Just about anyone can cook perfect pasta with a little practice, but the true art to cooking Italian pasta dishes is in the sauces. The sauces are what make those dishes melt in your mouth and satisfy with every swallow, right down to your stomach. You can’t really pull the best sauces off a shelf and out of a can. Any Italian cook will tell you that creating the best sauces requires a bit of work and a bit of patience, but the reward is well worth the effort. Here are a few hints which you can apply to just about any sauce recipe to give it the flavor it deserves.
Use High-Quality Ingredients
Pasta is inexpensive, but you don’t want to skimp on the sauce. The high-quality ingredients are what fill the sauce with just the right array of flavors and textures. Everything needs to be fresh. If your local supermarket doesn’t have the right ingredients, such as Tuttorosso tomato puree instead of Hunts, purchase the ingredients online. Each item will be more expensive, but your sauce will be really special – a treat to form new family traditions around. Grated cheese and good cuts of meat are also important ingredients to invest in. Go to a real butcher and visit the artisan cheese counter to get the best.
Give it Time
Once you have cooked and combined all the ingredients in your recipe, it’s important to give the sauce a great deal of time to simmer and set. This is what infuses the flavor into the meat and melds all the ingredients together in one fine dish. You typically want to cook the sauce for at least three hours, and up to five depending on the thickness desired. Some cooks would even tell you to cook it overnight.
Spices and meat will give your sauce a rich, spicy flavor to balance the sweet tanginess of the tomatoes. Salt, pepper, basil, and oregano are simple spices that add a lot of punch. Use Italian sweet and hot sausage, meatballs, braciole, and steak to pack your sauce full of iron and flavor. Simmering the meat in the sauce for an extended period of time will help each cut grow tender and juicy, merging their own flavor with the flavor of the sauce. Pour it over pasta, and enjoy!