Pasta Recipe red sauce (Marinara Sauce)
Pasta recipe red sauce or marinara sauce is one of the most popular dishes in the world that is eaten all across the globe on a daily basis. Originally Pasta comes from Italy, and usually it is drawn into thin noodles (spaghetti) or shaped In different shapes (like penne, macaroni or fusilli), these are the commonly available shapes in India but there are many more pastas available in Italy like ravioli, farfalle and many more, and each one gives your palette a new and unique flavor that you have never experienced before.
In India, the red sauce we usually make is a sauce that is made with blanched tomato puree and garlic and aromatics toasted in butter and adding puree and simmered to desired consistency, but in authentic Italian pasta sauce preparation there are some additional steps and tips and tricks that will make your red sauce pasta stand out from the normal home cooked pasta and taste just like you ordered it from your favorite restaurant or café.
About this recipe
- Red Sauce Pasta is an easy-to-make yet very delicious version of pasta in a delicious commonly known white sauce – Authentically known as Marinara sauce.
- In this recipe we simply prepare the marinara sauce – a mixture of butter, garlic, onion and aromatic spices and stir it in with your cooked pasta.
- This popular dish is absolutely vegetarian and it can be served as an appetizer or even as dinner when served along with toasted bread.
- You can add some mixed vegetables to make it more filling and nutritious. Some vegetables that go great with this recipe are carrots, green peas, French beans, cauliflower, peppers (capsicum), sweet corn, broccoli, zucchini or baby corn.
- When preparing any pasta dish, whole durum wheat pasta is always a great healthy choice. I have used whole wheat pasta in this recipe, however, you can use any pasta you prefer
- Adding mixed vegetables to this classic pasta dish is a great way to have your family some veggies along with their pasta. These vegetables can be steamed, cooked, sautéed or roasted.
Ingredients you will need to prepare the Marinara sauce pasta –
For Cooking Pasta
- 1 cup durum wheat pasta or 100 grams durum wheat pasta
- 4-5 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt or add as per your required taste
For White Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 2 tablespoons garlic , chopped ( You Can Opt for paste if you wish to avoid garlic bits in the pasta)
- 4-5 big red tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup boiled pasta water ( You Can add any other liquids like vegetable stock also, but pasta water goes best)
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder or add as required
- ¼ teaspoon or a generous pinch of nutmeg or grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt or as per your required taste
- ¼ teaspoon dry oregano
- ¼ teaspoon fresh basil (you can use dried basil if fresh is not available)
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or ¾ to 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- any herbs of your choice or some spring onion greens
- parmesan cheese or grated cheddar cheese or any other cheese available in market ( I usually use Mozzarella and cheddar mix cheese)– add as required (optional , Totally skip if you wish to make this dish healthier)
How to make Red sauce pasta
A.) Cooking pasta
- Boil 4 cups water with ½ teaspoon salt in a pan
- When the water comes to a boil, add 1 cup penne pasta.
- Cook the pasta on a medium to high flame, it may take 8-10 minutes for the pasta to completely cook.
- When the pasta gets done to an al dente (cooked but chewy) texture, switch off the flame. For a softer texture, cook the pasta a little longer, Strain the pasta with a strainer spoon.
- B) Making the Marinara sauce
- Take a non-stick saucepan and heat it. Make sure to keep the flame to low-medium and add 2 tablespoons butter. You can use any butter you can find in market.
- When the butter melts and starts to bubble, then add 2 tablespoon garlic chopped or paste as per your choice.
- Now we need to stir the garlic in the butter as quickly as you add it. Make sure you keep on stirring so that garlic does not get burnt and frequent stirring helps the garlic to cook evenly.
The garlic will begin to show frothing and bubbling up during this process. Keep Sautéing it until you get a nice cooked aroma and the garlic is a pale golden colour. Don’t brown/burn the garlic too much.
- Take a Medium onion and chop it , and add to the pan, toast it until the same goes golden brown (this will give it the café like aroma and taste). Stir frequently while the onion cooks.
- Keep the flame on low and then pour 2 cup blanched tomato puree in the pan with one hand slowly and keep stirring the sauce mixture with the other. The puree should be done finely, so that lumps do not form.
- On a low flame, simmer the sauce until it thickens. When the sauce has thickened well and coats the back of a spoon, switch off the flame.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the seasonings – ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder, a generous pinch of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg , ½ teaspoon chilli flakes and salt as required.
For a cheesy version of this pasta recipe red sauce, you can add 2 tablespoons of grated mixed cheese. I prefer a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
- Mix very well, and set the sauce aside. Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken as it cools, so keep the consistency accordingly.
- Then add pasta to the red marinara sauce.
- Add ¼ teaspoon each of dried oregano, dried basil and dried thyme. Or add your choice of herbs. At this step you can add some steamed, cooked, sautéed or roasted veggies if you’d like. Mix very well.
- Serve Red Marinara sauce pasta garnished with some fresh herbs like parsley, chives or dill. You can also garnish with some grated cheddar cheese.
Tips to keep in mind while making the pasta-
- Stirring and mixing garlic and onions:After you add the garlic, you need to keep on stirring often so that garlic is not burnt. Frequently stirring the garlic also cooks the same evenly. You will notice the garlic frothing and bubbling when you sauté it. You have to sauté flour until you the garlic gets a pale golden colour with a nutty aroma
- Red sauce free of lumps:To make a lump-free sauce, use fine puree. Tomato puree with chunks causes lumps in the sauce which ruins the taste.
- Burnt sauce : Make sure the garlic and onion for the sauce does not turn dark brown or burn and avoid keeping the flame at a high temperature as it will make the sauce bitter
- Checking whether the white sauce is perfect consistency:When you see that the sauce is thick enough that it coats the back of the spoon, it has thickened well. Also make sure the sauce is not too thin or else the pasta will seem like a curry or stew.
- For a cheesy version of pasta recipe red sauce:Add 2 tablespoons of freshly grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese for a cheesy Red sauce. You can add 1-2 tablespoon of any grated cheese (but if you are in love with cheese like me you can add as much as you would like).
- Herbs & Veggies: You can add both fresh herbs and dried herbs of your choice. When you add the herbs, you can also add steamed, roasted or sautéed veggies
Some Questions You may have regarding the pasta recipe red sauce-
- Can you not make this pasta if you are vegan? : Absolutely not, you just need to replace butter with any butter alternative you may want to, and it works very nicely in the recipe. Just cook on a low heat so that it does not split or becomes grainy. Also replace butter with any butter alternative you may want to.
- How can I add chicken to this dish? : You can roast, grill, bake or sauté your chicken in any spices you want and add this as a good source of protein in the dish. You can also add any seafood like salmon, shrimp, prawns or anything else you would like to.
- How can I make this pasta recipe red sauce dish healthy? : You can add some mixed vegetables to make it more filling and nutritious. Some vegetables that go great with this recipe are carrots, green peas, French beans, cauliflower, peppers (capsicum), sweet corn, broccoli, zucchini or baby corn. Adding mixed vegetables to this classic pasta dish is a great way to have your family some veggies along with their pasta. These vegetables can be steamed, cooked, sautéed or roasted.
Some Nutritional Facts about pasta –
- Pasta is a good source of folic acid which is a key nutrient in a woman’s childbearing years.
- Pasta is a low-fat and high-carbohydrate food.
- Lycopene, a naturally abundant antioxidant found in tomatoes is another benefit to eating pasta topped with the traditional sauce.
- Pasta contributes six of the eight essential amino acids to the diet; however, when combined with dairy, meat, or other complementary protein foods, the protein available is a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids.
This concludes my pasta recipe red sauce in marinara, do let me know in the comments if you tried this recipe and how it turned out or if you have any suggestions, I really hope you would check out my social media pages here for more such content and read my blogs here , Thank you for reading so far , please provide me any feedback you wish to , I would really appreciate it.