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Awesome DIY Sauces For Pasta- Part II

Here are the rest of the promised pasta sauces. If you look at the recipes as a whole, you can see how easy, even economical, yet how elegant they are. These are recipes that take little time on a week night, can serve guests, and with few alterations, become signature dishes. To alter the appearance of the dish to suit the occasion, simply change the type of pasta. Some are more decorative than others, especially in the shape varieties. In choosing pasta don’t forget the general rules as reported in last week’s posting.

“Selection of the shape should be determined by the sauce being served. The rule of thumb is that longer strands carry smooth, more fluid sauces well as they entwine on the fork. Chunky sauces are best served with shaped pasta, allowing the different morsels to be trapped in the indentations; the more robust the sauce, the bigger the pasta shape needed. Large flat noodles are preferred for bedding ample pieces of the entrée, slices of meat or whole pieces of seafood. They are also excellent for layering baked dishes.”

A few substitution suggestions of dried pasta shapes, with plain on the left and fancy on the right, would be:

Rigatoni or Macaroni —Lumaconi, Orecchiette, Large Sardi or Large Shells Penne –Cavatelli, Small Sardi or Small Shells

“However choice of pasta is purely personal. It’s important to pair a sauce with the pasta that will best deliver it, but it’s equally important to have the pasta cooked correctly Over cooked pasta becomes soft and unable to carry the sauce. Do pay attention to the package directions. They vary with the texture and shape of the pasta. Here’s a tip, most chefs in Italy cook pasta in broth, even if only envelope of bouillon granules in the water, it gives the dish extra flavor. Here’s another, don’t add oil to the water. It may stop the pasta from sticking together, but it also prevents the sauce from adhering to the pasta.”

This week’s listing has more sauces containing meat than last, but again most of those that don’t can be adjusted with the addition of 1 cup diced cooked poultry or ham. Just bear in mind that attempting to change any into a meat based sauce will drastically change texture, cooking time and taste.


Basil and Prosciutto Sauce

¼ cup oil

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup chopped fresh basil

1/1/2 cup julienned prosciutto

Dash cayenne pepper or hot sauce

Salt and pepper

¼ cup grated Parmesan

Saute the garlic over low heat in the oil until soft. Add the basil and prosciutto, toss in the pan and add seasonings to taste. Toss with hot pasta, add cheese and toss again.


Smoked Turkey, Pine nuts and Rosemary

3 Tbs. oil

½ cup pine nuts- or chopped walnuts

1 cup smoked turkey – dices

1 tsp. crushed dried rosemary

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbs. orange zest

1 tsp. fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper

Gently heat the first 4 ingredients until nuts toast slightly. Season, add the other ingredients and heat through. Toss with pasta.


Pancetta Hazelnuts and Garlic

1 cup pancetta – diced

½ cup skinned chopped hazelnuts

2 cloves of garlic julienned

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbs. chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

Heat pancetta over low heat until fat renders. Add nuts and julienned garlic and continue cooking until nuts toast slightly. Season to taste and add the rest of the ingredients. Toss with hot spaghetti.


Tomato Vinaigrette – This can be done with canned tomatoes but is better with fresh. It’s a good way to use up bruised or end of season items. This can be used as a salad dressing as well as over pasta.

4 cups crushed tomatoes

¼ cup virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Cook the tomatoes over low heat until thick, stirring frequently, Force them through a fine strainer. Discard solids. Whisk strained juice with oil and vinegar. Season to taste.

Sun-Dried Tomato Rouille

10 Sun-Dried tomatoes + 1/3 cup of their preserving oil

1 bunch chopped basil


1 clove garlic minced

2 Tbs. grated Parmesan

Puree all ingredients in a blender. Toss with pasta.


Marinated Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

12 diced sun-dried tomatoes+ their oil

1 clove minced garlic

1 Tbs. chopped parsley

¼ cup grated Parmesan

Toss tomatoes and garlic with hot pasta. Add parsley and cheese and toss again. Serve.


Son-Dried Tomato and Tuna Sauce

2 4 oz. cans solid white tuna – drained

8 oil cured sun-dried tomatoes – halved

3 finely sliced scallions- white and light green parts only

2 Tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. lemon juice

3 Tbs. oil

Salt and pepper

Toss all ingredients together with hot pasta. Season and serve.


Tonnato Sauce

4 Tbs. oil

1 clove minced garlic

10 oz. can solid white tuna drained

2 cups tomato sauce

3 Tbs. lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Saute the garlic in the oil 10 sec. Add the tomato sauce, stir well and heat through. Add the tuna and lemon juice, stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper; toss with pasta and serve.


Tapenade Sauce

1cup chopped oil-cured black olives

1chopped garlic clove

2 anchovies

¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil – to desired consistency

Salt and pepper

Blend first 3 ingredients, add in oil to achieve the right consistency. Season and toss with pasta.


Chicken and Olive Sauce

½ lb. diced chicken breast meat

2 Tbs. oil – divided

2 tbs. minced onion

1 tsp. minced garlic

¾ cup white wine

18 pitted black olives

2 tsp. chopped parsley

Cook chicken in 1 Tbs. oil until no longer raw looking. Add onion and garlic for 30 sec. Add wine and boil for 1 min. Add olives and cook 1 min. Season, swirl in the other 1 Tbs. oil and parsley. Toss with pasta.


Pepper and Anchovy Sauce

4 roasted red bell peppers julienned (jarred is fine)

16 julienned anchovy fillets

2 Tbs. capers

1 clove minced garlic

Dash dried oregano

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and allow to rest for a couple of hours. Toss with hot pasta.


Roasted Pepper and Walnut Sauce

2 large roasted red peppers, seeded, skinned and diced (jarred is fine)

¼ cup olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

Salt and pepper

¼ cup chopped walnuts – preferable toasted

2 Tbs. ground parmesan

1lb. pasta

Place first 3 ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and allow to stand for at least 1 hour. Test seasoning and toss with hot pasta, then toss again adding the nuts and cheese. Serve at once.


Variation; Pepper and Olive Sauce*: Substitute ½ cup chopped oil-cured black olives for the nuts in the above recipe and add them to the bowl with the peppers. Proceed as directed above.

*This recipe is equally delicious substituting skinless, seeded plum tomatoes for the peppers.


Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Sauce

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 Tbs. olive oil

1-2 tsp. hot pepper oil

Salt and pepper

1 tbs. butter

2 Tbs. grated parmesan

½ cup room temperature ricotta

2 tbs. chopped parsley

1 lb. hot pasta

Char he skins of the peppers under a broiler or over a gas flame. Cool in a closed paper bag, then use fingers to rub the skins from the peppers, seed and dice. Saute the peppers in the olive oil for 2 min. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot pepper oil. Toss with hot pasta, adding the remaining ingredients. Serve at once.


Three Pepper Sauce

1 yellow or orange bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

3 Tbs. olive oil

½ tsp. hot pepper oil

Salt and pepper

1 lb. pasta

¼ cup grated Parmesan

1 tbs. chopped parsley

Follow recipe directions for Ricotta and Roasted pepper sauce. Prepare peppers and sauté, season, toss with hot pasta, add cheese and parsley. Serve at once.


Mussels in White Sauce*

1 medium onion chopped

4cloves garlic –minced

2Tbs.oil + more if needed

1 cup white wine

2 tsp. dill – optional

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 lemon-juiced

2 doz. Cleaned and bearded mussel

Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until soft, add the wine, lemon juice and dill, if using. Bring to a boil and add the mussels, cover and simmer 2 min. discard any thet don’t open. Add the parsley and more oil if desired. Serve hot over pasta.


Mussels in Red Sauce*

6 Tbs. oil

1clove garlic minced

1 Tbs. parsley

1 cup diced canned tomatoes with liquid

Dash cayenne pepper

2 doz. cleaned, bearded mussels

Lightly brown the garlic in the oil. Add the next 3 ingredients and simmer for 20 min. Add the mussels and simmer 2-3 min. until they open. Discard any that don’t open and serve at once over hot pasta.

*Frozen mussel meat can be substituted for the fresh ones. To compensate for the loss of their natural juices, add ¼ cup white wine and a pinch of salt, if needed.

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