A Few Simple Pasta Sauce Recipes

I have a new challenge post coming up soon (finally). In the meantime, I want to share with you a list of simple recipes for pasta that you can throw together, usually in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Many of these recipes are particularly suitable for this time of year, when you (a) don’t want to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen, and (b) have access to abundant fresh produce and herbs.

Pasta, Risotto-Style: I like this with orzo but it will work with almost any pasta shape. Saute diced onion in butter over medium-high. Add 1-1/2 cups orzo or other cut pasta. To make a complete meal, you can add other vegetables or pre-cooked meat. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Add 3 cups stock. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir every few minutes until tender, about 15 minutes, adding more stock if needed. Garnish with grated Parmesan and minced herbs.

Quick Vegetable Sauce: Puree cooked vegetables. Thin with cream or stock and heat gently. Top with grated cheese, as appropriate.

Pesto: Puree 2 cups basil or other herbs, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or other nuts and 1/2 cup Parmesan until smooth.

Raw Tomato Sauce: Chop 1 garlic clove with a handful of basil. Combine with 2-3 diced tomatoes. Toss with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Canned Tomato Sauce: Saute 1/2 minced onion or 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil or butter over medium-low until golden. Add 1 14-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes, or the equivalent in fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped. Stir in 1 tablespoon tomato paste, if a thicker sauce is desired. Cook about 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper. You can eat it now or simmer up to an hour. This sauce takes well to all kinds of additions so experiment by adding any cooked veggies or meats, pesto or fresh herbs, some soft cheese, a little wine, etc.

This list was first posted on Quora.

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10 thoughts on “A Few Simple Pasta Sauce Recipes

  1. sahmjs 8 August 2011 at 11:37 am

    Thank you for these! We love spaghetti at my house but after reading this Mom’s Guide (http://www.1dental.com/moms-guide/), I am really trying to watch how much sugar we consume and it’s hidden in things like store-bought spaghetti sauce. I never would have known! The Risotto style sounds especially good but I know my son will like the tomato sauce too.

  2. […] On my cooking blog, I share A Few Simple Pasta Sauce Recipes at Simply Cooking. […]

  3. Shannon 8 August 2011 at 12:39 pm

    You’re welcome! And tomato sauce is so easy to make, there’s no reason to buy bottled. Also, you can make it just the way you like, with no sugar, extra veggies, or throw in a little sausage, bacon or ground beef for more substance.

  4. Easy Spaghetti Sauce Recipes 14 August 2011 at 2:07 am

    […] A Few Simple Pasta Sauce Recipes | Simply Cooking A Few Simple Pasta Sauce Recipes Posted on 8 August 2011 by Shannon. I have a new challenge post coming up soon (finally). In the meantime, I want to share with you a list of simple recipes for pasta that you can throw together, […]

  5. shintasimon 18 August 2011 at 6:23 am

    Thanks Shannon for these ideas, I am always at a loos for innovative pasta sauce ideas, and generally stick to a white sauce with garlic or a tomato based sauce. Came across your blog for the first time and am quite enjoying it!

  6. jhon 8 September 2011 at 12:00 am

    I’ll try at home. my mom would love it if there is an easy way to make pasta sauce. because he likes to try new things

  7. Make pasta! | Blog, by Shannon 21 September 2011 at 6:31 pm

    […] on my cooking blog, I posted A Few Simple Pasta Sauce Recipes that you can make in no time at all. Right now, I am making a fresh tomato sauce with some pesto […]

  8. Meghna 29 September 2011 at 6:14 am

    Lovely pasta sauces:) I like them all

  9. Meghna 30 September 2011 at 3:00 am

    Can you please suggest some sauces for the pasta described here http://www.ifood.tv/network/rice_pasta

  10. Shannon 30 September 2011 at 8:28 am

    Meghna, I usually think of rice pasta as being used in Asian dishes like pad thai. But I imagine you could use almost any pasta sauce. I think a pesto might work very well.

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