or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pasta Sauces

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone! Haven't posted in a while, I read everything just don't post... y'all are phenomenal

 

 

anyways to the point. 

My roommate's favorite dish is basically any pasta dish. While personally I am not a big fan of pasta unless there is a phenomenal sauce on top of it, so I was wanting to work towards making a couple really good pasta sauces that I could make so that we could have a pasta dish every now and then.

 

Any suggestions on where to start?  Any tips to making a great sauce? (it can be any kind of sauce, alfredo, tomato really anything) 

 

 

Thanks,

James

post #2 of 21

There are many great pasta dishes without a sauce.  Ever tried heating up olive oil in a pan with a few slivers of garlic in it?  Just as the garlic starts to get crisp you toss in the pasta noodles with a little of the pasta cooking water.  Throw in a handful of parmesan and a few sprinkles of parsley and enjoy - it's my most favorite way of eating pasta.

 

Another favorite is sweating leeks in a bit of olive oil covered until tender (15min), throw in a bit of proscuitto, some chicken stock and a some parmesan cheese and toss in the noodles.  Top with breadcrumbs that you've fried in a pan with a bit of garlic, rosemary and one dried porcini all blitzed up.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #3 of 21
You can also try pasties and whippin cream blend together heat on a fry pan add some blended garlic easy sauce and ready to eat
post #4 of 21

One way is to peel raw red and yellow bell peppers with a knife and cut the ''meat'' into 1 by 1 inch squares. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add a few garlic cloves, which you fry. Discard them and add the peppers and fry on a medium heat for like 15 minutes, until caramelized. Toss this with torn up basil leaves, pasta (ridged varieties are probably best) and some parmesan.

 

Another way is to heat some olive oil, add garlic cloves, fry, discard, add cut up and previously soaked dried mushrooms (any edible species of bolete family is good - I always use what I was able to hunt), fry a minute or two, add chopped tomatoes with some crushed chili and cook for about 10 minutes. Finally, add a tin of tuna, stir, and toss this with spaghetti and some chopped parsley.

 

Another way is the classic pesto - in a mortar crush some peeled garlic with coarse salt, add a spoonful of pine nuts (or walnuts), a handful of basil leaves and crush it all to paste. Then add a few spoonfuls of olive oil, grated parmesan and pecorino. Toss this, together with a spoonful of the cooking water, with linguine and if you want, you can also add sliced and boiled small new potatoes and boiled green beans, cut up. A more rustic way is to use the traditional trofie made with chestnut flour.

 

If you can get some bear's garlic when in season, a fantastic pasta dish is this: heat some olive oil, add halved or quartered cherry tomatoes (these will not be in season at the same time, so you'll have to look for a good supermarket variety) and gently fry for about 10 minutes seasoned with sea salt and chili flakes (and some Greek oregano if you have it, but not essential). Cut the bear's garlic leaves into chiffonade and toss this and the tomatoes with good-quality spaghetti and pecorino romano.

 

One more way that comes to mind is this: heat some olive oil, add a little chopped onion and sweat it, add some tomatoes (canned, cherry or so), some black olives and some capers and anchovies if you like them, fresh oregano and cook for a few minutes. Toss with spaghetti.

 

And finally, heat some olive oil, sweat some sliced onion, then some tomatoes and then blanched and split (if you wish) green fava beans, cook for a few minutes, then toss with southern-style pasta like strascinati or orecchiette and lots of blanched rocket. Sprinkle with parmesan.


Edited by Slayertplsko - 1/16/13 at 4:03am
post #5 of 21
I love slayertplsko ideas best so far. I love seafood in a white wine garlic sauce with pasta.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Some really awesome ideas here! Slayer out of curiosity what do you mean by sweat? 

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by StatsCook View Post

Some really awesome ideas here! Slayer out of curiosity what do you mean by sweat? 


I mean to fry it in fat on rather low heat (like medium-low to medium, I usually use the latter). You know sauté implies, at least to me, high heat and this isn't what you want here. I feel it's better to use lower heat in these dishes (high heat caramelizes it on the outside too quickly and cooks the inside way too slow). You want it softened and sweet, but not golden-brown.

post #8 of 21

Last month I made a dish that my husband went gaga for.  I called it sausage and peppers pasta.  It starts off with italian sausage.  Take off the casing and divide it into little chunks.  Brown it in a pan with a little olive oil.  Add a few sliced peppers of all colors, green, red and yellow and slices of onion.  Add some crushed fennel seeds.  Cook until the sausage is cooked through and the peppers are softened.  Ladle in a little tomato sauce (garlic, tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil is my base) and toss with bucatini noodles.  Goes great with a beer and ballgame haha.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #9 of 21

A few more dishes came to my mind.

 

One is really simple - smoked bacon cut into lardons, fried, then blanched green peas are added (frozen are fine) and cooked a bit more. This is mixed with butter and ricotta and tossed with parmesan and those short fusilli. And do use the rendered bacon fat,too. And lots of black pepper.

 

Then there is another kind of ''pesto''. This time the ingredients that go into mortar are garlic, salt, almonds, tomatoes, basil, some chili flakes and pecorino (preferably not romano, but sardo or some other milder form), oh and olive oil, of course. This is tossed traditionally with busiati, which are like hearty long fusilli made of semolina and they have this nice chewy bite that goes well with the sauce, but I imagine you can use practically any of those chewy southern varieties. Also another layer of flavour and texture is to add some aubergine slices fried in olive oil. Again, fry the aubergine slices on medium-low to medium heat as they really need to be cooked thoroughly (otherwise they remain disgusting).

 

One more: roast one red pepper, then peel, seed and chop finely. Heat some butter in a pan and fry diced ham or prosciutto in it, then add some blanched peas, the red pepper, cook a bit and add some cream. You want to reduce the cream a little. This sauce has to be tossed with homemade garganelli, in my opinion, but should be quite good even with penne. Garganelli are made with just eggs and ordinary flour (sometimes nutmeg and parmesan is added to the dough), kneaded, rested, rolled thinly and cut into squares (like 3x3 inches). These are then rolled into a tube. You can look it up on youtube. Of course, don't forget to add parmesan to the sauce when tossing it (like I forgot to write it).


Edited by Slayertplsko - 1/16/13 at 9:24am
post #10 of 21

My favorite pasta is carbonara. It is very easy to make. Just cook some bacon in a pan (I also add some onions with it). Once the pasta is ready, drain the water and add it to the bacon. Turn off the heat. Then, add a mixture of egg yolk with parmesan cheese on top of the pasta and mix it well. The heat from the pasta will cook the egg!

Another way to do this is to replace the eggs with some creme fraiche! I personally prefer the recipe with the creme fraiche, adding the parmesan at the end. I also like to add some paprika for color and taste! 

 

Hope it helps!

post #11 of 21

I used to labor over tomato sauce, but my favorite sauce for the past couple of years is quite simple and tastes very fresh.  I infuse evoo with crushed red pepper, basil and garlic.  For a 13oz package of spaghetti I start 3 oz of tomato paste in some of the infused oil.  After that sweats a minute I add a 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes, a dash of balsamic, and salt.  I let that cook for maybe 30 minutes and break up the tomatoes and whisk in a little more oil.  I cook my pasta 2/3rds of the way through then drain and finish in the sauce.  By the time the pasta is ready it has absorbed almost all the sauce. 

 

I got that recipe from a Bourdain show if you do a search it should come up.

post #12 of 21

When you are making any of these sauces is everything done with one pan, minus the pot for cooking the pasta.  I am seeing people cooking bacon and onions and such and I have only used my fry pans for this.

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by scribble View Post

When you are making any of these sauces is everything done with one pan, minus the pot for cooking the pasta.  I am seeing people cooking bacon and onions and such and I have only used my fry pans for this.

 

I'm not sure I understand your question.  Bacon can be cooked in anything.  Very often I will cook a sauce in a 3in deep and wide pan so that I can throw a lot of noodles in it.  It's hard to toss pasta in a shallow frying pan if you're making a lot.  But if you're only making enough for one then it shouldn't be a big deal.  I've been known to make my sauce in my deep le creuset pot so that I can toss plenty of pasta in it.  The key is to toss your pasta into your sauce and let it marry.  So your cooking vessel should be large enough to accommodate your noodles and sauce both!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

 

I'm not sure I understand your question.  Bacon can be cooked in anything.  Very often I will cook a sauce in a 3in deep and wide pan so that I can throw a lot of noodles in it.  It's hard to toss pasta in a shallow frying pan if you're making a lot.  But if you're only making enough for one then it shouldn't be a big deal.  I've been known to make my sauce in my deep le creuset pot so that I can toss plenty of pasta in it.  The key is to toss your pasta into your sauce and let it marry.  So your cooking vessel should be large enough to accommodate your noodles and sauce both!


You actually answered my question indirectly.  I wasn't sure if everything minus the initial pasta cooking was done in say a sauce pan.  I would usually waste time and cleaning and extra pot cooking some items in a skillet/fry pan first then transfer to the sauce pan were the majority of the sauce base items were cooking.  

 

On a side note.  I am slowly working on trashing my nonstick calphalon C#^&@. and am looking for recommendations. I am fine with purchasing restaurant grade, that don't look pretty but do function the way you want.

post #15 of 21

Well you'll need a pot to boil your noodles.  And you'll need a pan/pot to cook your sauce.  And don't forget that pasta water is sometimes an essential ingredient in certain pasta sauces.  For example, when I'm making linguine a vongole I scoop up the linguini with tongs straight out of the pasta water and into the sauce pan, dragging plenty of pasta water with them.  Other times before I drain pasta in a colander I scoop up a cup or 2 of pasta water and leave it aside in case I need it for final prep.  Usually I'll use it for sauces other than tomato.

 

Last night I made an awesome pasta dish, it was a creamy tomato sausage pasta I'd had at a restaurant that I couldn't stop thinking about.  Luckily I recreated it myself and it was bang on if I do say so myself.  So what I did was I seared a pound of italian sausage along with plenty of crushed red pepper and fennel seeds.  Then I added 3 cloves of minced garlic and cooked it down until the sausage was well browned and cooked through.  I added tomato paste and a few ladles of tomato sauce (crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil) and finished it off with a bit of cream.  Tossed in some gemelli pasta and plenty of parmesan.  Heaven!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #16 of 21
For a quick and different pasta variant, try this Chinese recipe: while the pasta is boiling, add a little peanut oil in a pan; when hot, add a spoon of Dou Pan Jian and let it cook for about 10-15 seconds. Quick sauté the pasta there adding some water if needed, plate, add grated parmesan cheese, serve. Some Italian friends of mine reprove me severely until they actually tasted the pasta.
Also, do not forget fried pasta. Here's a version: use angel hair pasta. Olive oil in the pan, lightly brown the pasta there taking care not to burn it, add a little water or stock, cook for a minute or so until the water evaporates and the pasta's done, serve with grated cheese. And, of course, Guo Tie (Gioza) should be considered.
Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
Reply
Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
Reply
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by scribble View Post


You actually answered my question indirectly.  I wasn't sure if everything minus the initial pasta cooking was done in say a sauce pan.  I would usually waste time and cleaning and extra pot cooking some items in a skillet/fry pan first then transfer to the sauce pan were the majority of the sauce base items were cooking.  

 


The pasta cooking is NOT initial, it's actually the very last thing you do. The pasta cannot wait for the sauce, so you have to plan everything so that by the time you're draining pasta the sauce is already done, just waiting to be tossed with pasta.

post #18 of 21

I always struggle with the planning of this as sometimes the pasta takes forever to boil.  I purchased a stove with 2 higher btu burners to help boil the water faster but I think it is the same as before with my old unit.  Maybe my stock pot is the culprit?

post #19 of 21
The way I boil pasta is:

Use a deep saucepan, boil a pan of water with a little olive oil and sea salt. Once water at boiling point pour in the dried or fresh pasta or spaghetti in until all soaking underneath the water. When Al dente it is
Cooked and drain it in a colander in the kitchen sink to save mess. It cannot be easier. Then I add sauces, seasoning, meat, vegetables and herbs.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by scribble View Post

I always struggle with the planning of this as sometimes the pasta takes forever to boil.  I purchased a stove with 2 higher btu burners to help boil the water faster but I think it is the same as before with my old unit.  Maybe my stock pot is the culprit?


That's not a problem at all. The sauce can wait for the pasta, but not the other way around.

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by geronomo View Post

The way I boil pasta is:

Use a deep saucepan, boil a pan of water with a little olive oil and sea salt. Once water at boiling point pour in the dried or fresh pasta or spaghetti in until all soaking underneath the water. When Al dente it is
Cooked and drain it in a colander in the kitchen sink to save mess. It cannot be easier. Then I add sauces, seasoning, meat, vegetables and herbs.


When you say deep like say a 5 qt sauce pan.  I have tried it with my 4qt but then I have people say I don't have enough water even though the pasta is completely covered with water.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking