Cooking Sauces

Make Basil Pesto

Make basil pesto
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Make Basil Pesto


I have previously posted a recipe for basil oregano pesto.  Here is the basil only version for the purists who desire just the great flavor of fresh basil.

This is a great way to use all the fresh basil that will come from your garden.  Remember that you can freeze pesto and use it as needed right from the freezer. I suggest freezing it in small portions suitable for a few days of cooking.


Remember that the quality of ingredients going in is very important.


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alla Puttanesca

Alla puttanesca

Alla Puttanesca

Dong some reading as well as what I learned from family, it is pasta "Whores Style".  Ok....I didn't know that prostitutes were known for their cooking.  But check out Wiki for some interesting reading.

I use to think of it as what was in the refrigerator just thrown together.  You know like a bunch of left over stuff sauteed in a pan then tossed with pasta.  After a while it became more standardized with these ingredients.

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Carbonara Spaghetti


Spaghetti Carbonara

This version is one with cream.  The classic Carbonara is made with egg, pancetta and Parmesan.  You may substitute red pepper flakes if you like instead of the black pepper.

If your not into the pancetta then try using a great smoked bacon.  Some recipes I came across use sweet peas as well.  Not classic but still great.  Click on the image and it will take your to another site Sunset which has the cream free version.

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San Marzano Tomato Marinara Sauce Recipe


San Marzano tomatoes are recognized for their fleshier pulp and low seed content. 

The flavor of these tomatoes are preferred to many for Italian cooking due to, what I feel, is their clean full sweet tomato flavor.

Many commercially available tomato products in cans are packed with salt and citric acid.  Citric acid and salt gives a higher tomato flavor perception which, for many American palates is preferred.

True San Marzano tomatoes are only found grown in the soils of the Agro Sarnese Nocerino region of Italy near Mount Vesuvius.  It is that volcanic soil combined with the genetics of the plant that produce this world renowned tomato.

Some tomato product you will find say they are from domestic sources made from San Marzano seed. True San Marzano tomatoes will have the DOP seal. DOP stands for 'Denominazione d'Origine Protetta' . In English, that's 'Denomination of Protected Origin' .

DOP is guaranteed by the European Union and was created to promote the authenticity and genuine characteristics of certain food and agricultural products across the continent.


Marinara (alla marinara ‘sailor-style’) Named so for its ease in preparation by the sailors at sea.  This great sauce is not limited to seafood and you will see it more often used as dips, on pizzas, as well as in pasta dishes.


This Marinara sauce recipe is a great base sauce for all your Italian cooking needs.  Think of it as a mother sauce.

  I will refer to this recipe in future posts.  Different than the Bolognese and Naples style ragu, it has no meat which make it perfect for vegetarian entrees like Eggplant Parmigiana.

Try this recipe simply with pasta and then explore more versions by adding a spoon full of Pesto or cream creating a Sauce Rosa!

So many possibilities once you have this mother of Italian sauces in your cooking repertoire!

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