We were not wrong to say that Italian pasta is one of the most popular foods in the world. It is economical, nutritious, versatile and everyone likes (or almost). But the best thing is how easy it is to cook and how good we can get to eat with a plate of pasta on the table, especially if we accompany it with one of the 15 basic, classic and traditional pasta sauces of Italian cuisine.
Carbonara, amatriciana, pesto, puttanesca are some of them and all cooks worth their salt should know them and know how to prepare them. But that no one is offended if it is not the case, we are not born known and there is always time to learn the 15 basic pasta sauces. If not all, those that we do not know yet. Let’s see what they are and how they are prepared.
This sauce owes its name to its creator, Alfredo di Leilo, chef of the Alfredo alla Scrofa restaurant located at number 104 on Scrofa street in Rome. Di Leilo’s star recipe was fettuccine Alfredo, a dish that gained worldwide fame in the early twentieth century thanks to several Hollywood stars who spread the word.
It’s a sauce similar to donkey sauce, only with more butter. Simple and quick, it can be prepared while we cook the pasta, which makes it a great resource for those occasions when there is little time to cook.
- Ingredients to accompany two portions of pasta:150 ml of liquid cream for cooking, 1 clove of garlic, 30 g of grated Parmesan cheese, 20 g of butter, salt and black pepper.
- Preparation:Peel and chop the garlic finely. Heat the butter in a pan and pochamos. Before it begins to brown, add the liquid cream and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat for two or three minutes. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, mix, give a last boil and ready to accompany a good plate of spaghetti, fettuccine, noodles or any other type of long pasta.
Another sauce for pasta that has more history, tradition and, of course, flavor, is Amatriciana sauce. With ingredients such as tomato, onion, chilli and bacon we can achieve a very powerful sauce with a different flavor to those we are used to using for our pasta dishes. This is the traditional recipe for Amatriciana sauce, according to “La plata de plata”.
- Ingredients for two people:olive oil for greasing, 100 g of diced bacon, 1 thinly sliced onion, 500 g of peeled tomatoes, ginned and diced, 1 fresh chilli, ginned and chopped, salt and pepper.
- Preparation: Wegrease a casserole with oil, we toss the bacon and we fry on low fire until it releases the fat. Add the onion and sauté 10 minutes, stirring, until golden brown. Add the tomato, chilli pepper, salt and pepper, and continue cooking for 40 minutes, adding warm water if necessary. Mix with the pasta and serve.
This sauce stings a lot, so that lovers of strong flavors will enjoy it beautifully. Its name comes from the Italian arrabbiato, which means angry or furious, referring to the strong flavor that characterizes it. Of Roman origin, arrabbiata sauce is composed of a handful of basic ingredients, so replicating it at home is easy.
- Ingredients for four people:6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, half a fresh chilli pepper (chopped and minced), 500 g of chopped tomatoes (canned, drained), salt and chopped fresh parsley.
- Preparation:Heat the oil in a pan, toss the cloves of garlic and chilli and fry until the garlic is browned. Then remove the garlic from the pan. Then add the tomato, season and fry for 15 minutes. At the time of serving, mix with the pasta and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
The Bolognese is one of the most traditional and classic pasta sauces of Italian cuisine. As its name suggests, it has its origin in the city of Bologna, from where it has spread throughout the world. Bolognese sauce is one of the most famous and popular traditional Italian recipes.
There are many versions of Bolognese sauce, almost as many as cooks (each master has his booklet). We ourselves have several recipes of Bolognese sauce and, therefore, we have resorted to “The silver spoon”. The bible of Italian cuisine called bolognese meat sauce and this is what tells us.
- Ingredients for four people:40 g of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 1 branch of chopped celery, 1 chopped carrot, 250 g of minced meat, 1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate, salt and pepper.
- Preparation:Heat the butter and olive oil in a small casserole dish. We toss the onion, the celery, the carrot and the meat. We pepper the mixture to taste. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender and the meat begins to brown. Dilute the tomato with a little water and pour it. Cover the casserole and let the sauce cook over very low heat for an hour and a half, adding a little hot water if we see that it is dry. This sauce can be prepared with various types of meat and enriched with mushrooms.
Another of the most popular pasta sauces on the planet is carbonara sauce, whose origin is found in Rome itself. Egg, Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, bacon, butter, garlic, salt and black pepper are the ingredients that “The silver spoon” collects for this traditional recipe. Nothing to add liquid cream, evaporated milk, or things like that. If we want to add creaminess to the sauce, a little water from the cooking of the pasta is enough.
- Ingredients for four people:25 g of butter, 100 g of diced bacon, 1 clove of garlic, 2 beaten eggs, 40 g of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 40 g of freshly grated Pecorino cheese, salt and pepper.
- Preparation:Melt the butter in a casserole, toss the bacon and garlic, and fry until the garlic is browned. We discard the garlic. Meanwhile, we cook the pasta with which we want to accompany the sauce, drain and add to the bacon. Remove the casserole from the heat, add the egg, half of the Parmesan, half of the Pecorino and a pinch of pepper. We mix well. We add the cheese challenge, remove it again and serve it right away.
The Neapolitan sauce is a tomato sauce enriched with garlic and different types of herbs such as oregano, basil and parsley in some cases. In Italy it is called sugo di pomodoro alla napoletana, that is to say, tomato sauce à la Neapolitan, and also marinara sauce. Extended on a pizza base it gives rise to the famous marinara pizza, but it can be used for any type of pasta, sprinkling abundant Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.
- Ingredients for four people:4 cloves of garlic, 500 g of whole peeled tomato, fresh basil leaves, salt, pepper, sugar (optional) and 50 ml of olive oil.
- Preparation:Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the garlic cloves, pending that they do not burn (only brown). We crush the tomatoes and add them to the casserole and season. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Taste and rectify salt, pepper or, if the sauce is acidic, adding a little sugar. Add the basil, stir and ready to use.
Genovese pesto sauce
The Genoese pesto is one of the pasta sauces with more personality and more powerful flavor. There are those who hate it and those who love it, we are of the latter and we adore it. It has many other uses, although the main one and the one we are dealing with today is to accompany all types of pasta. As simple to prepare as fast. This is your recipe.
- Ingredients for four people:100 g of fresh basil, only the leaves well washed and dried, 200 g of Parmesan cheese or mixture of Parmesan and Pecorino, 75 g of pine nuts, 2 cloves of garlic, 160 ml of extra virgin olive oil and Salt.
- Preparation:Peel the cloves of garlic and remove the germ. Toast the pine nuts in a pan, without oil. We put all the ingredients in the glass of a food processor, along with half the oil and a pinch of salt, and crush. When we have obtained a porridge and do not appreciate pieces of pine nuts or basil, we stop grinding to add the rest of the oil. We crush again, only to integrate the oil, and we have our basil pesto ready to use.
The puttanesca sauce is one of the most complete accompaniments for pasta. It is tasty and powerful, but easy and quick to prepare. On its origin there are several theories, but all place it in the south of Italy. Apparently it is linked to brothels, where it was prepared to satisfy and seduce customers of this type of premises. Hence its peculiar name.
- Ingredients for two people:2 cloves of garlic, 5 anchovies in brine, 1 red chilli pepper, 40 g of capers, 60 g of pitted black olives, 250 g of canned natural tomato (chopped), extra virgin olive oil, salt and ground black pepper.
- Preparation:Chop the garlic, the chilli (gutted), the anchovies and the olives. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the garlic with chilli and anchovies, crushing the mixture so that they integrate well and release all their aromas. When the garlic is golden, add the capers and olives and cook a couple of minutes. Add the tomato and cook over low heat until reduced. Finally we season to taste and incorporate a little cooking water if needed to bind the sauce better.
In season, this sauce is prepared with fresh mushrooms, but as this is very short (more than we would like) we can replace them with dehydrated mushrooms. We recommend saving the water from dehydrated mushrooms to enrich the sauce or use in other stews, it is pure flavor. It is a light sauce of which there is no canonical recipe, although the one shown below is the one that appears in “La plata de plata”.
- Ingredients for four people:25 g of dried mushrooms, 1 small onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 5 tablespoons of dry white wine, 3 tablespoons of tomato concentrate, salt and 40 g of grated Parmesan cheese.
- Preparation: Put the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with warm water and let soak for 1 hour. Drain well and finely chop together with onion. Heat the oil in a casserole, toss the mushrooms and onion, and fry over low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Pour 120 ml of water and salt slightly. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates. Incorporate the tomato and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Finally we add the Parmesan cheese and add it to the pasta.