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Favorite Homemade Sauces for Pasta


weinoo
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I am jumping in on the statement that "cacio e pepe  is easy".   I can make a low fat, quick fettucine alfredo in my sleep, and make fresh pasta pretty regularly  ( make it in batches and store it in the freezer ).  I don't think I have ever been challenged as I was trying to make the  cacio e pepe.  ATK did a segment on it years ago, and  the first  half dozen times, ever single time it was a terrible fail - the cheese either clumped in the bottom of the bowl, or separated into strands, and the pasta water stayed as water. They suggested, IIRC, using fat to try to keep the cheese from separating by mixing it in oil first, then adding it, they also stressed boiling the pasta in as little water as possible so the pasta water would be concentrated.  I have tried letting the pasta cool to avoid overheating the cheese, and  decreasing the water in the pot, but out of a dozen attempts,  I would guess it came out right maybe twice.

 

So let me know you secret to Easy cacio e pepe.

 

My secrets for making pasta are first, use the FP to knead the dough.  Second get 3 hands, feeding into the machine, cranking, and catching all go on simultaneously.  Or get the regular italian pasta makers ( Imperia, Atlas, etc. ) and one of the electric motor attachments, which are a little loud, but really help.  Or if you get lucky, find a good big  manual machine,  I found a used R220 Imperia, it is a joy,  - the rollers are  about 8 1/2 inches long, so you can make very wide sheets, and it is so tall, you can actually use the feed shelf to rest the pasta on while it is feeding into the rollers.  The process goes very quickly. 

 

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22 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Pan roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic, white wine, cream, parm.

 You forgot to mention the shrimp!  But apart from that you’ve nailed it as my favourite pasta sauce. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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11 hours ago, Barrytm said:

I am jumping in on the statement that "cacio e pepe  is easy".   I can make a low fat, quick fettucine alfredo in my sleep, and make fresh pasta pretty regularly  ( make it in batches and store it in the freezer ).  I don't think I have ever been challenged as I was trying to make the  cacio e pepe. 

 

Exactly.  

 

Too many things are "easy," until you try to make them. In my opinion, things with few ingredients (cacio e pepe, bread, et.al.) are the hardiest to replicate perfectly.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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For a basic winter red sauce I like Mario "vilified" Batali's sauce. Just onion, garlic, a bit of shredded carrot and fresh thyme. Sometimes I add red pepper flakes. For an easy pizza sauce I simply cook it down further and maybe add a pinch or oregano if I am feeling New Yorky. And no, I'm not throwing out my only MB cookbook, Molto Italiano, as someone in another thread has suggested. Also no about his restaurants; they just aren't in my routine when I visit NY.

 

I also like Marcella's tomato and butter sauce. Favorite addition to a simple vegetarian red sauce: fresh artichokes heart quarters sautéed until crispy, thrown on at the last minute. Sautéed garlicky cauliflower works well too.

 

When great fresh tomatoes are available in season I always go for an uncooked sauce. Chop up the tomato, add salt, let sit half an hour. Add olive oil. Or a knob of butter. Then warm in the microwave just until the butter is melted and tomato and juice is warmed. Plain, so plain, and perfect. I've been know to eat it on white rice, and happily. 

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We go the simple route especially when using a quality fresh pasta.  Grape or cherry tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper, fresh basil....if I have some Italian sausage I'll start the sauce with that, otherwise just olive oil.  

 

But one thing we started doing years ago was to finish our pasta with toasted bread crumbs and fine lemon zest.  I 'toast' the bread crumbs in a dry skillet and hit it with the zest then throw it on top of the pasta.  

Edited by gulfporter (log)
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Fave "fast/easy pasta sauce" is gnocchi (or WHY),  slightly seared in crisped sage brown butter.

Topped with a sprinkle of fine crumbled, firm salty cheese is even better. (mizithra, feta or queso..)

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Hazan's Bolognese Sauce

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015181-marcella-hazans-bolognese-sauce

 

bolognese.JPG.5aaeeb6efdb5bb05e3d770c6a4965ac1.JPG

 

Sorry for the crappy photo, it tastes much better than it looks.

I don't know if it's my "favorite" but it has been in the Smokey household for years. It's a once-a-year, labor-of-love, kinda thing. Makes great filling for lasagna too.

 

 

 

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