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Five Classic Italian Tomato Sauces

March is National Sauce Month!

March is National Sauce Month!

Winter is coming to an end, but it’s not time to cut out the pasta just yet. With nights still cool and the addition of some heavy vegetable sauces, these tomato sauce recipes can help keep Italian on the menu throughout the spring and into summer.  


With its racy name – puttanesca delivers a bold flavor thanks to a mix of briny, tangy ingredients like olives, capers, anchovies, or pickled vegetables. When mixed with tomatoes, this creates a salty, hearty sauce fitting for a simple pasta in the warmer weather.


If your family red sauce starts with a base of browned ground beef, it’s likely that its a take on bolognese. Ground meat (of any type) cooked with olive oil, garlic, and onion is simmered with tomatoes to create a rich sauce that is enhanced with the fat of the meat. Other additions to this type of sauce can include a mix of herbs, a few pats of butter, or a hearty glug of red wine.  

Alla Norma

From the Catania, Sicily region, pasta alla norma is an eggplant heavy dish that offers a hefty dose of vegetables along with the tomato-rich base. It’s rumored that the recipe was developed as a tribute to composer Vincenzo Bellini after his successful opera.  

Marinara with Meatballs

Perhaps the most classic style of pasta of all – marinara with meatballs has become almost American with how classic it is. The flavors of celery, garlic, oregano, and the hearty flavors of meat, tomato, and parmesan all mingle to form an umami-rich flavor explosion.

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce

It’ll still be a little while before flavorful and fun looking heirloom tomatoes are available again (depending on where you are), but this is the perfect recipe to save for later. While simple, a few quality ingredients help to make this sauce shine. Heirloom tomatoes, basil, and garlic come together with a little salt, pepper and olive oil to create a bright and bold sauce.

Visit Basta Pasta This Weekend 

For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, Perry Hall, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t feel like going out, order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!

This entry was posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2019 at 10:42 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.