We made two easy pasta sauce recipes: a basic tomato sauce made with only a few ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry and penne alla vodka sauce – a rosé sauce that’s seasoned with bacon and vodka.
Tips to remember when making a tomato based pasta sauce:
- Add a good slug of olive oil or butter to your sauce pan. The oil is used to sauté the onions and garlic, but it’s also used to give the sauce richness and a velvety mouth feel. Lip-licking good.
- Cook the onion and garlic over medium-low heat. Your objective is to soften the aromatics and to coax out their sweet flavour.
- Season the sauce well with salt. If after you’ve added the salt and it’s still too tart, add a pinch of white sugar to balance out the flavour – there should be no sharpness to the sauce.
- To thicken the sauce, keep the lid off. The water needs to evaporate in order for the sauce to thicken.
- Save some of the pasta water. If you have trouble remembering, place a measuring cup in the colander. When you go to drain the pasta, the measuring cup in the colander will help you remember to save that salty, starchy water. This water is gold – it’s used to loosen up the sauce if it gets too thick, to flavour it, and help the sauce stick to the noodles.