I love making pasta dishes. They’re always an easy win with my family members and work with our busy schedules.

I choose dishes that usually take little time to prepare and will last us more than one meal.

In my pantry, I keep the basics for almost any quick pasta dish — locally made pasta that cooks quickly and good quality olive oils.

Just let what’s already in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry guide you with the rest of the ingredients.

A traditional dish of Rome, carbonara is usually made with bacon or pancetta. To give mine some local flavor, I used smoked pork sausage I purchased fresh at the farmers market.

The trick to carbonara is to cook the eggs — off the heat — into a smooth, light sauce that coats the pasta instead of turning into scrambled eggs.

Because we’ve roasted and steamed broccoli so much lately, I decided to sauté it this time. I added some Italian seasoning blend so it would go with our carbonara. The toasted garlic and cashews give it an extra layer of flavor and a little crunch. Adding a splash of lemon juice brightened everything up and brought it all together.

The days are longer now, and I’m eager to take a nice walk or watch the kids play after dinner. So quick meals like this one help us spend a little more of our evenings out in the fresh air.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at ieatbrla@gmail.com.