"Life is too short, and I'm Italian. I'd much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0." ~Sophia Bush
There is such a wide variety of pasta sauces to choose from at the supermarket-marinara and meat sauces, pesto, alfredo, and vodka to name just a few. Though it certainly is easier to buy a jar than to make a sauce, in reality sauce is not complicated and if you have a few extra minutes you can whip up a great pasta dish for your family.
The sauce I typically make is a marinara but every now and then I throw a pesto or alfredo dish into the mix. Alfredo because it's super easy (and I do mean super easy) and pesto because, well, I need to prove to my husband that the food processor really wasn't a waste of money.
Traditionalists maintain that certain pastas should be paired with specific sauces (angel hair should go with a light sauce, ziti should be paired with a chunky sauce, etc.). I say listen to Sophia Bush and eat what you like.
Each of these recipes is a tweaked version of a traditional recipe to cut some fat and calories. No one in my household has yet to notice a difference. If you are looking for a marinara (or meatball) recipe I have .
Enough for about 4 cups of pasta
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp softened butter
- 2 tbsp grated Romano cheese
- Combine first five ingredients in a food processor - process until finely minced.
- Place in a large bowl and stir in cheeses and butter.
(When serving, reserve about 3 tbsp of the pasta water and add the water and pesto to the pasta-it will really bring out the flavors).
Enough for about 8-9 cups of pasta
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 1/4 cups half and half
- 3/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add cheese, half and half, salt and pepper.
- Cook about a minute, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat and add pasta to skillet.
- Top with extra cheese and more pepper.