From Alfredo to Arrabbaita. What are the sauces you enjoy the most over pasta?
A few of the common sauces used for pasta include Alfredo, Arrabbiata, Béchamel, Classic, Carbonara, Formaggi, Madeira, Marinara, Marsala, Pesto, Puttanesca, Ragů, Romesco, and Vodka sauce, which are briefly described below. For a more thorough explanation, look up the sauce desired in the glossary.
Alfredo Sauce - a common sauce for use with fettuccine noodles to make a dish referred to as fettuccine Alfredo. The sauce consists of heavy cream or half and half that is mixed with butter, grated Parmesan cheese, pepper, and occasionally nutmeg.
Arrabbiata Sauce - one of the spicier types of tomato sauces made with chile peppers that add a more intense flavor to pasta, meats, poultry, seafood, and other foods such as pizza.
Béchamel Sauce - a basic white sauce made by adding hot milk to a white roux (heated butter mixed with flour). The roux thickens the milk into a creamy white sauce which can then be seasoned with additional ingredients depending on the type of dish served with the sauce and the flavors desired.
Bolognese Sauce - a traditional Italian red sauce originating in Bologna, Italy. Most often a Bolognese sauce will contain at least two types of meat, which may include veal, beef, pork, or chicken cut into small pieces. Unlike some sauces that use ground meat, traditional Bolognese sauces start with large pieces of meat that are sliced to be chopped into small, finely cut bits. The meat becomes part of a variety of ingredients such as onions, celery, carrots, chile peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, and white wine that are combined with seasonings and herbs such as oregano, basil, bay leaves, and nutmeg that provide the distinct flavor for the sauce. It is also common to add cream or milk to the ingredients which provides a richer flavor to the sauce.
Carbonara Sauce - a sauce made with cream, eggs, Parmesan cheese, small pieces of bacon and vegetables, such as peas. Although any type of pasta can be used, spaghetti and linguine are most suitable with this sauce. When this sauce is made, it is heated for several minutes until it begins to thicken, when it is then spread over pasta that is very hot, enabling the eggs to continue cooking while the food simmers.
Marinara Sauce - a highly seasoned tomato sauce made with garlic and other ingredients, such as onions, parsley and olives. The sauce is used on meats and pasta.
Marsala Sauce - made from a variety of flavored bases such as tomatoes, mushrooms, or fruit flavors to be served as a sauce for several traditional food dishes such as pollo (chicken) marsala or veal marsala. A typical recipe for the sauce may include onions, garlic, herbs, mushrooms, heavy cream, oil or butter, and the key ingredient, Marsala wine, which is often used as a demiglaze, or added last.
Puttanesca Sauce - a very spicy and strong flavored sauce made with garlic, bits of dried chile peppers, capers, and anchovies as key ingredients. It can be mild or well seasoned depending on the type and amount of spices added, to be served on fish and pasta dishes.
Pesto Sauce - The basil leaves are washed, dried, placed in the mortar with garlic and coarse salt, and crushed to a creamy consistency. The pine nuts are added and crushed together with the other ingredients. When the nuts are well-incorporated into the "cream", grated cheese and then olive oil are added and mixed. In a tight jar (or simply in an air-tight plastic container), pesto can last in the refrigerator up to a week, and can also be frozen for later use. Commercial pesto is commonly available in supermarkets in either green (original) or red (with sun-dried tomatoes or red bell peppers) varieties, produced by major manufacturers or under a generic or cheaper brand. Cashew nuts or walnuts are often used instead of pine nuts, because they are less expensive and have a similar texture. Cheaper oils and other herbs, like parsley, may also be used.
Vodka Sauce - a creamy textured pasta sauce that goes well with penne, ravioli, rigatonni, tortellini, or ziti pasta as well as on some poultry dishes or bruschetta appetizers. Rich in flavor, this sauce typically contains tomatoes, cream, vodka, olive oil, garlic, onions, and seasonings. Parmesan, pecorino or romano cheese and meats such as prosciutto are also additional ingredients that may be included in some vodka sauces.
Italian Sausage Sauce - Base pasta sauce with Italian sausage, fennel and occasionally red wine.
Arrabbiata Sauce - Italian in origin, this sauce is considered to be one of the fiery or spicier types of tomato sauces from Italy. Arrabbiata, which is a term generally used to describe aspects of anger or rage, is applied to the characteristics and intensity of this sauce made with chile peppers that add a spicy flavor to pasta, meats, poultry, seafood, and other foods such as pizza. Penne all'Arrabbiata (angry penne pasta) or Agnello all'Arrabbiata (angry lamb) typify dishes having a spicier taste made with Arrabbiata sauces.