5 Pasta Dishes to think you are back in Italy.





Pasta is also commonly used to refer to the variety of pasta dishes, however pasta is typically the noodle made from an unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour mixed with water or eggs and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked by boiling or baking. 

But what is more important is what makes the pasta so tasty and that is the number of different sauces that we top our pasta with. They can be as simple as a tomato Napoli Sauce or as extravagant as Crab and Truffle Sauce. Whatever the sauce is, it is the reason we love the variety Pasta offers us. Our Galley has chosen 5 Pasta Sauces to share in this blog, that will take you back to Rome.


If you are staying away from carbs you will enjoy our use of  Zucchini spirals, all our sauces are suitable for use with vegetable spirals, they are a great alternative. 

1. Ragù Bolognese - Authentic Bolognese Sauce


Bolognese sauce known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese or simply ragù, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy, hence the name. It is the most common of sauces known outside of Italy enjoyed as a favourite in most families.

Serves 4


Ingredients

250 g Minced beef (good quality)
250 g Minced pork  (good quality)
125 g finely Diced Pancetta 
90 ml  Extra virgin olive oil 
1 Onion finely chopped
1 Carrot finely chopped
2 Celery stalks with some leaves finely chopped
4 garlic cloves finely diced
400 ml of HOT beef stock
150 ml White wine 
100 ml Sieved tomatoes (passata di pomodoro)
150 ml Milk 
Salt and black ground pepper for seasoning

Optional: You can add as many vegetables as you like. This recipe is great to hide vegetables from kids. Just make sure you dice them finely and sauté them until soft.

Let’s get Cooking

To start, you need two sauté pots.
Put 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of olive oil in each pan.
Heat the olive oil in the larger pan on medium/high heat. 
When the oil is hot, put all the mince and diced meat, pancetta, beef and pork into the pan with the garlic.
Stir with a spatula and at the same time press the meat down in order to break it up. 
Keep stirring and pressing down until all the meat has browned.
Browning the meat could take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the heat. 
Give the meat a nice brown colour, but watch you do not burn it.
When you see that the meat is browned, add the white wine.
Let the wine evaporate, use the spatula to scrape the bottom and side of the pan so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
After about 2 minutes, bring the heat to very low and leave the pan with the meat alone.
While the meat is cooking on a very low heat, heat the olive oil in the second pan on medium/high heat. 
When the oil is hot, add all the chopped vegetables into the pan.
Stir and sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes until they are soft.
Then, add all the vegetables into the larger pan containing the meat.  
Raise the heat a bit. From very low, bring it to low/medium and stir for few seconds so that the meat and vegetables are evenly distributed.
Then, add the passata and stir.
Season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper.
Continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
Add the hot stock to cover the sauce. 
Bring the heat to very low.
Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 
(This is where I transfer mine to my Thermos cooker (ShuttleChef) and let it cook for a further 2 hours).
After 1 hour of simmering on stove top, remove the lid and continue simmering for another couple of hours, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to the right consistency having completed the third hour, the sauce should have lost most of the water and should be ready to top the pasta.
1/2 an hour prior to the third hour of simmering. Season with salt according to taste. 
Immediately after the seasoning, add the milk. 
Stir and continue simmering until you have reached the end of the third hour. Now, since you added the milk, it could be that you need some extra simmering to bring the sauce to the right consistency. Do not be worried about simmering for an extra half an hour or more, if required, because the more you simmer the better.
Finally, we have got the ragù alla bolognese. 
To Serve: You can top pasta, you can use it for lasagne or put part of the sauce in the freezer (for up to 3 months).

Please – please – use only freshly grated authentic parmesan. It makes all the difference in the world.


2. Spicy prawn Pasta Sauce


Pasta tossed with juicy prawns and a rich spicy tomato sauce! Super quick for midweek, the secret ingredients in this recipe is the chilli flakes and parmesan which provides that extra taste of Italy.

Serves 2


Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
chilli flakes a large pinch
400 grm tin chopped tomatoes 
l150 grm Linguine 
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
150 grm raw prawns (Peel them leaving the heads and tails on)
Parmesan cheese and rocket salad to serve

Let's get Cooking

Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the shallots and fry for 2 minutes before adding the garlic and chilli flakes.
Fry for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes until saucy.
Cook the linguine in boiling salted water until just tender, then drain.
Stir the parsley and the prawns into the tomato base, season well and cook until the prawns turn pink.
Add the cooked linguine, toss.


To Serve: serve pasta with a sprinkle of cheese and serve with a rocket salad dressed with your favourite Balsamic Vinegar.


3. Napoli Pasta Sauce


The most important step in making a good Napoli sauce is in selecting the right tomatoes. In the Italian summer tomatoes are in abundance so they are preserved uncooked in bottles or jars so they can be cooked in the winter. If you can't have fresh tomatoes choose the best Passata you will be pleased you did.

Serves 4


Ingredients

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 or 5 cloves fresh garlic
1 small Onion finely diced
small bunch of fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped 
1 can of chopped tomatoes or (12 fresh Roma tomatoes skinned, diced and deseeded + 2 tbs of tomato paste mixed with 4 tbs of Water)
1 ½ tsp salt
3 or 4 large leaves of fresh basil
Fresh Parmesan to grate

Options: ½ cup of diced red capsicum 

Cooked pasta of your choice for 4

Let's get Cooking 

To enjoy with pasta as soon as the sauce is ready, put a large pot of salted water on the cooktop over high heat and cook the pasta as directed on packet (if you are using egg or a very quick cooking pasta, do this step about half-way through these directions). 

Pour the oil into  large sauté pan (not a deep pot) over medium high heat. 
Crush the garlic and add it to the oil add the onion and sauté until onion is clear. 
Optional:  if you want a spicy sauce, you can add some diced capsicum, at this point, then add the parsley.
Turn the heat up to high.
Now add the tomatoes and tomato paste, quickly cover with the lid for about 30 seconds, until the squirting subsides. 
Stir with a wooden spoon and lower the heat a little. It is important that this sauce is cooked at a fast simmer, as it is cooked briefly. 
Add the salt and continue to simmer (with the lid off) at a fast pace, and stir often.
The sauce will thicken quickly, so do not overcook it, and have it become too thick; about 5 to 7 minutes should be sufficient.
Taste the sauce, add a little more salt if required. Turn off the heat and add the fresh basil (I tear mine into pieces). 
Note: do not wash your basil. Wipe it with a damp paper towel instead, so the water doesn’t ruin the flavour and aroma.

To serve: Place the pasta in your serving bowl and top with your Napoli sauce. Top with some freshly grated authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and freshly ground pepper. You now have an authentic Italian tomato sauce Enjoy!

4. Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta


This Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta is one for all those days when nothing but a creamy pasta will do. 

Serves 4


Ingredients

1 Chicken Breast diced
4 Bacon Middle Rashes diced
250 grams of penne pasta
350 grams of Full Cream
1 Onion sliced
2 Garlic Cloves sliced
1 tbs of Italian Herb Mix
1 cup of White Wine
1 cup of water
100 grams of Butter cut into 4 cubes
Fresh parsley and Parmesan Cheese to serve.

Let's get Cooking

In a heavy based pot on medium heat melt 1/4 of the butter. Add the onion, garlic and herb mix. Cook whilst stirring until onion is clear. Add the chicken and bacon cook for a further 5 minutes whilst stirring in a further 1/4 of the butter. Add the pasta with the next 1/4 of butter stir through to combine and coat pasta. Add white wine and cook to evaporate alcohol .

Add the cream and stir to combine all ingredient. Lower heat to simmer with lid on. Maintain a visual over pot stirring occasionally as the liquid evaporates add a little water at a time. You may use less or more water that is Cook pasta until cooked approx 15 minutes. Again this can be less or more time depending on pasta.
To Serve: sprinkle with cheese and fresh parsley.


5. Zucchini Seafood Marinara 


A classic, easy seafood pasta made using a seafood marinara mix tossed through a simple, tasty tomato sauce. Made the real proper Italian way, this Seafood Marinara Sauce is on the table in minutes!

Serves 2


Ingredient


2 Red Capsicum diced finely
250 grms of mixed seafood marinara
1 tbs of your favourite Italian herb mix
2 garlic cloves finely diced
1/2 white onion diced finely
2 tbs olive oil for cooking
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

3 Zucchini spiral cut


Let's get cooking


In heavy based pan melt oil, add onion, garlic and herb mix, combine well.
Cook until onion is clear
Add seafood mix cook for 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, simmer but do not boil.
Continue cooking for further 5 minutes.
Whilst Sauce is simmering. Plunge Zucchini into boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove immediately and plunge into cold water.
To serve. Combine sauce and zucchini carefully not to break the zucchini. Place onto to plates and top with grated cheese.


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