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Top 5 Classic Pasta Sauces
A quick pasta sauce is my Sunday night stand by – in fact it’s my go-to any night of the week when I don’t really feel like cooking. My favourites are made from what’s on hand in the pantry or fridge (with maybe a few herbs from the garden) and ready in the time it takes for the water to come to the boil and the pasta to cook, which means it’s even quicker than calling out for pizza! Here’s my guide to cooking pasta perfectly combine it with one of these classic pasta sauces for a deliciously easy meal.
Aglio, Olio e Pepperoncini (Calabria)
Garlic, olive oil and chilli – this may be the easiest pasta sauce ever. I love it because it’s also one of the tastiest and quickest! It’s typical of southern Italy, where a few frugal Ingredients had to feed large families. Best with spaghetti or other long dried pasta.
The ancestor of Australia’s beloved ‘spag bol’, after some preliminary chopping this slow-cooked beef and pork ragù cooks itself while you get on with other things. It’s a great do-ahead sauce, worth making a large batch, portioning and freezing it. Best with fresh egg pasta like tagliatelle or fettuccine.
I make pesto in a food processor rather than pounding in a mortar, just pulse it as little as possible so it doesn’t heat. Make a big batch, store under olive oil in the fridge and enjoy all year round. Traditional with trofie (small twisted pasta), I love it with any shape!
There’s always some eggs, parmesan and cured pork in my fridge – guanciale (cheek) is traditional, but substitute pancetta (belly) or even bacon at a pinch. This simple Roman sauce tastes creamy but definitely doesn’t contain cream. I like it with bucatini or tonnarelli.
Whore’s pasta (that’s what ‘puttana’ means) is made from preserves found in every Italian pantry (olives, capers, anchovies, passata), as the busy working girls of Naples didn’t have time to shop for fresh produce. Best with penne or similar short hollow pasta to catch the sauce.