5 quick pasta sauce recipes

Reader's Digest Editors 8 July 2021

Here are five delicious pasta sauces that you can whip up in no time

Pasta is an all-time favourite that is ideal for cooks in a hurry. A filling and nourishing meal can be put together inthe time it takes for the pasta to cook. Try these recipes as they are, or embellish them with your favourite ingredients.

Pancetta and balsamic vinegar sauce

Pancetta and balsamic vinegar sauce pasta

PREPARATION 5 minutes COOKING 12 minutes  SERVES 4

Cook 350 g (12 oz) linguine in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, following the packet instructions.

Drain, reserving 1 ⁄2 cup(125 ml) cooking water. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan and cook 125 g (4 oz) pancetta strips or cubes, or bacon pieces, until crisp.

Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and boil, stirring, for 30 seconds to deglaze the pan.

Toss the pasta with the pancetta or bacon mixture, the reserved cooking water and 125 g (4 oz) rocket (arugula).

Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and serve with grated parmesan.

Anchovy and cherry tomato sauce

PREPARATION 5 minutes COOKING 12 minutes SERVES 4

Cook 350 g (12 oz) farfalle in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, following packet instructions. Drain.

Meanwhile, drain a 60 g (2 oz) can anchovy fillets and tip into a non-stick frying pan. Add 2 chopped cloves garlic and 250 g (8 oz) halved cherry tomatoes, and gently sauté 3–4 minutes, stirring and crushing the anchovies occasionally.

Season with freshly ground black pepper or dried red chilli flakes and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, then toss with the hot pasta.


Fresh tomato and chilli sauce


PREPARATION 10 minutes • COOKING 12 minutes • SERVES 4

Cook 350 g (12 oz) spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, following packet instructions.

Drain, then toss with 8 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped, 2 crushed cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and dried red chilli flakes, then serve with grated parmesan.


Pesto pasta with smoked trout

PREPARATION 5 minutes • COOKING 10 minutes • SERVES 4

350 g (12 oz) tagliatelle or linguine in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, following packet instructions.

Drain, reserving1 ⁄2 cup (125 ml) cooking water. Mix the reserved cooking water with 4 tablespoons good-quality basil pesto and toss with the pasta.

Top with 200 g (7 oz) flaked hot-smoked trout or salmon, season with freshly ground black pepper and serve with grated parmesan.


Walnut and basil pesto pasta

Walnut and basil pasta

PREPARATION 5 minutes • COOKING 15 minutes • SERVES 4

Place 4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves in a food processor or blender with 1⁄4 cup (25 g) grated parmesan, 1 small clove garlic and 1⁄2 cup (50 g) walnut halves.

Chop until the mixture is a crumbly paste. With the motor running, gradually pour in 4 tablespoons olive oil to create a coarse, thick paste.

Cook 300 g (10 oz) wholemeal (whole-wheat) penne according to the packet instructions, then drain and return to the pan. Add the pesto and toss to coat. Transfer the pasta to four warmed plates and serve garnished with extra basil leaves.

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