How to scale up your pasta cooking skills? Are you ready to know the secret?
If you like Italian food, I mean good Italian food, you have probably discovered that each restaurant has a different and distinctive taste to their various offerings. One place might use cream in their Carbonara and others will use egg yolk and parmesan to achieve a more authentic taste.
A good chef will tell you that the key to a great pasta dish is fresh ingredients and a really great sauce. Put those elements together and you will have something truly spectacular. Actually, the truth is – the secret is in the sauce!
There are many different variations to the vast array of sauces used in Italian cooking but we will cover the main three here in this article. The humble tomato based sauce, a great tasting Carbonara and of course a thick and tasty Béchamel sauce.
The 3 Main Types of Sauces
Pasta in Marinara Sauce
The main secret to making an extremely delicious and authentic tomato based sauce is time. A great sauce will simmer for hours on a low heat to allow for all the ingredients to fuse together and compliment each other.
It is also important to use a flavoursome oil rather than a light oil. The favourite amongst chefs is the full virgin olive oil as it goes really well with the tomatoes.
Don't add any oregano or sugar to the sauce as these don't compliment the other ingredients very well at all.
Pasta in Carbonara Sauce
Ah yes, delightfully decadent and heavy carbonara. A great comfort food which can be quite tasty if done correctly.
I have been to restaurants which pilled a whole lot of cream into their carbonara. This is wrong, very wrong.
A traditional carbonara sauce doesn't contain any cream at all. It's made from eggs and oil pretty much.
Basically, you add oil to the pasta as it finishes boiling then add 2 whole eggs and one egg yolk and mix it through. Then simply add salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste.
Pasta in Béchamel Sauce
Bechamel sauce started off as an Italian white sauce but is now known as the “mother sauce” and used as a base sauce in a lot of French cuisines. For example, Mornay sauce is bechamel sauce with added cheese.
Bechamel sauce is white sauce and seems simple at first sight but it is a difficult sauce to master due to its labour intensive method to make it.
The ingredients consist of butter, flour and milk. The method is all about getting the timing right.
You start off by melting the butter in a medium heat until it starts foaming. Then you have to slowly add in the flour while constantly stirring for a couple of minutes until it bubbles.
Then remove it from the heat and add the milk slowly while stirring the whole time until it has a smooth texture. Put it back on the heat and stir for another 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
You can then add in extra flavours like cheese or spices.
There are a wide variety of Italian sauces but by using any of these as a base, you can create a lot of them. Just by adding some of your favourite spices or condiments, you will be able to achieve a lot of variety in your sauces by using one of these sauces as a base.
Ok, I hope you find this information helpful. Do stay tuned to receive more tips from us on our next blog. Enjoy the week and have fun with your cooking!
~ Author: Cooking Class Foodie Lover ~
P.S. We bring a vast variety of cooking classes, baking classes and cocktail mixology classes to your fingertips.
Fill out our enquiry form to find out the class schedule for our hands-on cooking class schedules.