Pasta is the kind of meal that is easy to make but rarely done right. Microwaving a chilled ready meal of spaghetti carbonara can never taste like you would eat in an authentic Italian restaurant. The only way to make a truly delicious classic pasta sauce is to do it yourself, which might seem intimidating but can often be deceptively easy with the right ingredients and instructions.
To help you try out some of these, this infographic rounds up easy-to-follow recipes for 14 of the best-loved pasta sauce recipes. From Ragu Alla Bolognese to Pesto Alla Genovese, these sauces come from all over Italy and have been handed down from generation to generation, bringing families together around the dinner table.
As well as the ones you might be familiar with, there’s also some you might not have tried eating before, let alone cooking, including Puttanesca, which may translate as ‘whore’s pasta’ but tastes much better than that might make it sound. If you’re a seafood fan, there’s also Allo Scoglio or Alle Vongole, which require shellfish, which Quattro Formaggi speaks for itself if you just can’t get enough cheese.
With all of these delicious and deceptively simple recipes at your fingertips, the only question is which one will you try first?
Famously, one of the most simple and most delicious ingredients to cook with is pasta. Pasta is versatile, relatively quick to boil and works with a variety of flavors. There are over 300 kinds of pastas, varying in length, thickness, shape, and cut. Pasta shapes are specifically designed to hold sauce in the best way possible. For example, a spaghetti is most commonly paired with a marinara sauce, while pappardelle is best with a bolognese.
In addition to the shape, pasta is also classified as dry or fresh. Dry pasta is firm and goes best with robust sauces, but fresh pasta is delicate and should be paired with light sauces. Another way to categorize pastas is by their length. There are two types: long form pasta and short form pasta. Ribbon pasta is a form of long form pasta, and tubular, shaped, and stuffed pastas are types of short form pasta.
They are each served best with different kinds of ingredients. Before you get your flash cards out to begin memorizing pasta 101, Personal Creations has created an infographic on the different kinds of pasta, the sauces they should be cooked with, and their cook times. If you like cooking with pasta, keep this list on hand and you’ll be a master at it in no time!
So many shapes, so many choices. We encourage getting creative with any type that catches your eye, but everyone tends to gravitate toward one type over another, restocking the pantry with the same old shapes. For most people, Italian pastas feel interchangeable: fresh, homemade marinara sauce tastes just as delicious atop penne as piled on linguine. But traditional Italian cooking holds a method to the unending list of noodles.
Each pasta’s form and texture play a bigger part in sauce pairings, thick or thin, warm or cold. Sturdier noodles stand up to heavy cream-based and meat sauces while more delicate types compliment oil-based entrées. And of course, a few of our favourites play well with nearly any “gravy” out there. We’ve provided a run-through of accessible noodle-sauce pairings for pasta dinners that satisfy everyone around the table.