Pasta sauce can make or break your recipe. The amount of sauce, the consistency and how it relates to other ingredients are the most important factors to consider.
Yet it’s not rocket science, you should consider the sauce in relation with the rest of a pasta dish. For this reason we will go a bit more into detail about pasta sauce. However these are just a few guidelines to relate to when you are cooking, it might help you a lot understanding pasta recipes.
Understanding the pasta sauce is a matter of national security to Italians, and we agree. To call it religion may be a bit much, but “sauciology” is definitely a big part while cooking your favorite pasta recipe.
The basics for start cooking a Pasta Sauce
The Sauce’s Ingredients
First, the ingredients of the pasta sauce are important. Cooking with pesto, anchovies or blue cheese based sauces can be overwhelming. With such strong and distinct flavors you might want to use a bit less sauce.
Think of the ingredients you like to use and how they’ll taste together. Do you think they will match? If so, go for it! And if you are not sure, just try!
Learning how to cook is all about have the guts to try it out! Better to try and fail and not to try at all.
If you are not sure, try our recipes to start learning how to make a great recipe! We have many great recipes for you to start out with. For inexperienced chefs, children and more experienced kitchen heroes who know what’s going on in the kitchen!
The Amount of Sauce
The amount of pasta sauce is the most important. Better to have less sauce than too much. The sauce is a pasta’s t-shirt; not a winter blanket.
The idea of pasta sauce is that it sticks to the pasta and goes around, in or soak into the dough. Thus, the pasta may never “swim” in the sauce.
To approach this mathematically: the more surface of a pasta, the more sauce you may need. So, if you are cooking for example Penne. A hollow type of pasta, you may need more pasta sauce for the reason it can also go into the Penne. If you are cooking Tagliatelle, a spaghetti type, you need less sauce because the sauce can only stick to the outside of the pasta.
Pasta Sauce Consistency
“The pasta and its sauce should become one: A universal part that cannot go without each other.” S.O. Mechef, 1629 Naples.
By rule, the thicker the sauce the less you need for your dish. Use thicker sauces for pasta types that have fewer surfaces to stick to such as spaghetti types.
The sauce has to stick to the pasta, be one with the pasta, they are one.
Likewise thinner sauces go perfectly with types such as Lasagna, Rotini or Fusilli. A thick sauce will never merge; become one, with the pasta if it cannot reach all places of the pasta.