What’s In A Sauce
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.