Can You Match Your Pasta With These Incredible Sauces?
How many times have you walked into a swish and swanky Italian restaurant, dressed to the nines – and ended up ordering ‘pasta in pink sauce’. Ouch! Culinary ignorance to a certain extent might perhaps be forgiven, if Italian weren’t the order of the day. However, since everyone loves Italian cuisine and terms like pasta, ravioli and lasagna are huge crowd-pullers, it’s time you got them straight!
We’ve made it simpler for you. Take a look at our list below, which pairs pasta sauces with the pasta type they go best with. Talk about perfect pairings!
Indians are famed for their love of all things spicy. Are you really surprised then that the most popular sauce is the arabiatta, feeding as it does the innate fetish for spice? The heat of the chili pepper makes it particularly hot! It is prepared with fresh basil, garlic, red chilies & olive oil. In India, we call this simply – ‘red sauce’.
Paired best with: Penne pasta.
Aglio e Olio
With its combination of garlic, olive oil and chilies; this is a gourmet’s delight. Finely chopped parsley is added as a garnish, along with grated parmesan or pecrino cheese – although, according to some traditional recipes, cheese should not be added.
Paired best with: Spaghetti and fusilli pasta.
This is a smooth and rich sauce made with parmesan cheese and butter. As the cheese melts, it forms a deliciously silky coating on the pasta. It can be clubbed with smoked chicken, mushrooms and shrimps. Once again, we Indians have ‘simplified’ it to our liking and call it – ‘white sauce’.
Paired best with: Fettuccine.
The most fragrant sauce of all, pesto traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and European pine nuts blended with olive oil and parmesan or parmigiano cheese. Owing to colouration caused by holy basil, it is commonly referred to as ‘green sauce’.
Paired best with: Linguini pasta (flat spaghetti).
This traditional Italian sauce originated in Naples and is usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and onions. Its many variations can include the addition of capers, olives and spices. It is rounded off with ricotta cheese.
Paired best with: Ravioli.
This Roman sauce is made with sautéed mushrooms, shallots, parsley and generous amount of cream. What’s not to love?
Paired best with: Gnocchi, ravioli and fettuccine.
You’ll have a hard time digesting this one, but puttanesca pasta literally translates to “garbage style” or “whore’s style” sauce! Its unfortunate etymology aside, however, this is a sumptuously tangy, slightly salty sauce. It is flavoured with anchovies, cherry tomatoes, chilies, olives, capers and olive dust.
Paired best with: Farfalle.
This one’s a crowd-pleaser, if ever there was one. The creamy Carbonara sauce is prepared with pancetta bacon, egg yolks, parmesan cheese, black pepper and butter. However, it is common to find a carbonara sauce made with cream instead of eggs.
Paired best with: Bucatini, spaghetti and fettucine.
Pomodoro is a classic Italian sauce made of tomatoes and finished with organic basil pesto, bocconcini and cherry tomatoes.
Paired best with: Gnocchi (dumplings made from potatoes, cheese and eggs).
A slowly cooked sauce, its preparation involves several techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising. Base ingredients include a characteristic soffritto of onion, celery and carrot – as well as different types of minced or finely chopped beef. Wine and a small amount of tomato concasse or tomatoes are added, and the dish is then gently simmered at length to produce a thick sauce. Slowly simmered, this sauce beautifully bursts with flavours.
Paired best with: Rigatoni and homemade Tagliatella.
With inputs from:
- Rahul Gladwin Massey, Executive Chef, Sbarro
- Chef Puneet Jain & Vipul Arora, Bueno Foods, a Gurgaon based Food Delivery start-up
- Mrunal Uday Shanaskar, Jr Sous Chef of Aloro, Crowne Plaza Bangalore
- Chef Akhilesh Jha, Brand Chef – Fresc Co.
- Ankit Mangla, Executive Chef, India, Plaza Premium Lounge Management Company