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Am an open book.. a big time foodie.. an aspiring chef... who has a thirst for knowledge.. loves traveling...loves making friends.. is passionate about writing...wants to capture life through photography...is a loud mouth..a chatterbox...a self proclaimed Bohemian..and the world is my oyster !!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Basics of Italian Cooking - II (Sauces)


For years, I have been trying to master the art of making perfect authentic Italian sauces for my pastas and I have always been in a fix as the Internet throws up a million recipes for each kind. The truth is that there is no definitive recipe for any of them. After a lot of trials and tribulations, with the help and advice of my various Italian friends and with a lot of help from my favorite chef Guiliano Hazan, I have complied some recipes for 10 most popular and traditional pasta sauce.  The recipes below serve four people.




Aglio E Olio – Garlic & Olive Oil

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb (spaghetti or spaghettini)
Extra virgin olive oil – 8 tbs
Finely chopped garlic – 1 tbs
Finely chopped parsley – 1tbs
Crushed red chillies – ¼ to ½ tsp
Salt to taste

Method:

Cook the pasta al dante’ and set aside. Put olive oil in a skillet and put the chopped garlic in it. Then switch on the stove and saute’ over medium high heat. When the garlic changes color, add the parsley, crushed red chillies and the salt. Remove from heat. Toss in the pasta till it is completely coated and serve at once.



Pesto Di Basilico – Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb (fettuccine or spaghetti or spaghettini)
Fresh basil leaves – 2 oz
Extra virgin olive oil – 8 tbs
Pine nuts – 2 tbs
Garlic – 2 cloves
Freshly grated parmigiano – reggiano cheese – 2oz
Freshly grated pecorino romano cheese – 2tbs
Butter – 1 ½ oz
Salt to taste

Method:

Cook the pasta al dante’ and set aside. Put basil leaves, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt into a blender and grind till fine or almost creamy. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cheeses. Then add two tbs of hot water, butter, pasta and toss.



Burro E Pomodoro – Butter and Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb (bucatini, penne, spaghetti, tortelloni di spinaci)
Fresh tomato (peeled, seeded, chopped) – 2lb
Butter – 3 ½ oz
Onion – 1 medium sized, peeled and cut in half
Parmigiano- reggiano cheese – 4tbs
Salt to taste

Method:

Cook the pasta al dante’ and set aside. Put in all ingredients except cheese in a saucepan and simmer over low heat till tomatoes have reduced and separated from butter. Remove from heat and discard the onion halves. Toss in the pasta and serve, garnished with freshly grated cheese.


Pomodoro E Basilico – Tomatoes, Basil, Olive Oil and Garlic

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb (penne, spaghetti, spaghettini)
Thinly sliced garlic – 3 tbs
Extra virgin olive oil – 5 tbs
Fresh tomato (peeled, seeded, chopped) – 2 lb
Fresh basil leaves – 4tbs (crushed by hands)
Crushed red chillies – optional
Salt to taste

Method:

Cook the pasta al dante’ and set aside. Put all but 1 tbs of olive oil and all garlic in a skillet over medium high flame and cook till garlic sizzles. Add the tomato. Cook till the liquid from tomato reduces. Then season with salt. Continue cooking till tomato separates from oil.  When sauce has reduced, add the basil, crushed red chillies and sauté. Remove from heat, toss pasta, remaining olive oil and serve.



All’ Arrabbiata – Spicy Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb (penne or spaghetti)
Extra virgin olive oil – 7 tbs
Finely chopped garlic – ½ tsp
Pancetta – 2 oz (sliced into thin strips) (vegetarians can avoid)
Tomato  - 14 oz tins, chopped
Crushed red chillies – 1 tsp (more if you want it to be real spicy)
Basil – 1-2 tsp
Pecorino – Romano (freshly grated) – 2 tbs

Method:

Cook the pasta al dante’ and set aside. Put all but 1 tbs of olive oil and all garlic in a skillet over medium high flame and cook till garlic sizzles. Add pancetta strips and cook till it’s browned but not crisp. Add tomatoes, salt and crushed red chillies. Simmer until tomato has separated from the oil. Remove from heat, toss in pasta and olive oil, garnish with grated cheese and serve.



Puttanesca – Tomato, Capers, Olives and Anchovies

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1lb (spaghetti or spaghettini or penne)
Extra virgin olive oil – 7 tbs
Anchovy fillets, chopped – 6
Finely chopped garlic – ½ tsp
Chopped tomato cans – 14 oz
Oregano – ½ tsp dry
Capers – 2 tbs
Black olives – 8 sliced
Salt to taste

Method:

Cook the pasta al dante’ and set aside. Put all but 1 tbs of olive oil and all anchovies, garlic in a skillet over low flame and cook till anchovies dissolve. Raise heat to medium add tomato and salt. Simmer until tomato has separated from the oil add the oregano, capers and olives. Remove from heat, toss in pasta and olive oil and serve.



Primavera – Spring Vegetables and Cream

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb (Fettuccine or Tagliatelle)
Asparagus – 4 oz
Butter – 2 oz
Finely chopped onion – 4tbs
Celery – 4 tbs
Finely diced carrot – 60 gm
Finely diced zucchini -60 gm
Finely diced red pepper – 4 tbs
Double cream – 250 ml
Finley chopped parsley – 2 tbs
Freshly grated parmigiano- reggiano  - 30 gm
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:

Trim and peel the lower green portion of the asparagus. Cook whole in salted boiling water until tender. Cut into 1 cm length. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Put in the onion and sauté to rich golden colour. Add celery and carrot and sauté for five minutes. Add other vegetables and sauté. Add cream and keep stirring till cream has reduced in half, remove from heat and set aside. Toss in pasta, garnish with cheese and basil and serve.



Ragu – Meat Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb ( tagliatelle or rigatoni or fusili or pappardelle)
Extra virgin olive oil – 3tbs
Butter – 2 ½ oz
Chopped onion – 2 tbs
Finely diced carrot – 2 tbs
Finely diced celery – 2 tbs
Coarsely minced lean beef – 350 gm
Dry white wine – 250 ml
Full cream milk – 8 tbs
Freshly grated nutmeg – 14 tsp
Tomato, chopped – 1 lb
Freshly grated parmigiano – reggiano – 2 oz
salt to taste

Method:

Put the olive oil and just over half the butter and onion in a heavy bottomed sauce oan over medium high heat and sauté onion till it turns golden brown. Add the carrots and celery and sauté. Put the beef, sprinkle on a little salt and cook till it’s lost its raw color. Pour in the wine and cook until completely evaporated. Pour in the milk, sprinkle nutmeg and continue to cook until most milk evaporates. Add the tomato, stir and once they bubble, turn heat to low and simmer uncovered for three hours stirring occasionally. Cook pasta al dante’ and toss in with remaining butter and freshly grated cheese. Serve at once.



Alfredo – Butter and Cream
Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb (fettuccine or tagliatelle)
Butter – 1  ½ oz
Double cream – 250 ml
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated parmigiano – reggiano – 2 oz

Method:

Cook pasta al dante’ and set aside. Put butter and cream in a large sauce pan over medium high heat and boil stirring continuously till cream has reduced almost by half. Add the freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.  Toss on the pasta, add the cheese and serve at once.



Carbonara – Pancetta and Raw Eggs

Ingredients:

Pasta – 1 lb (spaghetti)
Butter – 1 oz
Extra virgin olive oil – 2tbs
Pancetta – 4oz cut into ½” thin strips
Dry white wine – 6tbs
Egg yolk – 4
Freshly grated parmigiano – reggiano – 3 tbs
Freshly grated pecorino - romano – 2 tbs
Finely chopped Parsley – 1 tbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:

Cook pasta al dante’ and set aside. Put butter and olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat a sitmmer add the pancetta and cook till browned but not crisp. Pour in white wine and continue cooking till reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and the two cheeses, parsley, pepper and salt. Toss in the pasta and pancetta mix from the pan. Serve at once.


Bibliography: Giuliano Hazan and pictures from Internet

2 comments:

Neetz said...

My goodness! all look so awesome i dont know which one to taste ;)

Radhika said...

This is so lovely. Had a feeling I had entered an Italian restaurant.