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Help With a Pasta Sauce

Asked by MelissaMolloy. Answered on 28th September 2012

Full question

I enjoy creating pasta sauces, but mine always seem to be tomato based and I'd like to be more adventurous. Could you please recommend a pasta sauce I could try? Thank you!

Our answer

Pasta sauces can be as simple as olive oil and garlic emislified with a splash of pasta cooking water, or more complex long-cooked ragus. They ceratinly do not need to be tomato based. Indeed, Nigella has, in the past, avoided using tomato in seafood pasta sauces.

Nigella's new book NIgellissima has a whole chapter devoted to pasta dishes, the vast majority of which do not contain tomato. Try, amongst others, Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon & Rocket, Squid Spaghetti, Fettucine with Mushrooms, Marsala & Mascarpone and a luxurious Mini Macaroni & Cheese. There is even the option of Chocolate Pasta with Pecans & Caramel.

Pesto is one of the most obvious tomato-free sauces and in her book Kitchen, Nigella has recipes for both a traditional pesto alla Genovese and a parsley pesto. This book also has pastas with Pancetta, Parsley & Peppers, Blue Cheese & Butternut Squash, Pasta with Calamari, Puttanesca (a piquant sauce with anchovies and capers) and Feta, Spinach & Pine Nuts.

For something comforting try Pasta With Ham, Peas and Cream from Feast (and see related recipe link). Nigella Express also has several tomato-free and fast pasta suggestions.

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