Are you still using jar sauce from a chain store on your pasta? Come on, you aren’t a little kid anymore. While jar sauce is ok in a pinch, why don’t you branch out and try something more sophisticated. It’s easy. I will show you how to make a variety of homemade sauce for pasta. Then you can show off your skills to friends and relatives.
After writing how to make homemade pasta I decided to follow it up with a post about making homemade sauce for pasta. Here are some of my family’s favorites. I am leaving out typical marinara sauce and traditional Bolognese as recipes for these homemade sauces for pasta are easy to find. I typically take canned tomato sauce and add garlic powder, crushed oregano which I grow myself, a pinch of sugar, and some red wine to make a quick tomato sauce. If you grow fresh basil you may want to learn how to make a pesto sauce, which can be used to flavor vegetables, dips, and meats in addition to pasta. Or if you prefer seafood, you might want to learn how to make linguini with clam sauce. I always liked orecchiette with broccoli. It was a great way to get my kids to eat more vegetables.
Recipe for Carbonara Sauce
My dad likes to tell the story of the time he ordered pasta carbonara at an Italian Restaurant in Little Italy. They poured additional sauce on the dish after bringing it to him. When he asked what was in the sauce, they told him it was bacon grease.
Of course, this is a much healthier version, but I find that by leaving out all the extra grease it can be a bit dry. Therefore I prefer to use spaghetti squash. The natural moisture keep it from drying out. However, feel free to choose a good Italian pasta brand if you don’t want to use spaghetti squash.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 strips of cooked bacon
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 3 room temperature eggs
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1b. of pasta or 1 spaghetti squash
Directions for Carbonara Easy Recipe
If you are using spaghetti squash I recommend cooking it ahead of time if you are making a quick week night meal. I have tried many ways to cook spaghetti squash, but I found this the best. Poke several holes in the squash to allow steam to escape. Then bake in a 350F oven in a baking dish with about an inch of water for about an hour. Once it has cooled, cut the squash in half, discard the seeds and membranes. Then using a fork, scrape out the “spaghetti” strands. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- If using regular pasta, cook according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large frying pan. Crumble bacon and cook for 2 minutes to release the flavor. If using spaghetti squash, toss that in the pan with the bacon for another 5 minutes to heat thoroughly.
- Meanwhile, break the eggs into a large bowl and beat in garlic powder and cheese.
- When pasta is cooked, drain and add to the bacon. Then toss the bacon pasta mixture into the egg mixture stirring constantly. The eggs will become cooked from the heat of the pasta and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken
This mild sauce goes well paired with a robust homemade herb pasta.
Ingredients for Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 green onions chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked shredded chicken
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- 8 oz. Fettuccine
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley to serve
- Melt the butter in a pan and add the green onions and chicken. Continue cooking over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat a large pot of salted water to boiling, and cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, add seasonings to chicken mixture along with milk. Do not boil. Lower heat to keep warm until pasta is done.
- When pasta is done, drain it, and then toss with sauce and parmesan cheese. Serve with chopped parsley.
Here are some sponsored links for kitchen gadgets that might come in handy for homemade pastas and sauces:
Recipe for Pasta Primavera
This easy sauce can be made with whatever you have in your refrigerator. Here I sliced several mushrooms, and cooked them in olive oil. Next I added several handfuls of fresh spinach until wilted. Then I added some halved grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green olives, and some leftover sauteed onions and peppers. You can cook the pasta according to package directions while you are making this sauce. After the veggies are cooked, I add about 1/2 a cup of broth and some chopped garlic along with some salt and cayenne pepper to taste. The broth helps the garlic from burning. My family also loves oregano so I add 1-2 tsp of dried oregano that I grow in my garden. However, you can use whatever seasonings and vegetables you like. Finally I add another ladle of broth to give the sauce more liquid.
When the pasta is ready, drain it and toss with the sauce. Of course, sprinkle some freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese on top to serve. We used homemade lemon pasta for this dish to give it some extra zest.
Homemade Cauliflower Sauce for Pasta
I like to think of this as an Italian macaroni and cheese. It makes a great way to get kids to eat more vegetables.
Ingredients for Homemade Sauce for Pasta
- 2 cups cauliflower florets, cooked, drained, and mashed
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Homemade Cauliflower Sauce
- Begin by melting the butter in a pot. Once butter is melted, whisk in flour until smooth.
- Then gradually add in milk while stirring with the whisk. Add in the garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a boil for 4 minutes while continuously stirring until no lumps remain.
- After that, mix in the cheese and cook over low heat. Continue stirring until cheese melts.
- Stir in the cauliflower and mix with your favorite cooked pasta to serve.
Homemade Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce for Pasta
The lentils and mushrooms give this red sauce the texture of a meat sauce with a hearty flavor while providing necessary daily protein. You can add salt and pepper to taste once the sauce is finished. We like adding cayenne pepper for an extra kick.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Bolognese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 chopped carrot
- 8 oz. chopped mushrooms
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 14 oz. can tomato puree
- 1/4 cup dried lentils, soaked for 1 hour, drained, and rinsed
- fresh basil to serve
Directions for Homemade Bolognese Sauce for Pasta
- Begin by heating the oil in a sauce pot over medium heat. Once oil is hot add onion and carrot and cook for 10 minutes.
- When onions and carrot are tender, add the mushrooms.
- After that add the wine, tomato puree, lentils and the seasonings. Continue cooking for approximately 4 minutes.
- Then serve with your favorite pasta and garnish with fresh basil.
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