Italian Sauces

What partly makes pasta dishes, and even pizza, so irresistibly delicious? It’s the sauce, of course. And Italian sauces are great not only for pasta but also in some traditional secondo or meat dishes. Examples of these are cioppino and a variety of risotto dishes. Some sauces can even be toppings for bruschettas, crostinis, or crackers.

What are some the famous Italian sauces? Read on and find out below.

Famous Italian Sauces You Should Try

Tomato Sauce

Just as its name suggests, this sauce’s main ingredient are tomatoes. How to make tomato sauce from scratch?

You simply get about one to two kilos of fresh or bottled tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes in half and remove the squishy middle part which has the tiny seeds. Then, put the tomatoes in a saucepan or pot with 2 to 3 cups of water and cook them in low heat. Do this until most of the water has evaporated and you get a thick consistency. While that is simmering, make a soffritto of onions, celery, and carrots. Finely chop or mince these. When the tomatoes have thickened, remove it from the heat and put it in a food processor.

Meanwhile, sauté the soffritto in a bit of olive oil. Add a clove of garlic. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes or until the chopped vegetables have softened a bit. Then, add the processed tomatoes from before, as well as some chopped basil leaves, into the saucepan of chopped vegetables. Let it simmer over high heat until you get a really thick consistency. Make sure to constantly stir so the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom and get burned. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

When you get the consistency and taste you like, remove from heat. Remove the clove of garlic and process the mixture again. Ecco! You have Salsa di Pomodoro, or tomato sauce in English.


This sauce that’s typical of the Lazio region, especially in the Eternal City that is otherwise known as Rome. It is a super simple sauce that consists of chopped pancetta bits, eggs, and cheese, usually Pecorino. How do you do it exactly?

First, you fry the diced pancetta or bacon bits. Then, mix eggs and grated Pecorino cheese in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Also add a teaspoon or two of the hot pasta water to the mixture. Add pasta that is cooked al dente to the pan with the bacon. Toss it with bacon, making sure to cover the pasta with the bacon’s flavor. Then, remove it from the heat, and add the egg and cheese mixture. Toss it, making sure the egg and cheese mixture coats all of the pasta. If you think it’s too dry, you can add some of the pasta water to the mix.

Serve on a plate, top with bits of sautéed bacon or pancetta and grated Pecorino. Add black pepper, if you prefer. Buon appetito! Full carbonara recipe here.

Other famous delectable Italian sauces you should also try are Pesto alla Trapanese, Puttanesca, Marinara, and the savory Ragù or Bolognese.

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