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Three Meat-Free Italian Pasta Dishes

When you peruse the menu of an Italian restaurant, you can expect to see a lot of main courses that feature meat. Spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and chicken parmesan all feature meat as their primary protein source, and while these meals can be delicious for lots of people, there are some individuals who favor meat-free entrees. If you're looking for something that doesn't contain meat, you still have a number of options at an Italian restaurant — including a handful of pasta dishes. Here are some meat-free pasta dishes that may interest you.

Baked Ziti

Although some preparations of baked ziti can include ground beef or sausage, this is a pasta dish that often comes without meat. Ziti is a tube-like pasta that can be a nice alternative to longer pasta types such as linguine and fettuccine. Baked ziti features this type of pasta with tomato sauce that is placed into a dish, covered in a generous amount of cheese, and then baked. This pasta dish is very gooey and can be a perfect choice for someone who loves cheese but doesn't wish to eat meat. Some preparations of this dish include mushrooms, which can provide a slightly meaty texture without actually being meat.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine alfredo appears on the menu of most Italian eateries, and can be a good choice for people who want to enjoy a pasta dish without eating meat. While you'll see some fettuccine alfredo dishes that feature a meat source such as chicken or even seafood, it's common to be able to find a plain variation of this dish. Long noodles with a rich cream sauce, and perhaps a salad or a bowl or soup on the side, can make for a filling meal that doesn't include any meat.

Cheese Ravioli

Italian restaurants serve all sorts of stuffed pasta dishes, but cheese ravioli is one of the most popular. A fixture on the children's section of many menus, this is also a simple dish that adults who do not wish to eat meat can enjoy. Cheese ravioli can come with a tomato-based sauce or a cream sauce. The pasta can feature various types of cheese, including ricotta. Some people enjoy this meal because the pasta is bite sized, making it a little easier to eat than a dish that has long pasta. If you're interested in a meat-free meal at a local Italian restaurant, consider one of these dishes.