What Is Palomino Sauce?

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Marinara shines because of its simplicity, and meat gives bolognese its rich flavor, but palomino sauce depends on cream to help it stand apart from these other tomato-based Italian sauces. Creating a flavorful palomino begins with a well-seasoned marinara.


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The Basic Ingredients

At its most basic, palomino sauce is a combination of marinara sauce and heavy whipping cream. The cream cuts the acidity of the marinara, resulting in a lighter rose-orange color and a creamy texture. You can make palomino from scratch, by combining a homemade marinara with the cream, or you can make a quick palomino by simply combining jarred marinara with heavy cream and simmering it until it thickens.


It Starts With Marinara

All the traditional ingredients of a marinara are also found in palomino sauces. Begin with onions and fresh garlic cloves sauteed in butter, and then add tomato sauce. Mashed carrots, pureed greens and chopped zucchini add flavor and texture to the finished sauce. You can thicken the basic sauce with mashed or pureed vegetables, or you can create a roux with equal parts flour and butter and stir it into simmering sauce to thicken it up. Fresh cracked pepper, fresh basil leaves and red pepper flakes impart more flavor to the finished sauce.


Make It Your Own

You can turn your marinara into a palomino in the same pot. Simply stir in heavy whipping cream slowly, using about 1 part cream for every 4 parts tomato sauce or jarred marinara. The cream can curdle if the heat is too high, so turn it down so the sauce is no longer simmering before you begin to add it. You can replace all or part of the cream with goat's milk, which will give the finished sauce a tangier taste compared to cream.


Serving Suggestions

Palomino sauce works well over most pasta. The heavy sauce especially complements the heavier, starchier pastas well, such as gnocchi. You can also use palomino sauce to dress chicken, beef or fish, or toss it with vegetables for a savory, creamy side dish. Unlike bolognese sauce, palomino sauce doesn't contain meat, but its creamy flavor and texture pairs especially well with mild chicken if you want to add meat to your pasta dish.