There are as many kinds of pasta sauces as there are different varieties of pasta. They vary from very thin butter or oil dressings that are sometimes flavored with garlic or herbs; to the strong and very robust sauces of meat and vegetables. Here are few of these very saucy pasta sauces.
Aglio or olio.
This pasta sauce is flavored as the name implies with garlic. It is rather this sauce (olive oil and garlic) and is best used with spaghetti or any pasta which is receptive to oily coating.
Tomato or Pomodoro.
Yes, the simple tomato sauce is a favored pasta accompaniment in Italy. It is usually made from canned tomatoes. However, fresh tomatoes are also used if these are flavorful enough. Surprisingly, tomato sauces for pasta, are also served alongside non-pasta dishes like polenta (a dish made from corn-meal).
This sauce is made different by the use of pine nuts (or walnuts) and herbs (cloves and basil). A mortar and pestle is usually used to pound the mixture which is then stored in a jar and which can be kept for weeks. In Italy, the pesto from the Liguran region is considered the best.
This is a slow cooked meat sauce originally made from Bologna. Used by most Americans in spaghetti, Italians actually serve this very rich sauce with tagliatelle (fettuccine). It’s made distinct by the use of the very flavorful oregano.
Popularly known in the Philippines as “white sauce”, the carbonara is named thus because of its appearance made even more distinct by the use of whipped cream. Another ingredient of this sauce is raw egg, which is stirred into the sauce prior to serving. Though not many people may know it, the carbonara is traditionally made from the guanciale — a kind of cured meat made from the air-dried cheeks of pigs. It is usually teamed with spaghetti.
As the name sexily implies, the puttanesca is the “harlot’s sauce” although why it is called as such is subject to dispute (the name when translated actually means “in the manner of prostitute”). Anyway, this is a very robust sauce that’s never served with grated cheese. Instead, fresh parsley is used to sprinkle it with.
This sauce is originally from Sicily and differs from the rest because it uses eggplants, tomatoes and ricotta cheese. It’s named after the heroine of a very popular opera by Vincenzo Bellini. Interestingly, there are many variations of this sauce — all of which maintains the use of eggplants.
As the name implies this pasta makes use of seafood, the most distinctive of which are clams and shrimps.
This sauce (and pasta dish) actually heralds the arrival of spring. It uses a lot of vegetables and even beans. In fact, in Italy, the pasta primavera is given flavor by the use of fava beans. Sometimes zucchinis and broccolis are used as well. Thus giving this pasta dish the requisite green associated with the season primavera.
All in all, these sauces are as much the result of the imagination of cooks and the availability of ingredients. Why not take a cue from them and make your own sauce? It would be worth it.