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PASTA & SAUCES 101

Spaghetti night can be sooooo much more than a box of noodles and a jar of tomato sauce. Just walk down the pasta aisle at your local Harris Teeter for inspiration - dozens of new pasta shapes and sauces await!  

I keep my pantry stocked with my favorite Harris Teeter pasta shapes and sauces. But I also have an assortment of crushed, pureed and whole peeled tomatoes for the nights when I want to make the sauce. And, I always have a pint of heavy cream in the fridge for when I feel like a treat!

Below you’ll find my favorite recipes for basic pasta sauces and the pastas to go with. Generally, the more structured shapes (like bucatini) work best with thick, robust sauces, while skinny shapes, like strands of delicate angel hair or farfalle, suit fresh and lighter cream sauces. Try gnocchi and the heartiest of noodles with rich cheese sauces or bolognese.  

If you’re carb-loading for your next big race, these pasta dishes will surely give you the extra boost you need to carry you across the finish line! However, if you’re wanting to cut back on carbs, try any of these sauces with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a lower-carb option.

Homemade Marinara

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Harris Teeter Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces Harris Teeter Organic Crushed Tomatoes
  • 6 ounces Harris Teeter Tomato Paste
  • 3 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Harris Teeter sugar
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup Harris Teeter Organics Low Sodium Chicken Broth


Additional Pasta Dinner Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of Italian Bucatini
  • Fresh Basil or Parmesan if desired


Directions:

Add olive oil to a large and deep skillet and sauté the onion until lightly browned on medium low.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, on low for at least 30 minutes.


For a Pasta Dinner:

Cook and drain 1 lb. Private Selection Italian Bucatini according to packaged directions.  Toss with marinara and garnish with fresh basil or parmesan if desired.


Classic Bolognese

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. Harris Teeter Premium Cut Bacon, chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 ½ pounds ground pork
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 28 ounces Harris Teeter Tomato Puree
  • 1 cup Harris Teeter Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Harris Teeter Beef Broth


Additional Pasta Dinner Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds gnocchi
  • 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese



Directions:

Add bacon to a large Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat until golden.  Drain all but 2 Tbsp. of bacon drippings and reserve for another use.  Add beef and pork to the bacon and 2 Tbsp. drippings and cook until the meat is browned.

Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Pour in the wine, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Cook until the mixture has reduced by half.  Pour in the tomato puree, cream and stock.  Stir well.

Bring to a simmer and taste for salt and pepper.  Cook, partially covered for up to four hours, until the desired consistency has been reached.


For a Pasta Dinner:

Cook 1 ½ pounds of gnocchi according to package directions.  In a large skillet, pour 1 cup of Bolognese sauce.  Add gnocchi to the skillet and top with another few cups of sauce.  Top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through and the cheese has melted and is golden in places.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.


Pesto Genovese

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 cups HT Traders Pine Nuts
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Harris Teeter Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Additional Pasta Dinner Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Private Selection Italian Tofette
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In the bowl of a processor, add pine nuts, basil, garlic, parmesan, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse until finely chopped.

While the processor is slowly running, drizzle in olive oil until a smooth paste has formed.  Continue to add olive oil until desired consistency has been reached.

For a Pasta Dinner:

Cook Private Selection Italian Tofette according to package directions.  2 minutes prior to “al dente” add in 1 cup frozen peas.  Bring back to a boil and cook until pasta is done.  Drain and toss with pesto. Serve with additional parmesan cheese if desired.


Fettuccine Alfredo

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Harris Teeter Butter
  • 1 pint Harris Teeter Heavy Cream
  • 4 ounces Harris Teeter Cream Cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Harris Teeter Shredded Parmesan + additional for garnish


Additional Pasta Dinner Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Harris Teeter Fettuccini
  • 12 ounces fresh broccoli florets





Directions:

In a large and deep skillet, warm butter, cream and cream cheese over medium heat.  Whisk until melted.  Add in the garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.  Continue whisking and add in the parmesan cheese.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes or until thickened.


For a Pasta Dinner:

Steam 12 ounces of broccoli florets in the microwave and drain.  Cook 1 lb. of Harris Teeter Fettuccini according to package directions and drain.  Toss both pasta and cooked broccoli florets with alfredo sauce.  Divide amongst bowls and toss with additional cheese if desired.


Vodka Cream Sauce

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 28 ounces Harris Teeter Whole Peeled Tomatoes, broken up with hands
  • ½ cup Harris Teeter Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup Vodka
  • 2 Tbsp. Harris Teeter Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Harris Teeter Salted Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Additional Pasta Dinner Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions

Directions:

In a wide and deep skillet, heat oil and butter.  Add onion and garlic and sweat for one minute, stirring constantly.  Don’t let them burn.  Add oregano, salt and pepper and stir.

Using a measuring cup, pour in vodka.  Cook continuously, scraping up any stuck bits on the bottom of the pan.  Once completely evaporated, pour in broken up tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 10-15 minutes.  Pour in heavy cream and mix well.  Continue cooking for another few minutes until warmed through.

For a Pasta Dinner:

Sauté 8 oz. mushrooms in a large, deep skillet until their liquid has evaporated and they begin to brown.  Add in 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes and continue to cook until they blister.  Add in 1lb. cooked farfalle pasta and the Vodka Cream Sauce.  Toss to coat.  Divide among serving bowls and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Katie Harding is the publisher of Forks and Folly . A self-taught cook and die-hard foodie, Katie lives in Charlotte with her husband and three boys. Besides cooking and eating, she loves craft beers, running, and napping.