the blog

What’s In A Sauce

11 March, 2018

Red, green, spicy, rich, savory and hearty — Italian sauces are as diverse and as rich as the history of Italia itself. For centuries Italian chefs and nonnas have perfected their special Italian gravies into the masterpieces many of us enjoy today. A delicious Italian sauce can be simple in its preparation but complex in its flavors. Born of local fresh ingredients including tomatoes, herbs, garlic and peppers, your favorite sauce is a specialty.

Italian sauces aren’t just for pasta. Many of the varieties you are accustomed to putting atop spaghetti, fusili or linguine can also be used to add incredible flavor to seafood, beef, chicken and vegetables. In other words, don’t save the sauce for spaghetti night, enjoy it for dinner every night. Below are a few of the most popular sauces in Italian cooking, some you may be familiar with and others you’ll want to be sure to taste test right away.

Pesto alla Genovese  – A mix of contrasts – decadent and healthy, crunchy and smooth. This sauce combines basil, pine nuts, garlic, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Pecorino cheese, salt and extra virgin olive oil. Grind the ingredients together until a bright and vibrant green sauce is formed.  

Arrabbiata – A spicy “angry” sauce of peppers and tomatoes. The crushed red peppers, garlic, olive oil, basil, tomatoes and Pecorini Romano is robust, bold and full of incredible flavor.

Marinara – The most popular and versatile of Italian sauces. Tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil and onion combine to create this classic sauce that you’ll find in many Italian dishes including chicken parmigiana and lasagna.

This is just a snapshot of the many Italian sauces created over the generations. Next time you are tempted to grab a jar of the red stuff you can find on the shelf of any grocery store, we encourage you to find a few extra minutes to make your own sauce, you’ll be amazed by the ways it will transform your dish. To experience authentic Italian food and sample a variety of sauces prepared by master chefs, book one of our Little Italy Food Tours, who knows, you might just find a new favorite sauce.

Our guide was simply amazing!!! He was well animated, very accommodating, and extremely personable. He was quite a character, in a fun and exciting way. I have nothing but positive things to say about my tour experience. I highly recommend choosing Little Italy Tours to be your tour guide! — VM, Bonita, CA
This is a MUST See and Do attraction in SD. Even members of our group who were born here, were blown away by the City and Neighborhood's History and stories. It was like we were transported back in time. The company and our guide did an Amazing Job!!! Our Group of 20+ can't stop raving about it! —Lisa B. Chula Vista, CA
What a ball! My colleagues and I took the Little Italy tour for our office party and a bit of team-building. We had so much fun. Our guide was amazing. We learned so much about pizza and Italian cuisine and Little Italy's influence in San Diego. We ate, we learned, we drank, and we had a ball! I would highly recommend taking a tour with Little Italy. Grazie mille!!! — Robin D. San Diego, CA
What an amazing and engaging tour guide we had! The best of the best! I feel in love with Italy all over again. The pizza, pasta and gelato was as tasty as could be. Their cooking class is next on my list. Ciao! —Marlo V. Las Vegas, NV
My work department did this tour as part of our holiday celebrations and had a great time! Our tour guide was very informative and energetic. We learned all about where pizza came from and each stop taught us something new and allowed us to try pizza from a different region. You will leave full and educated! —Sheila S. Boston, MA
Best hour and a half out of a 9 day trip. Thanks to our guide for an entertaining and informative tour of Little Italy! —Duane L. Duluth, MN
We had a WONDERFUL tour this morning with our guide!! We all, ages from 14 to 53, had such a special and fun time learning about the history of Little Italy... We will DEFINITELY schedule something else with this group. It was truly the highlight of our vacation! —Suzy H. Irvine, CA