Just in time for Lent, this is a delicious and meatless dish.  Catholics around the world abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all of the Fridays of Lent.  Some people forego meat throughout Holy Week: from Palm Sunday until Holy Saturday.  Still, others abstain from eating meat during the entire Lenten season. 

Of course, you can serve this anytime of the year.  When I serve this during those times, I usually accompany it with roasted chicken or pork, grilled beef, or sausages.

Pasta with marinara sauce

Pasta with pesto

Pasta with Alfredo sauce

Pasta Tricolore

Pasta Tricolore


1 lb dry pasta

1 cup Marinara Sauce (see 2/17/14 Post)

1 cup Pesto (see 2/27/14 Post)

1 cup Alfredo Sauce

Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

  1.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Cream Sauce (Alfredo Sauce)


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ¼ cups heavy cream

2/3 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

  1.  Melt butter in a medium sauce pan.  Add the cream and grated cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Stir sauce over medium-low heat until cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.



As you might have guessed, the green white and red represent the Italian flag which is called il Tricolore.  Some say the colors have meanings: green represents the country’s hills and plains, white for the snow capped Alps, and red for the bloodshed in the wars of independence.  The other meanings have a religious significance to them: green for hope, white for faith, and red for charity, which are the three Christian theological virtues.

I first had this dish when my husband and I were just dating many years ago.  I thought the different colors made for a lovely presentation.  Whether in a single serve pasta bowl or on a large platter, it is very appealing.  Sometimes, “pasta tricolore” refers to a kind of pasta, usually penne or rotini, which are colored green, white/uncolored, and red.

When serving on a platter, different shaped maccheroni  (the Italian word used to reference all types macaroni pasta) may be used for an interesting combination.  Even gnocchi may be used.  I’ll teach you how to make gnocchi later.  For this post I used cellentani, kind of a very loose rotini.

This dish calls for 3 kinds of sauces: Marinara, Pesto and Alfredo.  The first two I taught you the past couple of weeks.  The third one is super easy.  You basically combine everything in a saucepan, stir and let thicken.  The neat thing about this being so easy to make is that you can keep making more if your guests are still hungry and you’ve run out of the other two sauces! 

When I served this dish to my family, my daughter remarked, “Oooh, fancy!”  I encouraged everyone to get a small serving of each kind of sauce so they could compare and determine which they liked best.  So although the marinara was good, it was the one left over.  I did have to make a second mixture of pasta with the Alfredo sauce.  I’m guessing their enthusiasm was because we don’t have pesto or Alfredo that often.

So what pasta shape or shapes will you use for this dish?



09/29/2016 1:47am

Hope the lovers of the pasts will enjoy allot with this multi-color one. As you write about the recipe of this stuff those who are having the problems while cooking it they will get the solution of them with this easy way.

05/02/2017 5:56pm

I've been searching for different types of pasta dish that can match my healthy lifestyle and I'm so glad that I came across with this article. Pasta in general, is one of my weaknesses. Just seeing the picture of your own pasta dish above, just makes my mouth water already. I've tasted a lot of pasta without meat and I must say that I didn't like any of it. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm used to eating pasta with meat and that I still haven't found that certain pasta dish that could make me change my mind about meatless pasta. So, I think this is a challenge for you because it's either, I'd totally love it or my taste in pasta would stay that same. I'm excited to try making your own dish so I could finally taste your masterpiece. I'm just hoping that this is the pasta dish that I've been looking for.

05/22/2017 6:10pm

WOW! Pasta tricolore looks appetizing. Those pasta are looking good! Pesto pasta is my favorite. The olive oil that gives the pesto the shine and it uplifts the flavor of the pasta in a different level. Also, when you add a little parmesan cheese on pesto, it will make the pasta more tasty and you can savor the dish to the last bite. I can't wait to try these. I mean if I serve this to my family, I'm sure that I will be popular!

12/13/2016 4:06am

I love the facts that you shared, just by looking at the picture of the presentation about the Pasta Tricolore, I already identified it as the Italian Flag, and was actually right. And I was really inspired about it's deeper significance especially on religious aspects. I would love to try making it on our family dinner this weekend, I hope I won't mess up.


These pasta recipes are amazing! I will definitely try them all.


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