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Red Sauce Pasta is basically an Italian dish. It is spicy, easy and quick to make and has a lot of option for variations. So read on for an amazing Red sauce pasta recipe and so much more about it.
My kids love Pasta. Be it macaroni, Penne or any type of pasta. They eat it without any fuss. And so making Red Sauce Pasta is a regular at my home. It can be prepared in just under 30 min.or even less , if you can multitask effectively.
What is Pasta?
Pasta is a very wide term. It is a type of starchy food dish made with wheat grain flour, that is made into the shapes of noodles or thin sheets, which are further shaped differently. The most common type of pasta shapes are elbow ( commonly known as macaroni ), fusilli (spiral pasta), penne, lasagne, spaghetti (noodle pasta), farfalle (bow-tie ) and fettuccine (ribbon shaped).
Pasta is a global dish now and is made everywhere, but it’s home is Italy. There are as many as about 350 types of pasta known around the world and all these pasta are known with so many different names everywhere.
The basic preparation of pasta dish includes, boiling it and then mixing it with the sauce of your choice. The two most common sauce for pasta, preferred around the world are red sauce and white sauce.
Red Sauce Pasta or Pasta Arrabiata?
Red Sauce Pasta as made in Italy is also known as Pasta Arrabiata. Arrabiata in Italian means, angry. This is a very hot sauce, which is due to the red peppers added to it. Other than that, some garlic and tomato puree is used to make the red sauce for the pasta.
Now the red sauce I made, has onions also in it. I like the taste of onions in the pasta. Finely chopped onions in red sauce gives a good chunky bite in the red sauce. Other than this, there is no difference in the red sauce pasta that I made here and Pasta Arrabiata. Infact, in India it is commonly known as red sauce pasta.
So, there isn’t much difference between these two, and if you can forgive the onions I added in the red sauce, you can definitely call it ‘Pasta Arrabiata’ but I will continue to call it as Red Sauce Pasta.
Tomatoes for Red sauce
The main ingredient for the beautiful red color in red sauce, are tomatoes. Also the base flavor of red sauce pasta comes from tomatoes. So it becomes very important to choose the correct type of tomatoes.
Now, what type of tomatoes are correct for red sauce pasta? It is very simple to understand. Tomatoes are generally tangy. So when we are using only tomatoes for the sauce, we need tomatoes with good pulp but not very tangy.
Also make sure that tomatoes are just about ripe and fresh. Over or under ripe tomatoes will give a sharp tangy taste to the sauce.
You can also use store bought tomato puree. But the best choice would be fresh tomatoes, any day.
Boiling Pasta – There are a few simple steps to be followed when you boil pasta. First let the water come to a boil. Then add a tsp of salt and oil. We add a little salt to infuse some seasoning in the pasta while boiling it. And we add oil in boiling water to help pasta not stick together after boiling.
After boiling, strain and wash the pasta thoroughly with cold water to stop further cooking of the pasta from its own heat. This is very important. Then again sprinkle some oil in pasta and toss it nicely. All these steps will make sure that the pasta doesn’t stick together.
al dente – When we boil pasta, we have to be careful to boil it ‘al dente’. We use this term ‘ al dente’ which means that the pasta should be cooked properly but it is still firm to bite. If you over cook the pasta then it will be very mushy and soft and will not hold its shape properly.
Blanching Tomatoes – For making a puree of fresh tomatoes for pasta sauce, we blanch them. For this, put a plus shape cut on the back side of the tomatoes, and put them in the hot boiling water. They should be boiled very briefly, until their skin start to peel off. After boiling, they are quickly dipped in cold water and then the skin is peeled off. Then you can either make a paste of these tomatoes or chop them roughly to use in red sauce.
Breaking the Flavor – This is quite interesting, as here you can get little creative with the flavours. Red sauce pasta is mainly tomatoes only. So in order to break the strong flavours of tomatoes, which can be too over whelming on your palate, you should add a few other ingredients.
One main ingredient that goes very well in red sauce pasta is, garlic. I like it finely chopped. This way it comes in the bite too. You can add it crushed or in paste form also.
Then to increase the spice levels, red peppers are added. Please adjust them according to your taste. Traditionally, red sauce pasta should be hot, so a lot of red peppers are added in it.
I normally add chopped onions too in red sauce. I like the bite they give with the pasta. You can decrease the quantity of onions or totally avoid them too as per your taste. But do believe me, they give a wonderful flavor to pasta.
Some people add red bell peppers too in the pasta. If you want to add them, then roast the bell peppers and chop finely to add in the red sauce.
Ginger is again a great flavor that can be added here. Just grate a little ginger in your red sauce pasta and done.
Some other interesting recipes;
- White Sauce Pasta
- How to make cream cheese at home?
- Suji Toast
- Samosa (Crunchy, market style, with all tips)
- Soya Kebabs
- Aloo Tikki (street style, super crunchy)
Recipe Video of Red Sauce Pasta
- Penne pasta – 2 cup
- Tomatoes – 3, medium
- Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
- Oil – 1.5 tbsp + 1 tsp + 1 tsp
- Garlic – 3-4, finely chopped
- salt as per taste
- Chilli flakes – 1-2 tsp
- Mixed herbs – 1 tsp
- Tomato Sauce – 1.5 tbsp
- Water as required
- Cheese for garnish
1.Boil water in a big pan and add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil in it.
2. Put pasta in hot boiling water and cook till ‘al dente’. (To know more about al dente, please read the important tips section)
3. Once done, strain the pasta and wash with cold water. Sprinkle some oil and keep aside.
4. Blanch tomatoes. Put a small cut on the back side of tomatoes.
5. Put them in hot boiling water. Cook until their skin starts to peel off.
6. Take out tomatoes, dip in cold water and then peel their skin. Blend in a jar to make paste of the tomatoes.
7. Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a pan and add chopped garlic. Saute for 30 sec.
8. Add chopped onions and salt as per taste. Now saute on medium heat for about a minute or so. Do not brown the onions.
9. Add tomato paste and cook it until the oil separates from the tomatoes.
10. It will thicken once its cooked properly. Add boiled pasta, chilli flakes and mixed herbs. Adjust salt at this stage.
11. Also add 1.5 tbsp tomato sauce and mix everything nicely. Cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
12. Garnish with cheese and serve hot.
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