POLL: Which is the best basic Italian pasta sauce?

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I'm sure I forgot some and maybe we did this before. We probably did.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Puttanesca 13
Pesto 9
Carbonara 8
Bolognese 6
Vodka sauce 6
Marinara 6
Arrabbiata 5
Amatriciana 5
Alfredo 4
Ragù 3
Cacio e pepe 2
Aglio e olio 1
Other (explain) 1
Clam (vongole) sauce 1
Marsala 0
Genovese 0


avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:13 (one month ago) link

probably not fashionable but marinara. bless the tomato.

intrusive dobro, shoeless guest (Sufjan Grafton), Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:18 (one month ago) link

tricky call between pesto, aglio e olio and vongole, will consider

imago, Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:29 (one month ago) link

most overrated: cacio e pepe

imago, Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:30 (one month ago) link

haven't tried that, but I like the simplicity of the recipe

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:34 (one month ago) link

carbonara, although really like a lot of the others

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:35 (one month ago) link

If you can handle dairy, Alfredo is the only answer.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:35 (one month ago) link

I will pretty much always choose aglio e olio. Bolognese can be better but only with a lot more effort.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:47 (one month ago) link

I think the Rome episode of the Stanley Tucci CNN thing featured a chef that said carbonara is biggest rn.

intrusive dobro, shoeless guest (Sufjan Grafton), Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:53 (one month ago) link

I don't understand the bolognese hype. Had it at Mozza expecting to become a convert but meh.

intrusive dobro, shoeless guest (Sufjan Grafton), Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:54 (one month ago) link

recently made Mike Easton's Bolognese (from Il Corvo), it did involve some work but was fantastic, and I was able to freeze some of it to appreciate later

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:56 (one month ago) link

If I could only have one forever, and it's one of a few I'll make fairly regularly, puttanesca

or something, Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:57 (one month ago) link

Made an eight hour pomodoro sauce over the summer, voting for that. Tomato as a psychedelic experience.

lukas, Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:58 (one month ago) link

I'm planning on doing a Bolognese with the addition of chicken liver this week for the first after taking some advice. Just about everything I cook has carrots celery and onion it - so that is the holy trinity for me. I'm not even sure what the difference is between Ragu and Bolognese - but they are the ones I fuck with most often so I will have to vote for one of them. I add smoked paprika to just about everything I make these days - so it's never really authentic.

calzino, Saturday, 13 March 2021 01:59 (one month ago) link

xxxp probably the best Italian meal I've ever had was a rabbit ragu the restaurant said was cooked for 16 hour or something which hits two points where I will never make it myself: butchering a rabbit and watching anything on the stove for 16 hours

Joe Bombin (milo z), Saturday, 13 March 2021 02:00 (one month ago) link

So many Carbonara recipes have no coherent explanation of how to temper the beaten eggs and pecorino/parmesan cheese mixture with slightly cooled pasta water before adding it back into the pasta. That's the key step

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 02:20 (one month ago) link

bolognese

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 13 March 2021 02:25 (one month ago) link

alfredo can be great but daaammmnnn there is a lot of horrible alfredo out there

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 13 March 2021 02:27 (one month ago) link

ragu and bolognese probably don't need to be separate entries.

voting amatriciana because when i look at this list right now that's what i want.

call all destroyer, Saturday, 13 March 2021 02:30 (one month ago) link

arrabiata and puttanesca are similar but the anchovies and olives in puttanesca raise it above

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 02:39 (one month ago) link

probably the best Italian meal I've ever had was a rabbit ragu the restaurant said was cooked for 16 hour or something

I once had a goat ragu that was deep and delicious and perfect for winter months.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Saturday, 13 March 2021 02:55 (one month ago) link

some of these I have semantic issues considering a "sauce" because ... idk maybe I think of sauces as more complicated/time consuming to make? ... so as much as I like the garlic/olive oil combo, I don't think of it as a sauce, so I'm going with marinara because it is the most versatile imo

sarahell, Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:12 (one month ago) link

marinara is like vanilla ice cream though, even simple recipes like garlic and olive oil or grana padano cheese and pepper are better concepts even if they are not technically sauces

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:31 (one month ago) link

What the distinction we’re drawing here between ragu and bolognese

Canon in Deez (silby), Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:33 (one month ago) link

my understanding is that ragu is more like stewed meat in sauce, bolognese is more finely ground

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:37 (one month ago) link

vanilla ice cream is amazing!

intrusive dobro, shoeless guest (Sufjan Grafton), Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:38 (one month ago) link

I thought ragu was a subset of bolognese

Joe Bombin (milo z), Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:40 (one month ago) link

My experience is ragu is more pronouncedly tomatoey, and bolognese is meat/milk/veg forward.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:43 (one month ago) link

interesting

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:45 (one month ago) link

I have had some really amazing vanilla ice cream tbh

sarahell, Saturday, 13 March 2021 03:54 (one month ago) link

the answer is still Carbonara imo

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 04:17 (one month ago) link

ragu is more like stewed meat in sauce

maybe you're thinking of ragout

Judge Roi Behan (Aimless), Saturday, 13 March 2021 04:33 (one month ago) link

you're right, just now learning the difference between ragout and ragu

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 04:42 (one month ago) link

I know the one off this list that I make best is the vodka sauce.

underminer of twenty years of excellent contribution to this borad (dan m), Saturday, 13 March 2021 04:44 (one month ago) link

ragù alla bolognese is the full name of bolognese. there are other ragù, but they are all meat sauces for pasta, there is no one sauce called ragù

himpathy with the devil (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 13 March 2021 05:48 (one month ago) link

carbonara > ragu > bolognese > marinara

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 13 March 2021 11:42 (one month ago) link

Putanesca is one I make the most, as you can get a good satisfying depth of flavour really quickly from the anchovies. But would it be really unhip and British of me to say bolognese?

chap, Saturday, 13 March 2021 13:35 (one month ago) link

But I mean all of these are delicious if done well.

chap, Saturday, 13 March 2021 13:36 (one month ago) link

Bortaga with olive oil, lemon, parsley and garlic...

chap, Saturday, 13 March 2021 13:38 (one month ago) link

Cacio e pepe might be the hardest thing on the planet to make.

This is impossible (to everything there is a season), but gun to my head I might go the Roberta's oxtail ragu that cooks for 4-5 hours.

When you take into account how easy/little time it takes to make, Amatriciana or pesto.

is that a haruomi hosono sword? (PBKR), Saturday, 13 March 2021 16:13 (one month ago) link

Fresh home made pesto is soooo good, particularly with really good pecorino.

chap, Saturday, 13 March 2021 18:43 (one month ago) link

Bortaga with olive oil, lemon, parsley and garlic...

― chap, Saturday, March 13, 2021 7:38 AM (five hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

I've done a sauce like this but with anchovies instead of bortaga, it's fantastic with skinny/angel hair spaghetti.

underminer of twenty years of excellent contribution to this borad (dan m), Saturday, 13 March 2021 18:53 (one month ago) link

really unhip and British of me to say bolognese?

A good bolognese can be amazing. But it's all too easy for it to be meh.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 13 March 2021 18:57 (one month ago) link

Cacio e pepe might be the hardest thing on the planet to make.

This is impossible (to everything there is a season), but gun to my head I might go the Roberta's oxtail ragu that cooks for 4-5 hours.

When you take into account how easy/little time it takes to make, Amatriciana or pesto.

― is that a haruomi hosono sword? (PBKR), Saturday, March 13, 2021 11:13 AM (two hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

there was a cacio e pepe recipe in lucky peach that works. i think i may have posted it in its entirety on ilx when the lucky peach site was shut down.

call all destroyer, Saturday, 13 March 2021 19:18 (one month ago) link

Marinara. Not watery. Lots of garlic in the olive oil, removed from the oil before adding the tomatoes.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 13 March 2021 19:25 (one month ago) link

there was a cacio e pepe recipe in lucky peach that works. i think i may have posted it in its entirety on ilx when the lucky peach site was shut down.

― call all destroyer, Saturday, March 13, 2021 2:18 PM (fourteen minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

I'd be curious. It's the technique that is the issue for me. I used Frank Prisinzano's method the last time and got a lot closer to avoiding the clumping that has always been my problem, but I started with too much water. I'm getting closer!

is that a haruomi hosono sword? (PBKR), Saturday, 13 March 2021 19:37 (one month ago) link

i love a good vodka sauce

Zach_TBD (Karl Malone), Saturday, 13 March 2021 19:38 (one month ago) link

love to get sauced on good vodka

intrusive dobro, shoeless guest (Sufjan Grafton), Saturday, 13 March 2021 19:42 (one month ago) link

this post has the cacio e pepe recipe: what's cooking? part 5: 2017-2027

call all destroyer, Saturday, 13 March 2021 19:45 (one month ago) link

cacio e pepe is cursed
it is of the devil
i cant make it work
i tried twice & almost cried both times
summary: i dont care enough abt fkn stupid parmesan cheese & fkn goddamn spaghetti to ever try again

this dish specifically gives me lex-level anxiety

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 13 March 2021 20:01 (one month ago) link

voted Ragu but i'll put any of these on

Red Nerussi (Neanderthal), Saturday, 13 March 2021 20:03 (one month ago) link

I’ve only had cacio e pepe that I’ve made myself. Is it right? I doubt it! Does it taste good? Yes.

Canon in Deez (silby), Saturday, 13 March 2021 20:11 (one month ago) link

Putanesca gets my vote. I worked in an Italian restaurant kitchen for a couple of years in my youth and never came across Marsala, going to have a pop at making some next week.

(the one with 3 L's) (Willl), Saturday, 13 March 2021 21:50 (one month ago) link

Puttanesca for life, simple but versatile and just flavour flavour flav

scamp til you're damp (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 13 March 2021 22:54 (one month ago) link

I really really wish I liked olives.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:30 (one month ago) link

tbh with the anchovy base and a bit of playing about you could make a puttansecesque sauce without the olives if you were that way inclined

scamp til you're damp (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:34 (one month ago) link

Puttanesca is an amazing dish for how simple it is

himpathy with the devil (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:37 (one month ago) link

Don't even need good ingredients,great with crap canned olives

himpathy with the devil (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:38 (one month ago) link

i've heard that you can do fish sauce instead of anchovies for an interesting twist re puttanesca

map ca. 1890 (map), Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:39 (one month ago) link

I was once in an Italian restaurant in Leeds and my partner said to the waitress "oh god no olives please, I can't stand them" and I said: you might get into trouble saying that here! And the waitress replied: "I don't blame you, they are fucking minging".

calzino, Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:47 (one month ago) link

the main things i care about are the anchovies, capers and some chilli spice. love olives but it wouldn't stop me if i was out

scamp til you're damp (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:48 (one month ago) link

inspired by this thread I've added a jar of capers to my shopping order, they are a mystery to me.

calzino, Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:51 (one month ago) link

there's a few supermarkets where you can get a jar at a sensible price, i think the little local Sainsbury's and maaaaybe Aldi sometimes? i'd eat them out the jar tbh

scamp til you're damp (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:53 (one month ago) link

I recently went through my pantry after years of stuffing things in. I found out I have 5 jars of capers

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:54 (one month ago) link

the cacio e pepe recipe call all destroyer linked to sounds really good! I will skip the part where you use a pasta machine to make your own square pasta, but the last paragraph describing the chemistry of the components coming together is interesting. it reminds me of learning to make a roux to add to a gravy without lumps, or emulsifying an egg/cheese mixture to add to carbonara

Dan S, Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:54 (one month ago) link

life picked up when i found tins of anchovies for less than a quid in Aldi too

scamp til you're damp (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 13 March 2021 23:55 (one month ago) link

That cacio e pepe recipe is interesting. The admonition that too hot pasta will cause the cheese sauce to clump seems counter to most recipes that say you have to make the sauce immediately after the pasta is done (and quickly) or it will clump. I will have to give that a try.

is that a haruomi hosono sword? (PBKR), Sunday, 14 March 2021 00:29 (one month ago) link

VG otm re: cacio e pepe

I am team vongole 4eva

I like signing up to dead sites (sleeve), Sunday, 14 March 2021 00:59 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 6 April 2021 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

I'm voting pesto.

the last unvaccinated motherfucker on earth (PBKR), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 00:09 (two weeks ago) link

Difficult to tell most of these apart coming from my own food culture so between all the bologneses (anything red) and all the carbonaras (not red) i choose the former

your own personal qanon (darraghmac), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 00:14 (two weeks ago) link

my boyfriend does an incredible puttanesca (which i only recently learned means whore's food lol). standard anchovy paste, garlic, tomatoes, olives. he adds canned tuna and thai chili garlic sauce. it's the best of these i've had, including a very good tagliatelle ala bolognese.

John Cooper of Christian rock band Skillet (map), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 02:20 (two weeks ago) link

I love puttanesca and voted for it. I love good cacio e pepe but as noted it's hard to make my and not end up with a gummy mess. My wife's gotten pretty good at it, I'll ask which recipe she uses. She also made this delicious cacio e pepe shortbread, which is not a sauce but here's the recipe anyway: https://www.tastecooking.com/recipes/cacio-e-pepe-shortbread/

The one I think of myself as most excited about is carbonara, but when I think back to the most perfect, sublime pasta dish I've ever eaten, it was an amatriciana, and that's what I'm going with.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 04:16 (two weeks ago) link

When I was 8, my answer would have been alfredo, and I respect anyone who has stuck with it.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 04:16 (two weeks ago) link

Of these, the one I just don't get is vodka sauce.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 04:17 (two weeks ago) link

What do you call it when it's just pasta water, olive oil, and parmesan?

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 04:19 (two weeks ago) link

Difficult to tell most of these apart coming from my own food culture so between all the bologneses (anything red) and all the carbonaras (not red) i choose the former

― your own personal qanon (darraghmac), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 00:14 (seven hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

this is, without any exaggeration, your worst post of all time

imago, Tuesday, 6 April 2021 07:28 (two weeks ago) link

simple backpass on, the lad's cunted it into his own top corner

imago, Tuesday, 6 April 2021 07:29 (two weeks ago) link

I do a decent version of most of these from scratch, dont get me wrong

Its just that theres not really any difference between like seven of them

your own personal qanon (darraghmac), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 07:49 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

not mad at puttanesca. have made it twice in the last few weeks funnily enough. probably one of the easiest extremely tasty meals one can make.

my rough recipe:

put the water on to boil for the pasta and put the pasta in when boiling, cook to a couple of minutes below what the packet suggests. drain and retain a few tablespoons of pasta water. do the below while the water is boiling/pasta is cooking

mince about 4 garlic cloves and about 6 anchovies, fry them gently in lots of EVOO til the garlic is coloured

chop a handful (maybe roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup) olives and capers and add to the aforementioned

small tin of tomatoes, as in not the big one, crush the tomatoes and add the can to your mixture

add the pasta and pasta water to the sauce alongsidea handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley, a handful of grated parm, a bunch of pepper, maybe a little salt (possibly not with the capers and olives) mix and let the pasta cook a little more for a few minutes.

serve with more parm for the top (and more pepper if you like pepper)

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 00:18 (one week ago) link

Ah, and my aversion to olives once again comes into play.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 00:46 (one week ago) link

Puttanesca and amatriciana are the most fun to say

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 00:56 (one week ago) link

I use Lydia's recipe for puttanesca and she uses pecorino instead of parm. I like the way that works with all the other strong, salty flavors. No need to add any salt.

guillotines aren't just for royalty anymore (PBKR), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 02:12 (one week ago) link

I dunno what it is about the vodka sauce, I learned a recipe back when I was just getting into cooking and I've made it more times than I can count.

Lightly sautee 4-5 minced cloves of garlic, red pepper flakes and salt to taste, all in 1/4 cup olive oil. Add a large can of crushed tomatoes and simmer until nicely reduced, at least 20 minutes or so. Add 2 tbsp vodka after about 15 minutes and stir in. Add 3/4ish cup cream after sauce has reduced, stir in.

Toss with cooked penne or macaroni and a cup or so of chopped parsley. It's great. The explanation I heard was there are alcohol-soluble flavor compounds in the tomato that you wouldn't taste otherwise.

I like clam sauce a lot too. Also kind of surprised marsala got no votes.

yes, the theory of vodka sauce is that you get a punched-up tomato flavor. i don't make it frequently but if you're in the mood for tomato + a little extra richness it can be great.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 02:50 (one week ago) link

just made jim’s puttanesca recipe to the letter and am receiving universal acclaim from a crowd aged 14 to 50 ... way to go jim and also poll result!

assert (MatthewK), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 09:45 (one week ago) link

oops I freestyled a half teaspoon of chili paste, sue me

assert (MatthewK), Wednesday, 7 April 2021 09:47 (one week ago) link

Just making my first attempt at a puttanesca sauce thanks to this thread and jim in vancouver's recipe. It smells divine.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 12 April 2021 19:09 (one week ago) link

Genovese deserves better than it got

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 12 April 2021 19:18 (one week ago) link

What do you call it when it's just pasta water, olive oil, and parmesan?

Oh and lemon zest/juice, can't forget that. It was pretty revolutionary for us to realize we don't need a red sauce for delicious pasta.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 12 April 2021 19:27 (one week ago) link

I guess this is "al limone"?

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 12 April 2021 19:28 (one week ago) link

Pesto, Carbonara and Bolognese are my top 3, so olives aside, the poll is right.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Monday, 12 April 2021 19:35 (one week ago) link

man, my boyf made his puttanesca again last night and fuck it's so good. basically like jim's receipe but he adds canned mackerel and that chili paste that matthew added. oh and baking sode to the tomatoes! which de-acidifies them and brings out the sweetness.

John Cooper of Christian rock band Skillet (map), Monday, 12 April 2021 19:55 (one week ago) link

I made ramp pesto this weekend. Slightly strong, but so good.

guillotines aren't just for royalty anymore (PBKR), Monday, 12 April 2021 22:16 (one week ago) link


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