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Classic Pasta Sauces

Classic-Pasta-Sauces

Classic Pasta Sauces – Regional specialties and recipes are passed from generation to generation. Embedded in each recipe is the story of the families who’ve developed it.

Whether it’s a made-in-a-flash oil-based sauce or a long-simmering ragù, authentic Italian sauces are made from scratch using the finest ingredients. Italy is a cooking culture that non-Italians envy. But even if some sauces take longer than others, that doesn’t mean they’re complicated to make. In fact, there’s a sauce for every occasion, and for every home cook.

Classic Pasta Sauces include: Basil Pesto Sauce, Bolognese Sauce, Brown Butter Sage Sauce, Carbonara Sauce, White Truffle Butter Sauce, Cream Sauce Prosciutto & Peas and Four Cheese Sauce.


Basil-Pesto-Sauce-Ingredients

Classic Pasta Sauce – Basil Pesto

Basil pesto is usually made with pine nuts, but you can also substitute walnuts or almonds. Classic Ligurian pesto is made with pine nuts and is often served with a short fresh pasta called trofie.

To make the pesto: With a food processor running, drop in the garlic. Add the basil and pine nuts and process to a grainy texture. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil to the desired consistency. Fold in the cheese by hand. Set the pesto aside.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Add the potatoes and green beans for the last minute of cooking to heat them through. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta-cooking liquid.

Transfer to the serving bowl and toss the pesto with the pasta, adding the pasta-cooking liquid to the desired consistency. Turn into a warmed serving bowl and serve at once.

Serves 6

Basil Pesto Sauce Ingredients

3 cloves garlic
1 bunch basil, stemmed
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 pound fresh or dried trofie or pasta of your choice
2 potatoes, peeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick, and blanched for 4 minutes
8 ounces green beans, cut into 3-inch lengths and blanched for 4 minutes

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Classic-Pasta-Sauce-Bolognese-Sauce-Ingredients

Bolognese Sauce

The stoves in Bologna always have this sauce simmering to serve with their heavenly fresh pasta. Ground meats can also be used in place of the chopped meats. Typically, this sauce is served with fresh tagliatelle, but it is also delightful with dried pasta.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and vegetables and saute for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden.

Add the chopped meats and saute until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to high and cook to reduce the liquid by half. Add the stock and tomatoes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in the cream and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to heat. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and turn into a warmed serving bowl, spoon the sauce over the top, and serve at once.

Serves 6

Bolognese Sauce Ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
8 ounces veal, finely chopped
4 ounces pork, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup veal or beef stock
1 (12-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1 pound fresh or dried pasta

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Brown-Butter-Sage-Sauce

Classic Pasta Sauce -Brown Butter Sage Sauce

This quick and delicious northern Italian sauce is easy to make and complements fresh filled or ribbon pasta.

Set aside 8 sage leaves for garnish and julienne the remaining leaves. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it foams. Add the olive oil and julienned sage leaves. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the butter is golden brown-do not burn it! Set aside and keep warm.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and place in a warmed serving bowl. Pour the butter mixture over the pasta, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and toss gently. Garnish with the whole sage leaves and serve at once. Serves 4

Brown Butter Sage Sauce Ingredients

20 fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh filled pasta {ravioli, tortellini, or agnolotti) or ribbon pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

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Classic-Pasta-Sauce-Classic-Carbonara-Sauce

Carbonara Sauce

This is a classic sauce, typically served with spaghetti. It is a rich preparation named for the coal miners that it sustained.

In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, heavy cream, and Parmigiano-Reggiano together. Stir in the cooled onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain the spaghetti and turn into a warmed serving bowl. Toss with the sauce until well coated, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately. Serves 6

Carbonara Sauce Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 ounces pancetta, diced
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

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Cream-Sauce-Prosciutto-Peas-Sauce

Classic Pasta Sauce -Cream Sauce Prosciutto & Peas Sauce

Prosciutto di Parma, the salty, sweet cured meat from Emilia-Romagna, is paired with peas and cream to create a northern Italian classic. Farfalle, or butterfly pasta, is the classic choice for this sauce.

In a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and heat. Stir in the peas and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Add the sauce, toss to coat, garnish with the prosciutto, and serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side. Serves 4

Cream Sauce Prosciutto & Peas Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small spring onion, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups green peas
Sea salt and freshly ground white
pepper to taste
1 pound farfalle or pasta of your choice
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di
Parma, cut into thin strips
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

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Classic-Pasta-Sauce-Four-Cheese-Sauce-Recipe

Four Cheese Sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, fontina, Gorgonzola, and ricotta. Warm slowly over low heat, stirring constantly, until the cheeses have melted. Stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Spoon the cheese sauce over the top, sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve at once. Serves 4

Any combination of soft Italian cheeses will work well in this sauce. Other cheeses might include fresh mozzarella, mascarpone, or provolone.

Four Cheese Sauce Ingredients

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound dried pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

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White-Truffle-Butter-Sauce

Classic Pasta Sauce -White Truffle Butter Sauce

Since most of us don’t have white truffles handy, this recipe calls for truffle paste. You may choose to use truffle oil, but be aware that most truffle oils are synthetically produced. If you do have a white truffle, use it as a condiment, shaving it over the hot pasta just as it is served.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it foams. Stir in the truffle paste.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the fresh pasta until al dente. Drain, turn into a warmed serving bowl, and toss with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper. With a truffle slicer or mandoline, shave thin slices of the white truffle, if using, over the pasta to cover. Serve at once. Serves 4

White Truffle Butter Sauce Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon white truffle paste
1 pound fresh pasta, cut into tagliolini
1/3 cup grated (1 1/2 ounces) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste a
Tartufo bianco d’Alba (fresh white truffle from Alba), optional.

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