From East to West, people love tucking into a satisfying meal of pasta, whether Japanese soba noodles or Italian macaroni. This selection of international noodle dishes takes you well beyond spaghetti marinara with tasty combinations like ginger and soy sauce, fennel and feta, squash and yogurt, miso and green tea. With so many pastas made with wheat alternatives, even those on a gluten-free diet can enjoy this comfort food. Yet another bonus for busy families: Pasta dishes are relatively quick and unfussy. So set the table and get your noodle on.

Tofu and Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame-Citrus Dressing

Serves 4 / Vegan / Gluten-free / This room-temperature noodle salad makes a hearty lunch or a casual supper. Use a Microplane-style grater to easily grate the ginger and citrus zests. For a fun color contrast, try black sesame seeds or a combination of white and black. view recipe

Pasta Salad with Chicken, Fennel and Feta

Serves 4 / Orecchiette translates to “little ears,” describing the cupped shape of these pasta disks. If you’re unable to find Italian orecchiette, elbow macaroni works just fine. Precooked rotisserie chicken cuts down on prep time. Chopped black olives make a nice garnish. view recipe

Middle Eastern Egg Noodles with Squash, Yogurt and Walnuts

Serves 6 / Vegetarian / This hearty dish is inspired by an Afghani dish called kaddo bowrani, roasted pumpkin topped with tomato-meat sauce and yogurt sauce. The yogurt drizzle is the key to this recipe’s flavor. Look for precut cubed squash in your produce section. view recipe

Gluten-Free Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna

Serves 6 / Gluten-free / Vegetarian / Pan-searing the unpeeled garlic gives it a mellow, roasted flavor. Save time by washing the spinach while the garlic cooks. view recipe

Rice Noodles in Miso-Green Tea Broth

Serves 6 / Gluten-free / An easy, satisfying meal that’s perfect for weeknights. Any type of rice noodle will work: flat, pad thai–style noodles, spaghetti, or even vermicelli. view recipe

Stir-Fried Mung Bean Noodles with Pork

Serves 6 / Gluten-free / Chili-garlic sauce is a zesty mixture of chiles, garlic, and vinegar found in the Asian section of many markets (look for preservative-free brands). Save time by chopping ginger, garlic, and vegetables while the pork marinates. view recipe

Pick your pasta...Shapes and best uses

1. Rigatoni

Shape: large, grooved macaroni, about 1½ inches long

Use: with meatballs or chunk meat sauces

2. Farfalle

Shape: small rectangles pinched in the center; means “butterfly”

Use: in broths or with creamy sauces

3. Fusilli

Shape: twisted, corkscrew shape

Use: in pasta salads or dishes with vegetable chunks

4. Bucatini

Shape: long, spaghetti-like tubes

Use: with tomato sauces (with or without additional vegetables)

5. Linguine

Shape: flat, long noodles, traditionally 3mm wide

Use: with pesto or clam sauces

San Francisco–based chef Laurie Gauguin now enjoys pasta in moderation, unlike during her college years when she lived on an all-spaghetti diet.