Essential Pasta Sauces Every Cook Should Know
Cooking pasta is easy. It’s just boiling water and noodles. However, if you’re just using whatever jarred sauce you grabbed off the shelf, you’re missing out on how good pasta could really be. Knowing how to make a variety of sauces is a simple way to improve your cooking skills and impress whoever sits down at your table. Here are five you should definitely learn:
1. Tomato sauce
Tomato sauce is probably the most popular sauce you’ll find. It’s made from fresh or canned tomatoes that have been seasoned and slow-cooked down to a thick puree. To build a good sauce, you first want to saute aromatics like onions and garlic in butter before cooking the tomatoes down.
Pesto is a great pasta sauce option for warmer days because it’s super fresh. Classic pesto is made from basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. You just run everything except the cheese through a food processor until you get a paste, and then you add the cheese and a bit of salt until it becomes smooth. It’s that easy!
This decadent sauce is a fan-favorite and can be made with cream or Greek yogurt if you’re feeling healthy. For a rich Alfredo, you’ll need butter, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, garlic, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Alfredo goes great with chicken or shrimp pasta.
This classic white sauce is delicious on its own, and also the base for other sauces, so it’s important to have this under your belt. You would use Bechamel for macaroni-and-cheese and lasagna. It’s just butter, flour, milk, salt, and a little nutmeg.
Bolognese is a meat sauce often packed with a few kinds of meat, herbs, and tomatoes. It’s a slow-cooking sauce, so it’s great to make in a crockpot. Because the protein cooks right in the sauce, there’s no need to make any additional sides. Just pile your pasta with bolognese, and you have a hearty meal.