Giada De Laurentiis is a celebrated name in Italian cooking, known for an approach that brings both simplicity and depth of flavor to the table.
In this article, we’ll share some of her most beloved pasta sauce recipes, offering a taste of genuine Italian tradition.
From the timeless Marinara to the unique Sicilian pesto, these recipes highlight Giada’s expertise in blending familiar ingredients into remarkable culinary creations.
Classic Pasta Sauces
Giada De Laurentiis’ marinara sauce is a classic Italian recipe that embodies the essence of traditional Italian cooking – and it’s one of our all-time favorite sauces.
This sauce is simple yet packed with flavors, making it a versatile base for many pasta dishes.
The key to its richness lies in the quality of the olive oil and the red wine, preferably a good Chianti, which adds a depth of flavor not found in many other marinara sauces.
The process begins with sautéing onions in olive oil until they are translucent. The addition of minced garlic adds a punch of aroma and taste.
The red wine is a crucial ingredient, deglazing the pan and integrating the savory notes of the sautéed onion and garlic.
The heart of the sauce is the crushed tomatoes, which should be of high quality for the best taste.
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, salt, and freshly ground black pepper are added to introduce freshness and a slight edge to the sauce.
The simmering process, which should be on the lowest heat, allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
This marinara sauce pairs wonderfully with a variety of pasta, from spaghetti to penne. It’s also an excellent choice for layering in lasagnas or as a base for meatball dishes.
To elevate the dish, consider garnishing with extra chopped parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
Giada’s simple tomato sauce is a testament to the beauty of Italian cooking, where a few quality ingredients can create a comforting and flavorful dish.
This sauce combines the natural sweetness and acidity of tomatoes with the aromatic blend of onions, garlic, celery, and carrots.
Sautéing the onion and garlic until translucent ensures their flavors are fully released.
The addition of celery and carrots contributes a subtle complexity and a hint of sweetness, balancing the acidity of the tomatoes.
Seasoning the vegetables with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper during the cooking process helps to layer the flavors.
The crushed tomatoes form the backbone of the sauce, simmered with fresh basil and bay leaves to infuse the sauce with herby undertones.
The long-simmering process is crucial, allowing the sauce to thicken and the flavors to concentrate.
The optional addition of unsalted butter towards the end of the cooking process can mellow out the acidity of the tomatoes and add a luxurious richness to the sauce.
This sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s perfect with spaghetti, fettuccine, or even as a base for seafood pasta.
You can also use it in baked pasta dishes like ziti or as a sauce for homemade pizzas.
To store, let the sauce cool completely and freeze it in portions for easy use in future meals.
Giada’s bolognese sauce is a hearty and robust Italian classic.
Cooking the onions and garlic until they are very soft is crucial, as it brings out their natural sweetness, providing a counterpoint to the meat’s richness.
Once again, adding celery and carrots to the sauce introduces a subtle earthiness and additional layers of flavor.
The ground chuck, a key ingredient, adds substance and a meaty texture to the sauce.
As the beef cooks and browns, it develops a deep flavor fundamental to a good Bolognese.
The crushed tomatoes, Italian leaf parsley, and fresh basil leaves are added to create a harmonious blend of flavors.
Serving this Bolognese sauce is all about comfort and satisfaction.
It pairs exceptionally well with broader pasta like pappardelle or tagliatelle, which hold up well to the hearty texture of the sauce.
For a more traditional approach, serve it over spaghetti or use it as a filling for lasagna.
Garnishing with freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese adds a salty, umami-rich finish that complements the sauce’s richness.
Giada De Laurentiis’ basic parmesan pomodoro is a quintessential Italian sauce that beautifully showcases the natural flavors of cherry tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano.
The sauce begins with extra virgin olive oil and garlic, sautéed to infuse the oil with a garlicky essence.
The key here is to cook the garlic until it’s golden brown and soft, which imparts a sweet, nutty flavor to the sauce.
The addition of high-quality canned cherry tomatoes and their juices provides a bright and tangy base.
The inclusion of whole basil stems and a halved carrot adds layers of herbal freshness and a hint of sweetness, respectively.
A unique aspect of this sauce is Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rinds.
These rinds, often discarded, are a secret weapon in Italian cooking, offering a salty, umami depth to the sauce.
As the sauce simmers, these flavors meld together, creating a harmonious and rich pomodoro.
Once the sauce has been cooked and the aromatics and cheese rinds removed, you can puree it for a smoother texture or leave it chunky, depending on your preference.
The sauce is then combined with perfectly cooked pasta – Giadzy pappardelle is recommended for its ability to hold onto the sauce.
The final steps of adding butter, more olive oil, and pasta water transform the sauce into a creamy, luxurious coating for the pasta.
A generous sprinkling of grated Parmigiano Reggiano adds a final layer of savory flavor.
No-Cook Pasta Sauce Inspiration
Sicilian Pesto, also known as Pesto Alla Trapanese, is a vibrant and flavorful no-cook sauce by Giada De Laurentiis inspired by traditional Sicilian cuisine.
This pesto stands out from the classic Genovese version with its unique use of almonds and tomatoes, offering a distinctively Sicilian twist.
The foundation of this pesto is toasted slivered almonds, which are pulsed with garlic in a food processor.
Toasting the almonds enhances their nutty flavor and adds a delightful crunch to the pesto.
The combination of almonds and garlic creates a robust base, with the garlic lending its pungent, aromatic qualities to the sauce.
Fresh basil leaves, a staple in traditional pesto, are then added, infusing the sauce with a sweet, peppery, quintessentially Italian flavor.
Including cherry or grape tomatoes sets this pesto apart, introducing a juicy, tangy element that balances the richness of the nuts and cheese.
The tomatoes also give the pesto a gorgeous, vibrant color and a slightly chunky texture.
Kosher salt and red pepper flakes are incorporated to season the pesto.
As the pesto is blended, extra virgin olive oil is drizzled in, emulsifying with the other ingredients to form a smooth, luscious sauce.
Finally, freshly grated Parmesan cheese is stirred into the pesto, adding a salty, nutty depth.
This Sicilian Pesto is incredibly versatile. It can be tossed with pasta, adding fresh mozzarella for a complete meal, used as a spread on crostini, or served over vegetables or protein.
Giada De Laurentiis’ sauce for her creamy pasta salad epitomizes the perfect balance of tangy and creamy flavors, making it an exceptional choice for a refreshing and satisfying pasta salad.
This no-cook sauce is a delightful amalgamation of mayonnaise and low-fat Greek yogurt, which serves as the creamy base.
Greek yogurt adds a lighter, tangier note than mayonnaise alone, making the sauce less heavy and more refreshing.
Adding apple cider vinegar and honey to this sauce creates a perfect harmony between tartness and sweetness.
The vinegar’s sharpness cuts through the creaminess of the mayonnaise and yogurt, while the honey provides a subtle sweetness that rounds out the flavors.
The real charm of this sauce lies in its mix of finely chopped cornichons, fennel, mixed herbs (like tarragon, basil, and dill), celery with leaves, and capers.
This sauce, when tossed with cooked and cooled short pasta, such as strozzapreti, fusilli, or elbow macaroni, clings beautifully to the pasta, ensuring each bite is flavor-packed.
The pasta salad can be served as a standalone dish or as a side, perfect for picnics, barbecues, or a light lunch.
The sauce’s versatility also allows it to be used in various other dishes, such as a dressing for a salad.
Giada De Laurentiis’ pasta sauce recipes are a must-try.
Each recipe in our guide invites home cooks to explore the richness of Italian cuisine.
Whether it’s the comforting embrace of a classic Marinara, the hearty depth of a Bolognese, the refreshing twist of a creamy pasta salad sauce, or the vibrant kick of Sicilian Pesto, Giada’s recipes offer something for every palate.
Which sauce will you whip up first?
The 6 Best Giada De Laurentiis Pasta Sauce Recipes To Make At HomeCourse: Other Recipes
- Choose your favorite sauce recipe
- Gather your ingredients
- Prepare your sauce
- Enjoy with pasta.