in the chopped sausage, and cook until browned slightly about 5-6 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes, with juices from the can as well as the drained beans, oregano, chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Bring this mixture to a simmer on medium-high heat then turn down to low to keep at a simmer.
- Cook this mixture till the liquid reduces, about 3-4 minutes
- Stir in the cooked pasta and allow to simmer 2-3 minutes
- Divide among bowls and them sprinkle with parmesan and chopped parsley