5 Basic Pasta Sauces to Master Now
If there's any recipe to have in your back pocket at all times, it's a good pasta sauce. When you're armed with just a few simple (and likely on-hand) ingredients, jarred sauce can be a thing of the past, and no-sweat meals can be a nightly affair. Once you have these basic sauces down, a number of pasta dinners are just a rolling boil away.
Before you twist the lid off your next jar of tomato sauce, consider making a batch yourself. While there are many ways to make a classic red sauce, Ina Garten's five-star Marinara Sauce is about more than tomatoes. She deepens the flavor with red wine and garlic, and she creates a chunky texture with chopped onions and crushed tomatoes. It jives perfectly with any pasta shape, as a part of a baked pasta dish like lasagna or even as pizza sauce.
Ree Drummond's Alfredo Sauce is as unassuming as it gets. Once grated Parmesan cheese emulsifies with cream and melted butter, this decadent sauce is ready to be tossed with fettuccine or any pasta shape you can get your hands on.
A sauce like Giada De Laurentiis' Simple Bolognese makes a full, well-rounded meal out of something as simple as from-the-box pasta. The best part? This meaty pasta sauce, brimming with tomatoes, basil and parsley, comes together all in one pot.
When Tyler Florence's Butternut Squash Sauce with Sage graces your family’s dinner plates, they won't react like it's any other weeknight dinner. Instead, this subtly sweet taste of fall seems altogether event worthy, especially when it’s served with gnocchi and topped with fried sage and chopped chestnuts.
When slowly poured into a pan with sauteed garlic, sage and portobello mushrooms, cream becomes a velvety and rich Mushroom Cream Sauce. Stir in leeks before tossing with pasta — or, better yet, cheese ravioli.
Once you’ve made these basic pasta sauces enough, you won't even need a recipe by your side.