Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Smarmotron

Pasta Sauce – need advice

Recommended Posts

Any good pasta sauce recipes? Meat or meatless. If it helps, "my favorite" is Bertolli's Olive Oil and Garlic.

 

Take that and add some Anchovies and a bit of butter..  just another level

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night I made one of my go to "pantry" sauces.  This one is made with ingredients that are pretty much always on hand, it comes together quickly, and lends itself to a number of variations and improvisations.  I put it into recipe form, although when I make it I just wing it.  All measurements are approximate, but that really doesn't matter as you can readily adjust the ingredient amounts to suit your own taste.

 

Shel's Tuna, Lemon, Caper and Tomato Sauce

 

Ingredients

 

1 can (6 oz) tuna (chunk or solid in olive oil), drained (I usually use Wild Planet or an Ortiz tuna)

1 large garlic clove, Microplaned

grated zest of 1 medium lemon

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil

S&P to taste

2 Tbs capers, drained or rinsed

1/4 - 1/2 tsp crumbled dried oregano

15 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Optional: add some dried black olives or red pepper flakes

 

Directions

 

Place tuna in pasta serving bowl and break it into large bite-size pieces. Add garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, capers, and sliced tomatoes. Stir gently to combine. Set aside to warm to room temperature, or preferably, place the bowl (be sure it's heatproof) over the pasta pot to warm the ingredients while heating the water. Once the water comes to a boil, remove bowl and set aside.

 

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

Drain pasta well and immediately add to sauce in bowl. Add a little of the pasta water to thin as desired. Sprinkle with parsley and toss. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Other variants: fry the capers in a little olive oil before adding to the tuna mixture.  Use other herbs as you choose (basil is nice)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sugo con tonno alla Liparese is given on page 60 of Oretta Zanini De Vita & Maureen Fant's book. (You will need to log in to see that page in "preview" on Amazon, if you don't have the book)  Simpler, and whipped up in no time flat.  Sicilian dish.  :-)

 

Shel's recipe sounds delightful.  Still, tuna+(lemon+)capers is not unknown in pasta dishes, BTW.


Edited by huiray (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to the recipe police - but I don't have complete measurements for these - I make them different every time.

 

1 - Bread crumbs - toasted in olive oil (with garlic, onions, and/or anchovies or not).  Salt to taste. Mix with cooked pasta.

 

2 - Dandelion greens - cleaned and chopped, added to little olive oil with garlic and onions, cooked for about 5 minutes, and added to pasta. Orecchiette is traditional but it works with others.

 

3 - This is a strange one - from childhood, but I still like it.  Canned tomato soup, butter and pepper.  Cook 1 Lb pasta till done (it was not al dente when I was a kid), then add 1 12 oz can tomato soup (or less, you don't want it saucy), and butter (about 3 tablespoons) and freshly ground pepper, and heat till soup cooks into the pasta - add a little water if needed, but this should not be saucy.  Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then serve with a little more butter on top.  I love this every now and again - and I don't like canned tomato soup!

 

4 -  Not from and Italian recipe but Northern European (I've seen it or similar recipes in German and Polish cookbooks).  Poppyseed and Almonds.  Melt 3 TBL butter and add slivered almonds - about 1/4 cup, and brown, add 3 TBL poppy seeds and cook till they start to pop.  Add to 1 lb cooked - wide egg noodles (but others will work too), with another 1 TBL butter.  Add salt and pepper to taste. I think lemon added to this one might be good...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're talking tomato sauce, the trick is to find a brand of canned tomato that you like. A lot of us like Cento and Muir Glen tomatoes, which are pretty easy to find most places. You can get them whole or crushed, depending on the texture you like. 

 

The most basic sauce involves dicing an onion, sweating it in some olive oil, and then throwing in the canned tomato. Add fresh herbs if you have them and simmer briefly. Season with pepper (you probably won't need salt ... there's usually enough in the can). 

 

This is simple and delicious. It can be embellished any way you like. I usually add a bit of red wine, which I don't think is traditional, but I like the added tartness and complexity.

 

Start to finish, a sauce like this is a 15 minute operation and you can piles of it easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Franci, if you feel comfortable and have the time ( :wink: ) would you mind sharing with us several of your favorite "go to" pasta sauces? Especially any "stand-bys" that you go to when in a rush?

 

Everything you've posted on eG has been pretty wonderful in my book, and I'd love to know more.

 

Jaymes, thanks for the nice words. I do make some sauces that require long time and usually keep in the freezer. Like the Southern ragu and also some ragu' alla bolognese but otherwise,

my quick cooking pasta sauces are very simple, usually they take the time to boil the water and cook the pasta

 

1. spaghetti con i pomodorini (spaghetti with cherry tomatoes)

 

Heat some extra virgin oil (or olive oil if you prefer) in a saute' pan, with some smashed garlic, add some chilli peppers if you like, when the garlic gets aromatic add the cherry tomatoes with the cut side facing down. Like this here Keep the temperature on the medium-medium/high, don't touch the tomatoes and as soon as they start to wilt and slightly caramelize at the bottom add the spaghetti taking them from the boiling water with tongs, don't drain. Saute' everything quickly adjusting salt if necessary and adding little of the pasta water if necessary. I never add salt later because it doesn't melt. I also don't add any cheese to this as a personal preference. I usually don't mix garlic flavored pasta with cheese.

If I cooked some tomatoes with onion, I like instead to use plenty of cacioricotta (or grating hard ricotta more available in the US)

 

2. Pasta burro pancetta e salvia (pasta with noisette butter, pancetta and fresh sage)

 

This is my other very easy pasta. I like to use tagliatelle/fettuccine or also smaller size pastas (like shells) or gnocchi. When the pasta is almost ready I heat the butter in a pan with pancetta cubed (or bacon) when the pancetta is cooked and lightly colored (not dry) I add the sage to wilt and wait until the butter is browning and foaming without letting it burn. Then I pour over the pasta. Usually I never drain tagliatelle, so they don't get too dry, just pick them with tongs and add to a big bowl. I also add like a tablespoon of the pasta cooking water to the pan to scape all the brown bits and add to the pasta.

Serve with plenty of grana or parmigiano.

 

3. Mushroom sauce

 

I do like it a lot with porcini, but here in the US they are not so easy to find. Often I use shiitake and mix dry porcini soaked. I usually saute the cut mushroom with shallots and butter and I like to add some reduced veal stock to have that really nice mouth feel. A good sprinkle of chopped parsley. I love mushrooms sauce with tagliatelle.

 

4. Bottarga

 

In the US is expensive and not always good. I warm up some garlic and oil, remove the garlic, I just want to flavor the oil, and add a lot of grated bottarga. I basically warm everything up, don't want to fry the bottarga. I quickly saute' spaghetti in the sauce, adding more bottarga on the plate.

 

5. Pasta with a fish sauce.

Something like this. Often I have a fish glaze in the freezer. Adding that in the end it's really great.

When I was in Europe and fresh anchovies where easily available I would make often something looking like this.

 

6. I like a lot pasta with vegetables. Start with a little bit of pancetta/bacon or some crumbled sausages and add vegetables like zucchini, or squash or radicchio and you are going to have a pretty good sauce. I also like radicchio or squash with cheese like a blue cheese but the other members of my house don't like it and I never cook it.

 

There are more but I guess the first two are our preferred.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Franci, thanks!

They all look so good - and easy. Hard to know where to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a lot more to spaghetti and pasta than ready made tomato sauces.  You can fry onions, pepperoncini, and garlic in olive oil and/or bacon (or some anchovies), add rapini, Tuscan kale or cicchoria, and cook until tender. Cook the pasta at the same time. When the pasta is almost, but not quite done, save a tablespoon or two of the cooking water before you drain the pasta in a strainer. Toss the pasta in the pan with the greens, add the water a little at a time, and continue cooking until the pasta is done. Put it in a bowl, top with Parmasan or other hard, grated cheese, and eat.

 

Here’s another recipe I love. The original recipe (long lost because you don't really need a recipe) came from Basilicata, Italy's instep, between Puglia and Calabria. If you haven’t used horseradish before, be careful not to add to much because it can be very strong. It’s easier to add more if needed than to compensate for too much!

Onion 
Garlic 
Bacon 
Olive oil 
Salt and pepper 
Horseradish 
Mint 

Freshly cooked pasta 

Chop an onion, some garlic and a few slices of bacon. Fry the bacon in a heavy frying pan, remove the bacon bits but leave the fat in the pan. If necessary, and it most likely will be, add olive oil and then the onion. Fry until it becomes translucent, then add the garlic and fry a few seconds until fragrant. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. 

Peel a hunk of horseradish and grate. 

Remove leaves from mint until you have a good handful or two. Chop coarsely. 

Add the horseradish and mint to the onion mixture, cook until hot. 

Toss with freshly-cooked pasta and top with grated pecorino.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me offer this style of spaghetti sauce to you. 

 

"Bolognese".  It's what you are probably used to getting at restaurants.  It has meat in it, several veggies, and is a thick dark red tomato sauce with several spices which may even include chili powder.

 

When I was in high school it was were I started.  Pasta Sauce is a natural place to learn to cook. From Spaghetti you can move up

to fabricated dishes like Lasagna which will use your sauce and other things layered and baked.  When you get a good sauce that you like then you can move up to Lasagna and impress your family and friends.

 

So let me offer you this link to a tutorial in "Instructables" for Blognese Sauce where you will be around a lot of other students.

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-great-Bolognese-sauce-recipe/. .

 

 

You can use ground beef with any combination of ground pork, sausage,  minced bacon or what ever.  You can even use minced

green bell pepper too.  So just experiment and take notes in a note book when you cook.  It never fails that when you get something really good you won't have taken notes.  LOL   So take notes.  The internet abounds with Bolognese recipes so just Google.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my absolute favorite pasta sauces, especially in the spring/fall. It is delicious, hearty and done in 30 minutes, including the time to boil the pasta water.

 

Heat up some olive oil and sautee out a diced onion over medium heat. When the edges just start to brown add chile flakes, a couple of cloves of garlic and 4 or 5 chopped anchovy fillets and turn the heat down to low. Cook your pasta and the last two minutes toss in some chopped broccoli raab (or kale raab or broccolini or basically any leafy brassica). By now you should have a very good fond on the bottom your pan with the onions. Deglaze it with pasta water and add the pasta/vegetable to the mix. Finish the sauce with a little butter and top with parmesan and maybe some chopped parsley. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So let me offer you this link to a tutorial in "Instructables" for Blognese (sic) Sauce where you will be around a lot of other students.

http://www.instructa...e-sauce-recipe/. .

 

Terrible recipe. Apart from the all the misprints, it even repeats the ancient myth that adding oil to the water prevents the pasta sticking. No it doesn't. It floats on top and gets strained away first. Save time just pour some oil down the drain BEFORE you cook the pasta. 

 

I love the way it suggests putting the oil in the pan, then adding the meat and onions THEN putting it on the heat. The oil should be heated first, then the meat and onions added. It suggests putting a lid on the pan. This will just mean the meat gets steamed rather than seared and browned. Dreadful advice.

 

"let simmer for about 20-30 minutes. I like to see it sort of bubbling, but not too much."

 

Er, yes, that is called 'simmering'. But 20 to 30 minutes? I  would suggest 2 to 3 hours.

 

As you say "The internet abounds with Bolognese recipes". Not many are this bad.

 

Incidentally, real Bolognese sauce or ragu is never eaten with spaghetti or penne in Bologna. Tagliatelle all the way. I'm not saying you shouldn't break the rules. I do frequently. But you should know them first.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:angry:  Why don't you offer a good recipe as the OP is requesting ?   Your observations are accurate no doubt, and this is a 23 year old whose experience and time seem to be limited could learn much from it.   "Puttanexca" actually occured to me first when I read the OP,. but I wasn't sure if it would be in line with his taste/needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. spaghetti con i pomodorini (spaghetti with cherry tomatoes)

 

Heat some extra virgin oil (or olive oil if you prefer) in a saute' pan, with some smashed garlic, add some chilli peppers if you like, when the garlic gets aromatic add the cherry tomatoes with the cut side facing down. Like this here Keep the temperature on the medium-medium/high, don't touch the tomatoes and as soon as they start to wilt and slightly caramelize at the bottom add the spaghetti taking them from the boiling water with tongs, don't drain. Saute' everything quickly adjusting salt if necessary and adding little of the pasta water if necessary. I never add salt later because it doesn't melt. I also don't add any cheese to this as a personal preference. I usually don't mix garlic flavored pasta with cheese.

If I cooked some tomatoes with onion, I like instead to use plenty of cacioricotta (or grating hard ricotta more available in the US)

 

 

I've been making a version of this for years, based on a recipe I obtained from Mario Batali. However, I never tried caramelizing the tomatoes.  The next batch I make will be with made that way. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me offer this style of spaghetti sauce to you. 

 

"Bolognese".  It's what you are probably used to getting at restaurants.  It has meat in it, several veggies, and is a thick dark red tomato sauce with several spices which may even include chili powder.

 

When I was in high school it was were I started.  Pasta Sauce is a natural place to learn to cook. From Spaghetti you can move up

to fabricated dishes like Lasagna which will use your sauce and other things layered and baked.  When you get a good sauce that you like then you can move up to Lasagna and impress your family and friends.

 

So let me offer you this link to a tutorial in "Instructables" for Blognese Sauce where you will be around a lot of other students.

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-great-Bolognese-sauce-recipe/. .

 

 

You can use ground beef with any combination of ground pork, sausage,  minced bacon or what ever.  You can even use minced

green bell pepper too.  So just experiment and take notes in a note book when you cook.  It never fails that when you get something really good you won't have taken notes.  LOL   So take notes.  The internet abounds with Bolognese recipes so just Google.

That post has sorta-kinda the right idea, even though that's not how a bolognese sauce is traditionally made. Usually has pork in it (i.e., mortadella, prosciutto), in addition to the ground meat (which is typically ground pork or a combination of ground pork/beef).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3. Mushroom sauce

 

I do like it a lot with porcini, but here in the US they are not so easy to find. Often I use shiitake and mix dry porcini soaked. I usually saute the cut mushroom with shallots and butter and I like to add some reduced veal stock to have that really nice mouth feel. A good sprinkle of chopped parsley. I love mushrooms sauce with tagliatelle.

Eataly had fresh porcini mushrooms at $45/lb a couple of days ago.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Ruth Rogers' recipe for pasta with porcini.

 

I have some hen of the woods coming… will report back on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eataly had fresh porcini mushrooms at $45/lb a couple of days ago.

 

Too bad I'm still thinking at these prices. Here

 

It's 30 euros a kg

 

saturdaymktporcini1.jpg

 

saturdaymktporcini2.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By jennyandthejets
      I'll be in Naples for a few days next month and I wanted to try something traditional, and my friend recommended trying parmigiana. She said she loved it, but the problem is that she ate it at her Italian friend's house, and I won't be able to have that exact parmigiana. So, I did some research online and found a few restaurants that have good ratings and are serving allegedly great eggplant casserole. This place is 4 stars rated, but people seem not to agree whether the parmigiana is good or not.... On the other hand, this place has a great rating, appears when searching for the parmigiana, but nobody seems to write about it in their reviews. Finally, this one is said to have the best parmigiana in Naples (or in the world, for that matter), and I wanted to know if anyone had the so-called world's best?
      I would really appreciate if you could help me make the decision. Looking forward to your advice!

    • By alacarte
      I recently took a trip to Northern Italy, and was delighted to find that the cappuccino everywhere was just wonderful, without exception. Smooth, flavorful, aromatic perfect crema, strong but not too strong.
      Aside from the obvious answer (duh, Italians created cappuccino ), what makes Italian capp so fantastic, and how do I duplicate the effect here?
      I'm wondering if it's the water, the way the coffee is ground or stored, the machines used....I'm baffled.
      Also noticed that the serving size tended to be smaller than what I'm used to -- i.e. a small teacupful vs. a brimming mug or Starbucks supersize. Not sure why that is either.
      Grazie mille for any insight on this!
    • By Modernist Cuisine Team
      The Modernist Cuisine team is currently traveling the globe to research pizza and different pizza styles for our next book Modernist Pizza.  Nathan and the team will be in São Paulo and Buenos Aires soon. We'd love hear from the eGullet community—what pizzerias should they visit while they're there? You can read more about our next book Modernist Pizza here. Thanks in advance, everyone! 
    • By scordelia
      My article was published (my first one!)! Hooray! And I do have some Florentine restaurant recommendations including the new Osteria del Pavone which is amazing--lampredotto ravioli is now a thing and it must be tried.
       
      http://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/florence-in-winter/
    • By smeems
      Hi.  I'm brand new to this site.  I used to be on Chowhound but I see now that that site is a mess. I found this site and it looks pretty cool.  The main reason I joined is  I’m looking for recommendations for a restaurant to hold my wedding in March 2018. We were hoping maybe in Brooklyn but we are open to anything interesting. There will be 55-60 people and the ceremony will also be at the restaurant. I’m thinking of a brunch/early afternoon affair, most likely on a weekend. Would love to find a funky/old school/unique/charming type of place for my sweetheart. Inexpensive please! Thank you in advance!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×