Here's Why You Should Make Your Own Fresh Pasta Sauces (+ Recipe)
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A bowl of pasta is the one thing you can always rely upon when hunger pangs crawl in. This quick, tasty, and comforting meal is relished by all.
Do you love pasta? Then you already know that there are a number of ways in which a bowl of fresh pasta can be cooked: by using homemade sauce or the more convenient ready-to-use sauce (preserved can) from the supermarket. Every type of pasta sauce has its own distinctive flavor, and no two taste the same.
Homemade pasta sauce, though not very convenient, is the best alternative for those who are health conscious. Packed sauces lack nutritional values. Furhermore, preservatives are never healthy but they are cost-effective, and of course, a boon for the lazy ones!
Homemade sauce and packed sauce differ on many grounds. While you can adjust the salt, sugar, and the energy value of the sauce that you make yourself, it is difficult to control these in the packed ones. There are many variants of packed sauces available, which you can pick according to your requirements, but none can be exactly as you want them. There is also a catch about how labels that read “natural”, “organic”, and “gluten-free” are more attractive to buyers than others. Whenever you plan to buy one, it is very important to check the list of ingredients to make sure that it is indeed as natural as it claims to be.
The bottom line remains the same: there is nothing better than homemade pasta sauce. It is not difficult to make yourself a jar of homemade pasta sauce, and these usually come with a shelf-life of only two months, in the refrigerator.
For people who are keen on cooking healthily, and according to personal taste, here is a simple yet delicious recipe for freshly made pasta sauce:
To make a 400g-jar of homemade pasta sauce, you will need the following ingredients:
● Tomatoes – 750g
● Tomato puree – 200g
● Finely chopped onion – 1 large
● Finely chopped fresh basil leaves – ¼ cup
● Dried oregano – 1 tsp
● Garlic cloves – 10-12
● Salt to taste
● Black pepper powder – 1 Tsp
● Olive oil – ¼ cup
● Bay leaves – 2
Cut the tomatoes into two halves and discard the seeds. Chop the tomatoes and add them into a mixer grinder together with the chopped basil and garlic cloves. Grind into a smooth paste and place it aside. In a non-stick pan, heat the oil and add the chopped onion in. Sauté till the onion is transparent. Then, add the tomato paste, the tomato puree, oregano, black pepper powder, salt, and bay leaves to the pan. Mix the ingredients well and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir continuously, till the sauce is thick enough. Now cool the sauce at room temperature. Discarding the bay leaves, grind the mixture into a smooth sauce. Your tasty homemade pasta sauce is ready!
These tomato-based sauces can be quite healthy as well, as they offer an added bonus – lycopene, a carotenoid packed with all antioxidant powers. Cooked tomatoes are one of the best sources to get phytochemicals, because cooking can break down the cell walls that hold the lycopene. Additional nods go to some varieties of particular red sauces, like marinara (a simple, classic, meatless sauce that typically has a low-calorie count) and tomato-basil sauces.
A few years back it was found that regular intake of lycopene helps in reducing the rate of certain cancers, more particularly prostate cancer. Several studies have suggested these benefits of lycopene, which involve high intakes of cooked tomatoes in various forms. As a result, all the other nutrients that shine in tomato sauce, such as vitamin C and potassium, contribute to tomatoes’ potential health benefits.
Pasta primavera can also be used as a healthy alternative. The original recipe substitutes tomato sauce with butter and heavy cream, along with vegetables like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, peas, green beans, asparagus, etc. Using vegetables when preparing pasta sauces provides phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
While discussing the health benefits of sauces, it is essential to also talk about the ones you need to avoid. Make sure that you avoid vodka sauces at any cost, (though tomato-based, they also contain cream and cheese), three-cheese and four-cheese sauces, and those containing ground meat or sausages. Also, make sure that you always check and understand the nutrition labels. Some sauces use healthful-sounding names and descriptions for ingredients that can be nutrition disasters.
Eat quality food! Stay healthy!
Do you wish to taste and cook more awesome pasta recipes? Then learn from the best by joining an Italian culinary vacation!
If you’re in the Oakland area in California and are craving a bowl of fresh homemade pasta, place your order at Belotti Bottega, a quick service pasta shop that delivers and offers pick-up service.