Italian Pasta Sauce
Have great Italian pasta sauce already made and you can have a quick and easy meal in minutes.
You can make Italian pasta sauce with or without meat ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for many months. Pasta cooks quickly, and a simple toss with some great sauce and you have an instant meal tastier and healthier than any fast food.
Many sauces taste better after simmering for several hours, but these can simmer unattended and really aren't difficult to prepare. You can cook your favoriet Italian pasta sauce on weekends when you have the time for a slow cook sauce, or use your crockpot while you are at work. I keep frozen sauces in my freezer for quick weeknight meals.
There are many traditional Italian pasta sauces to choose from, with some being quicker and easier to make than others, however you can learn to make any sauce you like taste as good as any restaurant.
Bolognese Sauce (ragù alla bolognese in Italian,
also known by its French name sauce bolognaise) is a meat based sauce for pasta originating in Bologna, Italy. Authentic Bolognese sauce have only a very small amount of tomato, perhaps a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. In the United States, the term 'bolognese' is often applied to a tomato-and-
ground-beef sauce that bears little resemblance to the sauce served in Bologna, and is often served with rigatoni or used as the stuffing for cannelloni or lasagne.
Spaghetti alla Bolognese, or Spaghetti Bolognese, popular outside of Italy, consists of a meat sauce served on a bed of spaghetti with a good sprinkling of grated cheese: Parmigiano Reggiano.
sauce is named after the Italian word “marinaro” or sailor, however the sauce does not contain any seafood.
It is a basic tomato sauce without meat and is wonderful served over pasta. This sauce is very flavorful but quite easy to make. It can also be used a base for other Italian meat sauces. It is best made with fresh herbs, but you can substitute dried if necessary.
Ragu is popular in northern Italy's Bologna, and is typically a tomato based meat sauce usually including ground beef, onions, celery, carrots, white wine and seasonings. This sauce was made for pasta and is one of my favorite sauces.
The white sauces are rich and creamy with delicious butter and cream.
is a well known white sauce consisting of cream and Parmesan cheese. It is not difficult to make and is often served as a dip for bread, vegetables or served over pasta.
Balsamella (Bechamel in France)
is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine, often used as the base for other sauces, such as Mornay sauce. Popular in Italian cooking as well, this basic sauce is often a key ingredient of many lasagne recipes. It is basically a cream sauce before any cheese is added for other sauces.
Another great way to serve pasta is with pesto.
is very easy to make and so much better than store bought. Toss with freshly cooked pasta, stir in some chicken or sautéed seafood and you have an instant, delicious dinner. Pesto is made with olive oil so it is healthy as well.
Pesto is traditionally a paste made from basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. There are many varieties, but I also keep a basic basil pesto around for an instant pasta sauce. The basil will turn black and fresh pesto can't be stored long in the refrigerator, but you can freeze it. It is best to eaten fresh, but by freezing, I can have my homemade pesto available anytime all year round.
Tips for freezing: Try putting your pesto in an ice-cube tray and freezing. Once frozen, transfer to a air-tight freezer bag for storage. Your individual pesto cubes are perfect to top soups. You can also store the pesto in pre-measured amounts in freezer bags and thaw for a quick sauce for pasta.
Hint: Never microwave pesto - it destroys the flavor. Instead thaw in refrigerator or place the frozen bag in hot water. Cook your pasta then stir in the pesto and serve.
Need more help making sauces? Try these Cookbooks
Try these easy Pasta Sauce recipes and Pesto recipes...
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