Fresh Pasta Sauce Recipes That Aren't Marinara
Avocados add a silky consistency and cheese-like richness to this dairy-free pesto recipe. Toss it with pasta, spread it on baguette slices to make bruschetta, or use it for a healthy mayo substitute on your sandwich.
Garlic Scape Pesto
During the spring and early summer when garlic scapes are plentiful at farmers' markets and farmstands, this healthy garlic scape pesto recipe is a great way to enjoy their gorgeous garlicky flavor for weeks. Garlic scapes are the green, spiral-shaped sprouts that appear on the top of garlic plants in the spring. Regular garlic cloves can be used as a substitute for garlic scapes. Try the pesto with pasta, stir-fries, grilled fish, poultry or steaks or add it to scrambled eggs, soup or pasta sauces.
Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta
Diced eggplant turns tender and tasty sautéed with garlic and olive oil. Toss with fresh plum tomatoes, green olives and capers and you have a simple light summer sauce. We like it over angel hair pasta, but any type of pasta will work. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a mixed green salad.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
In the '70s, with the advent of New American cooking, sun-dried tomato pesto became something of a cliché-and was summarily forgotten on the culinary landscape. It's well worth a revival, especially when you cut down the fat and add a little vinegar for a nice spike.
Lemon-Herb Pasta with Chicken & Vegetables
Yogurt seasoned with garlic and fresh herbs replaces cream to make a healthy pasta sauce in this chicken and vegetable pasta recipe. If you don't have a grill basket, the chicken and vegetables can be grilled on skewers instead.
Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.
Basic Basil Pesto
Simplicity reigns in this traditional sauce--just basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil. Our one modification? We like omega-3-laden walnuts in the mix for their crunch and delicate flavor, but pine nuts, almonds, pecans or even pistachios may be substituted for the walnuts.
Lemony Asparagus Pasta
Penne and asparagus are bathed in a rich sauce with a slight bite of mustard, lemon and Parmesan. This dish is lovely in early spring, when asparagus is at its peak and nights are still cool enough to inspire a craving for something rich and warm.
Linguine with Creamy White Clam Sauce
Ripe tomato and fresh basil give this quick recipe tons of flavor. Serve this healthy pasta dinner with crusty garlic bread and steamed green beans.
Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas
Our healthy spaghetti carbonara recipe is lower in calories and fat than a traditional spaghetti carbonara recipe, plus it boasts 9 more grams of fiber per serving from whole-wheat pasta. For the best flavor, use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The eggs in the sauce are not fully cooked; if you're concerned about consuming undercooked eggs, use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs in this spaghetti carbonara recipe.
Salsa Palermitana (Palermo-Style Sauce)
This wine-based sauce of cherry tomatoes, olives and capers gets a tangy punch from plenty of lemon. Serve over pasta or grilled or roasted fish. Have some warm, crusty bread on hand to soak up any extra sauce.
This pesto is a great way to use fresh, flavorful spring arugula. Try tossing it with pasta, spread it on pizza instead of tomato sauce or use it as the base for a vegetable dip.
Macaroni with Sausage & Ricotta
A bit of sausage goes a long way in flavoring the creamy ricotta tomato sauce in this healthy and quick pasta recipe. Serve with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.
Alfredo di Lello, the Roman restaurateur who created his signature sauce in the 1920s, might be startled to find this streamlined version that still tastes rich enough to satisfy those deep creamy-pasta cravings. The addition of zucchini boosts the nutritional profile. And when cut into thin strands, it can be twirled gracefully on a fork
Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp
Cut some carbs and use spiralized zucchini in place of noodles in this zesty pesto pasta dish recipe. Top with Cajun-seasoned shrimp to complete this quick and easy dinner.
Spaghetti with Broccolini Pesto
Broccolini stems are quickly softened in the pasta-boiling water before being whirled with basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano into a flavorful pesto sauce in this healthy vegetarian pasta recipe. It's worth seeking out Parmigiano-Reggiano to make the pesto-its superior flavor elevates the final dish. Edamame bumps up the protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Lemon-Garlic Sardine Fettuccine
Even sardine skeptics will enjoy this lemony pasta with crispy breadcrumbs. Substitute two 5- to 6-ounce cans chunk light tuna for the sardines if you prefer. If you are using tuna or can't find sardines packed in tomato sauce, add 2 tablespoons tomato paste in Step 4 with the lemon juice. Serve with a salad of bitter greens tossed with a lemon vinaigrette and a glass of Pinot Grigio.
Iberian-Style Sausage & Chicken Ragu
This hearty sausage and chicken ragù was inspired by a fabulous stew Bruce Aidells enjoyed when he was traveling in Spain. Serve it over a heartier pasta, such as whole-wheat penne, or gnocchi. Garnish with grated sheep's-milk cheese, such as Manchego.
Rag alla Bolognese (Classic Bolognese Meat Sauce)
This is a version of the famous meat sauce of Emilia Romagna, of which Bologna is the capital. Giuliano Hazan's family is from Emilia Romagna, and he learned to make Bolognese sauce from his mother, Marcella, who learned it from her grandmother, Mary. Its classic pairing is with homemade tagliatelle or pappardelle but it's also very good with rigatoni, shells or any substantial pasta shape, preferably one with ridges, that has nooks and cavities to trap the sauce. Adapted from How to Cook Italian by Giuliano Hazan; Scribner, 2005.
Lamb & Eggplant Ragu
Lamb and eggplant are combined in dishes throughout the Mediterranean. Together they deliver a complex, hearty, earthy flavor that's truly satisfying. In this dish, toasted pine nuts and tangy feta cheese are excellent accents.
Roasted Cherry Tomato & Sage Sauce
There are endless ways to use this sage-flecked roasted cherry tomato sauce recipe: serve with baked fish, spread it on a panini or simply toss it with whole-wheat pasta for an instant, quick and flavorful dinner.
Pesto Trapanese (Tomato & Almond Pesto)
In a twist on classic pesto, this healthy recipe uses less oil than a traditional basil pesto, includes tomatoes and subs almonds for pine nuts. Try it tossed with whole-wheat pasta or slathered over grilled chicken or fish.