15 Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce Recipes

15 Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce Recipes

Pasta is always a great last-minute meal idea. If you’re anything like me, you always have a variety of dried pasta around – spaghetti, penne, linguini etc. All that you need then is a quick and easy pasta sauce idea!

I’ve gathered up 15 easy, delicious and quick pasta sauce recipes for all tastes and you’re sure to find one that matches ingredients that you have around.

Here are a few tips for perfect pasta, every time …

• Use a big pot and lots of water
• Salt pasta water well! The water should taste like the ocean.
• Cook pasta just until al dente
• Save 1 cup of pasta water before draining
• Cook the pasta with sauce for a couple of minutes. As pretty as spooning sauce over cooked pasta looks, if you’re after a great pasta dish, try cooking the pasta together with the sauce for a few minutes. If the pot gets a bit dry, add some of the pasta water that you saved before you drained the pasta to loosen it up.

1. Amatriciana Sauce

1/4 lb. pancetta, diced (can substitute bacon)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
796 ml (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

Brown pancetta, then add onion and cook until softened. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and Parmesan. Simmer at least 15 minutes. Garnish with more Parmesan and chopped fresh parsley or basil.

2. Vodka Rose Sauce

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 lb. prosciutto, cut into thin strips
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup vodka
1 can, 796 ml (28 oz) diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1/4 cup 35% (whipped/heavy) cream
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano or basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook the prosciutto and onion until soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring 45 seconds. Add vodka and cook, stirring until evaporated. Add the tomatoes and simmer sauce 20-30 minutes until reduced. Add cream, herbs and salt and pepper, to tasted.

3. Arugula and Almond Pesto Sauce

8 whole almonds
1 cup (packed) baby arugula
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 large clove of garlic, peeled
Pinch to 1/4 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
One Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

Place arugula in a food processor or mini chopper. Process until finely chopped.
Scrape down the sides of the processor and add the almonds. Process until almonds are finely chopped and scrape the sides again. Add the Parmesan and process. Add 1 Tablespoon oil and process. Add the second Tablespoon of oil and process until mixture is fully mixed. Move the pesto to a small bowl, taste, and add salt to your liking and add a squeeze of lemon juice. To serve, toss a few tablespoons of mixture with your prepared pasta, or in the case of delicate pastas like ravioli, paint the glaze on with a pastry brush.

4. Pasta al Limone

1 garlic clove, for rubbing
Lemon juice from 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to season
1 cup parmigiano cheese, finely grated, plus extra for sprinkling
Bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated

Cut garlic in half and rub exposed area along the interior of a large serving bowl. Discard the garlic.

In the bowl, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil while stirring. Stir well until the ingredients have emulsified. Mix in salt and parmigiano cheese. When the pasta is al dente­, drain and add to the serving bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle with parmigiano cheese, parsley and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

5. White Wine, Mushroom and Cream Sauce

1 tray sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup cream
Salt & pepper, to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, saute sliced mushrooms with 2 small minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 1/4 cup white wine and cook until just evaporated. Stir in 1/2 cup cream and heat gently until thick. Season with salt and pepper. Combine with pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

6. Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Large jar roasted red peppers, packed in water and vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small onion; rough chopped
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 ts. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Empty jar of roasted peppers into your food processor and run until smooth. Strain through a mesh strainer, to remove any seeds. Meanwhile, is a saucepan, cook the onions in a little olive oil until transclucent. Add garlic and spices and cook about 1 minute. Add the strained red pepper puree to the pot, cover and simmer about 15 minutes.,

7. Tomato Bacon Sauce

1/2 pound of bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped finely
8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
Salt and pepper

Brown bacon in a large saucepan. Add onion and sauté until they soften and begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Pour in tomatoes and a splash of water. Add rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 hour.

8. Alfredo Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
8 oz. (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
Salt to taste
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add heavy cream. Stirring constantly, stir in salt, nutmeg, grated Parmesan cheese, and grated Romano cheese. Stir until melted, then mix in egg yolk. Simmer over medium low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

9. Tomatoes, Chorizo and Cream

1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 1/2 lb. fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of sugar
6-8oz. chorizo sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (Could also use Italian sausage)
Pinch crushed red chilies
1/2 cup heavy (whipping/35%) cream
3 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
4 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan

Heat butter over medium heat. Add rosemary and tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and sugar. Cook until tomatoes have just softened into a sauce. Add the sausage and crushed chilies. Add the cream and parsley. Simmer until sauce reduced by half.

10. Caprese Pasta

2 tomatoes, diced
1 large ball mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (120ml)
1 teaspoon oregano (5ml)
Salt, to season
4 basil leaves

While your pasta is cooking, begin to make the sauce. Mix tomatoes and mozzarella in a large bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil, oregano, salt and basil leaves. When the pasta is ready, add it to the bowl with approximately 1/2 cup of pasta water. Mix well and serve immediately.

11. Aglio Olio

4 oz. breadcrumbs
Small bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, diced
3 dried chili peppers, crushed (optional)
Salt to season

Toast breadcrumbs along with parsley in a dry saucepan until golden brown. In another pan, heat extra virgin olive oil and combine garlic and chili peppers. Cook for a few minutes or until golden brown. Do not burn the garlic. Add cooked pasta to the pan with olive oil and mix well. Add some pasta water to the pasta. Cook for another minute or until desired state of al dente.Mix in toasted breadcrumbs and parsley before serving.

12. Pasta Con Pomodorini e Pecorino

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
25 cherry tomatoes, halved
bunch of fresh basil leaves
pecorino cheese, freshly grated, for sprinkling

While the pasta is cooking, heat up olive oil in a saucepan and gently saute garlic until golden. Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft. Season with salt. Add the cooked and 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta water to the saucepan. Turn off heat. Add torn basil leaves and cook together for approximately 30 seconds. Generously sprinkle pecorino cheese and mix well. Drizzle with olive oil. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with more pecorino cheese and serve immediately.

13. Spinach Ricotta Pasta

Bunch of spinach (fresh or frozen)
5 oz. soft ricotta cheese (about 2/3 cup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Salt to season

In a pot, add spinach along with 1/4 cup of water and cook for a few minutes. Once spinach has softened, remove from heat and puree using a food processor. Add pureed spinach to cooked pasta. Stir in the ricotta, grana padano cheese and butter. Salt to season. Turn off heat and stir for another minute or so.

14. Pasta with Butter and Cheese

2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup of freshly grated Grana Padano
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Salt to season

Drain pasta and pour into mixing bowl along with some reserved pasta water. Add grated Grana Padano cheese, butter and parmesan cheese and allow the hot pasta to melt all the ingredients. Mix well and serve immediately.

15. Pasta with Ricotta and Tomatoes

15 to 20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 oz. of fresh ricotta cheese
bunch of Cilantro, Basil or Parsley, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt to season

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a frying pan and cook cherry tomatoes for 30 seconds. Drain pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Add cooked pasta and ricotta cheese to pan. Ladle in some pasta water. The sauce Should be velvety, not dry. Salt to season. Cook pasta in pan with all the other ingredients until al dente. Top with cilantro, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.


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One Comment

  1. Lovely recipes. I’m just wondering how many servings they are for? Thanks

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