World’s Best Pasta Sauce

Must Try

Recipes To Make Using Spaghetti Sauce

How To Make The World’s Best Pasta Sauce |

Aside from the obvious reason , my favorite thing about pasta sauce is that it is so versatile. Here are a few ideas for ways to enjoy it!

  • Pour it over the top of cooked noodles of any kind.
  • Use it in place of store-bought sauce in your next pan of Baked Spaghetti or Baked Ziti!
  • Lasagna and Cheesy Manicotti are both sooo good when made with Instant Pot spaghetti sauce!
  • Use it as an ingredient to stuffed spaghetti squash with!
  • Add it to your morning eggs because everything tastes great with eggs.

These Are The Italian Pasta Sauces You’ll Come Back To Again And Again

  • Email

When it comes to pasta, size and shape matter. There are so many pasta shapes and we really dont get bored of talking about them because each one holds onto sauce in its own wonderful waybecasue of those little nooks and ridges, the spirals, the holes, the surface irregularities, and the curves that are unique to each and every shape. And we all agree that even the greatest shape is nothing without its accompanying sauce.

These saucy pasta dishes are the ones we come back to time and time again. Some of these dishes have been passed down through the ages by generations of Italians, thereby earning their rightful place in the sauced pasta canon. Are there other great Italian sauces and pasta types not on this list? Of course. But these are some standouts to start with as you cook your way through this year’s Starch Madness tournament.

Bertolli Tomato & Basil

Ingredients: Diced Tomatoes in Juice , Tomato Purée , Basil, Sugar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Onions, Salt, Garlic, Spices, Natural Flavors

Appearance & Consistency: Bertolli’s sauce is like Christmas all bottled up: It’s chock full of green basil flakes floating around in a deep red, extra chunky sauce.

Taste: Popping this jar open was like sticking my nose directly into a basil plant. Unfortunately, the nauseating level of sweetness overpowered both the bright basil and tomato.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

I wish this sauce were lower in sugar because it had massive potentialbefore I dolloped the stuff onto a slice of toast. The lumpiness also didn’t work in Bertolli’s favor.

Don’t Miss: Raising Cane’s Sauce For Sale

Cucina Antica Tomato Basil

Ingredients: Imported Italian San Marzano Tomatoes, Tomatoes , Onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt, Basil, White Pepper, Black Pepper

Appearance & Consistency: As contradictory as it seems, Cucina Antica somehow managed to make a sauce that’s simultaneously chunky and runny.

Taste: Tough the basil shreds were visible to the eye, they were undetectable to the taste buds. Unfortunately, this sauce was lacking the authentic flavor its packaging foreshadowed.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Considering the rustic labeling and Italian name that translates to “antique kitchen,” I expected this sauce to boast more pronounced Mediterranean flavors. Rather than getting a refreshing whiff of tomato and basil, my nostrils were hit with an unpalatable dish detergent scent. My colleague also affirmed that the taste is almost Windex-like. What in the world? To say the least, I was confused.

The World’s Best Pasta


In Italy’s little-known Abruzzo, a handful of legendary factories produce extraordinary dried pasta. These eight classic recipes show why it’s so good.

COOKING THE PASTA FOR OUR MIDDAY MEAL was a serious matter in Abruzzo, the region of Italy where I grew up. At age five, I was assigned to the pasta watch. Every day at noon I would stand at a strategically placed window and wait for the arrival of Uncle Filippo. The moment he appeared at the corner of the piazza, I would run to the kitchen and order the plunging of the pasta into the boiling water, which stood at the ready.

The pasta going into our pot on most days was the dried type from a local factory. Although Annina, our family cook, would make her own fresh pasta on special occasions , like all Italians she’d turn to dried pasta whenever she wanted to toss together a light meal. And Abruzzo produces some of the best dried pasta anywhere–and exports it around the world.

Despite the fame of its pasta, Abruzzo itself is little known. Like most of Italy, this region just east of Rome is packed with vineyards, olive trees, Roman ruins and Romanesque churches. The area along the Adria

The following pasta recipes are from cookbook author Anna Teresa Callen and FOOD & WINE Associate Test Kitchen Director Marcia Kiesel.

Text and some recipes by Anna Teresa Callen, a cooking teacher and the author of four cookbooks, including Food and Memories of Abruzzo, Italy’s Pastoral Land .

Also Check: Mussels In White Wine Sauce

Want The Best Brands For Your Pantry The Taste Of Home Test Kitchen Put Them To The Testthis Time Trying 11 Pasta Sauces Find Out Which Brands Are Best

Claire Krieger/Taste of Home

When it comes to pasta sauce, we all enjoy the homemade stuff just like Mom used to make, but we dont always have the time. Thats why knowing a good store-bought brand is so crucial. A good jar of marinara can make weeknight dinners easy and delicious. Our culinary and editorial teams wanted to find this perfect jarred sauce, so we tested 11 brandssome standards and a few that were totally new to us.

Tricks To Making A Great Sauce Even Better

Even the best store-bought spaghetti sauce might taste just a little bit better if you enhance it with a few extra ingredients, so dont be afraid to add a pinch of this or a dash of that to help make the flavor better.

  • Sugar. Is the sauce bitter? Try adding just a pinch of sugar in the mix to help neutralize the acidity.

In Italy, typical homemade tomato sauce known as conserva di Pomodoro or passata di pomodoro is quite simple and plain. You remove the tomato skins, use a food mill to grind the tomatoes, add some basil and olive oil, and cook. Thats it.

Other ingredients are added later, once the sauce has been canned and then re-opened for use. Many add in salt, pepper, onions, garlic and any preferred spices.

  • Garlic & Onions. Onions and garlic in powder form or even pressed is a good way to add some pizzazz to a sauce, but make sure you sauté them on low heat for a few minutes to prevent them from causing heartburn.

Before you add the sauce, pour in about a Tablespoon or so of water and turn the heat up to let it evaporate this is done by many in Italy to help make the onions and garlic more digestible.

  • Spices. Add some of your favorite spices to the mix such as oregano, salvia, chili powder or thyme.
  • Meat. Browned meat will turn that sauce into a ragu, which is what tomato sauce with meat is called in Italy.

Don’t Miss: Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Chili Sauce

Dont Hate On Great Grandmas Pasta Sauce

As you can see in the comments section below, there was some haterade on this pasta sauce.

There is a multitude of ways to make pasta sauce. I am not claiming this is THE right and ONLY way to make it.

This is how his family makes it.

If this isnt the way your Italian grandmother or mother or whatever makes itplease dont yell at me and tell me so.

Recipes are passed down from generations for a reason.

Every recipe is different. Every recipe is modified for each family.

There noright way to make something. That is why recipes bring such joy in the kitchen they can be changed up.

Im bringing this up because of comments Ive gotten about this recipe and thus have turned off commenting for that very reason.

The Best Tomato Sauce In The World

Worlds Best Bolognese Pasta Sauce | Cooking Italian with Joe

Its hard to believe that the recipe for the best tomato sauce in the world has only three ingredients, but its true! Make it today and rock your worldtomato sauce-wise.

So, apparently I am the among the last people on the planet to find out about this incredibly amazing, incredibly easy tomato sauce. When I think of all the many years of my life that have gone by without having this sauce, it makes me want to hide under the covers. But as they say, better late than never, and now I get to make up for lost time. Silver lining!

If you, like me, havent heard of this great great great sauce, here are the key things to know.

First, it tastes AMAZING. I might have mentioned that. Second, it only involves three ingredients and less than an hour of cooking.

Ingredient number one: tomatoes. You can use fresh or you can use canned. Which means you can make it all year round. Which I plan to do.

Second ingredient: an onion. You peel it and cut it in half and let it simmer in the saucebut then you take it out at the end, so you are just getting a subtle taste of it.

Third ingredient? BUTTER. Because everything is better with butter.

Not THIS much butter, but this was the picture I had of butter, so I thought what the heck. It gets the point across.

Boil up some pasta and ladle it on. You can sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and fresh pepper if you want, but you dont have to. Honestly, you almost dont even need the pasta.

You May Like: Panda Express Sweet Chili Sauce

What We Looked For In Best Spaghetti Sauce

Each pasta sauce was tested blindly and judged according to these criteria:

  • Flavor: The right combination of tomato, garlic, herbs and olive oil is what makes a marinara sauce so satisfying. The best sauce should have all these ingredients in perfect harmony.
  • Texture: What was the texture like? Rustic and a bit chunky? Thin and smooth? Our Test Kitchen wanted a sauce somewhere in the middle.
  • Appearance: A good sauce should be a rich red color with visible herbs and even garlic. It should look great heaped over a pile of spaghetti with meatballs or spooned into a casserole for an easy lasagna.

Tips For Storing Leftovers & Freezing

Store & keep fresh: Let sauce cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container or glass jars. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.

How to freeze: First, let the sauce cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container or freezer-friendly ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

You May Like: Coney Sauce For Hot Dogs

Spaghetti Sauce Marinara Sauce And Pizza Sauce Whats The Difference

The main difference between the 3 of these sauces is the spices used and the cooking method.

Spaghetti/Pasta sauce is a slow simmer sauce that has a few herbs like basil involved. This is usually a thicker sauce, and you usually add meats and peppers to it. This would never go over a pizza.

The marinara sauce is usually a quick-cooking sauce that only cooks for an hour or less. has a sweeter, deeper flavor. This can be used over pasta or even over pizza.

Pizza sauce is an uncooked tomato sauce. Pizza sauce is typically made with tomato pasta or thicker tomato sauce. It uses different spices from spaghetti sauce, featuring oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, onion powder, and sugar.

Other Italian Recipes

If you love this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, you will love some of our other Italian recipes:

  • Heat the olive oil in a 5+ qt. pot over medium heat, and add the onion.
  • Saute for 10 minutes or so, stirring often and being careful not to burn it.
  • Add the chopped or pressed garlic.
  • Heat for another one to two minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic, then add all the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, basil, and sugar. Stirring often, bring to a low boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours stirring often.
  • For the first half of the simmer time, do so with the pot uncovered, then cover.
  • Add the cheese, stir in and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.
  • This will make the equivalent of 4-5 jars of sauce, and the cost is probably about half .

The Sauce Is Perfect For Home Cooks With Little Time

Jo Mama

Food writer Felicity Cloake suggests the more classic use of olive oil in tomato sauce. She also puts in a pinch of sugar and some red wine vinegar.

The thing to do is experiment. Garlic or no garlic, parsley or thyme or basil or rosemary, as long as the tinned tomatoes are good and there’s parmesan on the table, we imagine people will be well fed.

One thing’s for certain, though Marcella’s advice is an ideal time-saver and perfect for amateur cooks with busy families.

And if you do decide to put tomatoes on to cook, remember:

– don’t boil your sauce, simmer it

– add a ladle-full of pasta water to the sauce

– lots of salt in the pasta water

– no need for oil! If pasta sticks, it’s overcooked

– and always add the pasta to the sauce, not the other way around

Read more

You May Like: How To Make Louisiana Hot Sauce

Orecchiette Con Le Cime Di Rapa

A product of Puglias cucina povera, or poor cuisine, this dish relies on ingredients that are inexpensive and easily accessible to the people of the region, like broccoli rabe and breadcrumbs made from stale bread. We start by quickly blanching the leaves and florets of the broccoli rabe, helping them tenderize while keeping their color, and then putting them to the side. The orecchiette is then cooked in the same liquid while garlic, anchovies, and chile flakes cook in olive oil. These three components are finished together and topped with the breadcrumbs instead of cheesean ingredient that was historically expensive for use in cucina poverafor a satisfying mix of bitter, peppery, and savory flavors.

Simple Steps To Avoid An Acidic Sauce

Use quality tomatoes: as stated above, this is the first step to ensure your sauce is less acidic. Use quality San Marzano Italian tomatoes for your sauce to be rich and sweet in flavor!

Add a carrot to simmer in the sauce: this is something my mother always did and is very traditional in Italian sauces. The sweetness of the carrot releases its flavor and naturally absorbs any acidic flavors from the tomatoes. How to: remove the stem, peel the carrot skin off, and place the whole carrot into the sauce to simmer. Remove carrot once the sauce is finished.

Use stainless steel: whenever making tomato sauce, its important to choose the right pot. My top recommendations for sauce are stainless steel. Any other pot like non-stick or cast iron can cause the acid in the tomatoes to mix with the metal and results in an unpleasant metallic taste.

Also Check: Slap Your Mama Bbq Sauce

What Makes Great Grandmas Pasta Sauce So Special

My friend told me that for every Christmas and get together, his grandmother used to make her famous pasta dish.

Its made with this homemade pasta sauce that simmers on the stove for hours.

This pasta sauce is like liquid gold.

Its the most delicious, rich, flavorful, pasta sauce Ive ever had in my entire life.

This pasta sauce was actually from his great grandmother who came over from Italy. YOU KNOW its good when its from a legit Italian. Not some Chef Boyardee character.

The secret to this sauce is the simmering process.

Low and slow, baby. Thats how all the flavors develop and marry one another in a sweet, luscious concoction.

If you want to taste what the Italians are so blessed with over in Italy, I suggest you give this pasta sauce a try. You wont ever go back to your plain ol marinara that you thought was good. This sauce here is genius.

And genuine.

How We Graded Them

World’s Best Tomato Pasta Sauce | Cooking Italian with Joe

Here are the four metrics we used to determine each sauce’s final grade:


We know that a dish of comforting pasta can be easily tarnished by a sauce that’s stuffed with extra calories, sodium, and sugar. But what about fat? Tomatoes are brimming with vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that requires some healthy oil for your body to fully reap its benefits. To sift the good sauces from the bad, make sure your pick packs omega-3-rich olive oil rather than inflammatory soybean and canola oils.

Clean Ingredients

The perfect pasta sauce requires a little more than just a fresh batch of tomatoes. We commend brands that blend aromatic spices and heart-healthy oils into their sauces but frown upon those that use inflammatory oils and unnecessary additives.

Appearance & Consistency

Pasta sauce should coat your noodles and effortlessly cling to your casserole’s crevices. A thin and runny one simply won’t do the trick and won’t hold any flavor.


Probably the utmost important factor, taste plays a significant role when it comes to which sauce we decide to slather on our spaghetti. A winning marinara should be bursting with fresh flavors, boast a delicate sweet to salty to tart balance, and complement rather than overpower your culinary creation.

You May Like: Best Hot Sauce For Bloody Mary

What Is The Difference Between Marinara Sauce And Spaghetti Sauce

I know they look and smell the same, but is basically tomato sauce with aromatics such as herbs and onion, whereas spaghetti sauce is usually made with meat and vegetables. Then theres also a Bolognese sauce, which usually includes carrots, wine and/or milk. This particular recipe is sort of a cross between all three!

Helpful Hints For A Perfect Spaghetti Sauce:

1.) Pick the right crushed tomatoes.

There are so many ways to make sure your sauce can be perfect every time. You first need to start with the best quality crushed tomatoes. When you buy your crushed tomatoes, make sure that you are buying ones that do not have any seasoning added. Often times you can buy crushed tomatoes with basil and salt already added, which can throw off the taste when you take into account the spices I add to my tomatoes.

You also want to decide if you like a chunky or smooth spaghetti sauce. We prefer a smooth sauce, so I like to buy Tuttorosso or Hunts crushed tomatoes. If you prefer a chunky sauce, you may want to use whole tomatoes or buy a chunky canned crushed tomato.

2.) Add Ground Beef or Italian sausage.

You can easily add ground beef or Italian sausage to this sauce. We typically brown it before adding it to the sauce. Another thing that we like to add is the big sausage links. That way, if the kids dont like them they can pick them out without it affecting the entire pot of sauce.

3.) Use canned crushed or fresh tomatoes.

When using canned tomatoes vs fresh tomatoes there are a few things to consider. If you are growing your own tomatoes at home, it is obviously going to be cheaper to make a sauce using your own tomatoes. You will need approx 15 medium-sized tomatoes to equal 3 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes.

Lets take a look at how to make a homemade spaghetti sauce using fresh tomatoes.

You May Like: New York Times Barbecue Sauce

Popular Recipes

More Recipes Like This