We are not wrong in saying that Italian pasta is one of the most popular foods in the world. It is economical, nutritious, versatile and everyone likes it (or almost). But the best thing is how easy it is to cook and how well we can 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 self-respecting kitchens should know them and know how to prepare them. But let no one be offended if this is not the case, we are not born known and there is always time to learn the 15 basic pasta sauces. If not all, the ones we don’t know about 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 104 Scrofa street in Rome. Di Leilo’s star recipe was the fettuccine Alfredo, a dish that became world famous at the beginning of the 20th century thanks to several Hollywood stars who spread the word.
It is a sauce similar to donkey sauce, only with more butter. Simple and fast, it can be prepared while we cook the pasta, which makes it a great resource for those times when there is little time to cook.
Ingredients to accompany two servings of pasta: 150 ml of liquid cooking cream, 1 clove of garlic, 30 g of grated Parmesan cheese, 20 g of butter, salt and black pepper.
Elaboration: Peel and mince the garlic finely. Heat the butter in a frying pan and poach it. Before it starts to brown, add the liquid cream and season to taste. Cook over low heat for two or three minutes. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, mix, give one last boil and ready to accompany a good plate of spaghetti, fettuccine, noodles or any other type of long pasta.
Another of the pasta sauces that has more history, tradition and, of course, flavor, is the amatriciana sauce. With ingredients such as tomato, onion, chilli and bacon, we can achieve a very powerful sauce with a different flavor from the ones we are perhaps used to using for our pasta dishes. This is the traditional recipe for the amatriciana sauce, according to “The silver spoon”.
Ingredients for two people: olive oil for greasing, 100 g of diced bacon, 1 thinly sliced onion, 500 g of peeled, ginned and diced tomatoes, 1 fresh chilli, ginned and chopped, salt and pepper.
Elaboration: Grease a casserole with oil, add the bacon and fry over low heat until the fat is released. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned. Add the tomato, chilli, salt and pepper, and continue cooking for 40 minutes, adding warm water if necessary. We mix with the pasta and serve.
This sauce is very hot, so lovers of strong flavors will enjoy it beautifully. Its name comes from the Italian arrabbiato, What does it mean angry or furious, referring to the strong flavor that characterizes it. Of Roman origin, the arrabbiata sauce It is made up of a handful of basic ingredients, so replicating it at home is very easy.
Ingredients for four people: 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, half a fresh chilli (ginned and minced), 500 g of chopped tomatoes (canned, drained), salt and chopped fresh parsley.
Elaboration: Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic cloves and chilli and fry until the garlic turns golden brown. Next we remove the garlic from the pan. Then add the tomato, season and fry for 15 minutes. At the moment of serving, we mix with the pasta and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
Bolognese is one of the most traditional and classic pasta sauces in 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 from the traditional Italian cookbook.
exist many versions of bolognese sauce, almost as many as cooks (each teacher has his booklet). We ourselves have several recipes for Bolognese sauce and, therefore, we have resorted to “The silver spoon”. The bible of Italian cuisine calls it Bolognese meat sauce and this is what it tells us.
Ingredients for four people: 40 g of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped celery stick, 1 chopped carrot, 250 g of minced meat, 1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate, salt and pepper.
Elaboration: Heat the butter and olive oil in a small saucepan. We add the onion, celery, carrot and meat. Season the mixture to taste. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender and the meat begins to brown. We dilute the tomato with a little water and pour it. Cover the casserole and let the sauce cook over a very low heat for an hour and a half, adding a little hot water if we see that it remains 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 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 pasta cooking 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.
Elaboration: We melt the butter in a saucepan, add the bacon and garlic, and fry until the garlic is golden brown. 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 the Parmesan, half the Pecorino and a pinch of pepper. We mix well. Add the cheese challenge, stir again and serve right away.
The Neapolitan sauce It is a tomato sauce enriched with garlic and different types of herbs, such as oregano, basil and in some cases parsley. In Italy it is called sugo di pomodoro alla napoletana, that is, tomato sauce a la Neapolitan, and also marinara sauce. Spread on a pizza base, it gives rise to the famous marinara pizza, but it can be used for any type of pasta, sprinkling plenty of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.
Ingredients for four people: 4 minced garlic cloves, 500 g of peeled whole tomato, fresh basil leaves, salt, pepper, sugar (optional) and 50 ml of olive oil.
Elaboration: Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic cloves, ensuring that they do not burn (just brown). We crush the tomatoes and add them to the casserole and season. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. We taste and rectify with salt, pepper or, if the sauce is acidic, adding a little sugar. Add the basil, stir and ready to use.
Genoese pesto sauce
The Genoese pesto It is one of the pasta sauces with the most personality and the most 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 kinds of pasta. As simple to prepare as it is 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 a mixture of Parmesan and Pecorino, 75 g of pine nuts, 2 cloves of garlic, 160 ml of extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Elaboration: We peel the garlic cloves and remove the germ. We toast the pine nuts in a frying 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 no pieces of pine nuts or basil are appreciated, we stop grinding to add the rest of the oil. We crush again, just to integrate the oil, and we have our basil pesto ready to use.
The puttanesca sauce It is one of the most complete accompaniments for pasta. It is tasty and powerful, but easy and quick to prepare. There are several theories about its origin, but they all place it in southern Italy. Apparently he is linked to the brothels, where he used to prepare to satisfy and seduce the clients of this type of premises. Hence its peculiar name.
Ingredients for two people: 2 cloves of garlic, 5 anchovies in brine, 1 red chilli, 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.
Elaboration: Chop the garlic, the chilli (ginned), the anchovies and the olives. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic with the chilli and the anchovies, crushing the mixture so that they integrate well and give off all their aromas. When the garlic is golden brown, add the capers and olives and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato and cook over low heat until reduced. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste and add a little cooking water if necessary to better bind the sauce.
Mushroom sauce or “funghi”
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 dried mushrooms. We recommend saving the water from the dehydrated mushrooms to enrich the sauce or use in other stews, it is pure flavor. It is a light sauce for which there is no canonical recipe, although the one that we show you below is the one that appears collected in “The silver spoon”.
Ingredients for four people: 25 g of dried mushrooms, 1 small onion, 2 …