The Italians have a vast array of pasta dishes at their disposal, along with numerous options. Pasta itself comes in many shapes and sizes, as well as dried or freshly homemade. The main difference between dishes revolves around which sauce covers it. Tomato sauces, cream sauces, and wine-based sauces are just a few of the many choices.
Besides the traditional meat sauce served with spaghetti and meatballs, other well-known tomato sauces for pasta include puttanesca, Bolognese, ragu, fra diavolo and arrabbiata. Of these, Bolognese and ragu require meat in the creation. Other typical ingredients are garlic, basil, onion, olive oil, Parmesan and parsley.
Cream pasta sauces usually incorporate cheese and milk/cream as a foundation. Alfredo is the most popular and includes Parmesan cheese, butter and cream. Other sauces of this variety are four-cheese sauce or cacio e pepe, which relies heavily on pecorino cheese.
Carbonara is a famous Italian pasta dish with a few simple ingredients in addition to the pasta. The list includes eggs, Parmesan, pecorino and garlic for the sauce, and pancetta to top (sometimes pancetta grease is in the sauce, too). Cooks serve carbonara over spaghetti or fettuccine.
Seafood pasta dishes often use light wine-based sauces. For example, chefs frequently serve linguine con vongole (clams) with a white wine sauce, usually a little lemon juice, butter, pepper, garlic and white wine, reduced over medium heat.
Pesto consists of basil, garlic, salt, pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil. Basil lends the pesto its famous green appearance. Cooks often serve pesto with gnocchi, which are like mini potato dumplings.
- Photo Credit Pasta image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com Whole Wheat Pasta and Tomato Sauce image by JJAVA from Fotolia.com Pasta a la carbonara image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com Pesto image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com
Italian Potluck Ideas
Potlucks are all about bringing people together for any occasion without putting all of the preparation on the host. What better theme...
Types of Lasagna
Lasagna is a popular baked pasta dish, and the types of lasagna are limited only by the imagination. Make traditional lasagnas by...
Different Types of Rice Dishes
There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice grown in the world. Learning to use "real" rice instead of instant rice will...
Types of Italian Sauces
In addition to delicious pizza, pasta and desserts, Italy is home to many types of sauces. Interestingly, many sauces that are considered...
10 Different Types of Pasta
Pasta is one of the world's most recognizable and favorite dishes. It's simple to make and provides great versatility, allowing for it...
Names of Pasta Sauces
Pasta pairs with both cream and tomato sauces, either authentically Italian or following an American adaptation.