Pasta Sauces

Mmmm. Pasta sauces. The phrase itself evokes food memories of my short Italian trip, where I got to sample authentic Florentine, Venetian and Roman pasta drenched in appetizing sauces.

Although I'm not an expert in Italian cuisine, I believe it's not difficult to make these sauces. As long as I've access to the freshest ingredients, patience and good cooking ware, I'm set to go. There is more to just regular tomato based sauce. Sauces can range from pesto basil to olive oil to sun dried tomatoes base. Or seafood like clams and mussels to hardy chicken and beef ones.

Author Pamela Sheldon Johns recommends a variety of Italian sauces in her 50 Great Pasta Sauces recipe book. She divides them into four mouth-watering categories that highlight the fresh seasonal ingredients. The categories are vegetable sauces, meat sauces, seafood sauces and dairy sauces. Enjoy reading them!

Dairy Sauces:

Carbonara sauce

Cream sauce (pair with prosciutto)

Browned butter and sage sauce

Red pepper besciamella sauce ('besciamella' means white sauce)

White truffle butter sauce

Walnut pesto sauce

Balsamic cream sauce

Parmigiano-butter sauce

Creamy goat cheese sauce

Four-cheese sauce (fontina, Gorgonzola, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella, mascarpone or provolone)

Ricotta sauce (great with grilled vegs in the summer)

Fontina sauce (fontina cheese comes from the northern region of Piemonte)

Robiola sauce

Gorgonzola-walnut sauce (can be substituted with its younger version, dolcelatte)

Scamorza and greens sauce

Pecorino and pepper sauce

Meat (Ragù) Sauces:

Bolognese sauce (originated from Bologna)

Baked tomato and meatball sauce

Rosemary-lamb sauce

Summer beef sauce

Pork and black truffle sauce

Wild boar sauce

Sausage and pepper sauce

Rabbit and thyme sauce

Roasted chicken sauce

Duck sauce

Chicken liver sauce (rich!)

Seafood Sauces:

Snapper and herb sauce (any fish will do)

Lemon-tuna sauce

Swordfish and caper sauce (capers are flower buds of a scrubby Mediterranean plant that literally grows out of the rocks)

Anchovy and raddicchio sauce

Pepper and anchovy sauce

Shellfish sauce (pair with spaghetti di nero, pasta with squid's black ink)

Clam sauce

Garlic shrimp and wine sauce

Vegetable Sauces:

Basil pesto sauce

Classic tomato sauce

Roasted tomato sauce (roasting brings our the sweetness of early tomatoes)

Arrabiata sauce ('angry' sauce because it's spicy)

Garlic tomato sauce (recipe uses immature garlic)

Roasted beets sauce (roasting enhances the beet flavor)

Asparagus and butter sauce

Grilled vegetable sauce (ideal for summer!)

Fava bean sauce

Borlotti bean sauce ('borlotti' is also known as cranberry bean)

Tomato and white bean sauce

Orange-caper sauce (caper? yum!!)

Arugula and pancetta sauce (can be substituted with Tuscan kale or cavolo nero)

Greens and anchovy sauce

Wild mushroom sauce

Source: 50 Great Pasta Sauces

Other Sauces not listed in the book, but equally popular:

Vodka sauce

Lemon and olive oil sauce

Sun dried tomato sauce

Masala sauce

Grilled red pepper and tomato sauce

Marinara sauce

Olives and olive oil sauce

Oxtail sauce

Roasted garlic sauce

Butter and sage sauce

Date: 9/12/2010