The Spaghetti Sauce Thread


Well-Known Member
thought a word on boiling pasta practices might be nice... if everyone will share what they do.

i do as the italians recommend and make the boiling water "salty as the mediterranean" -- i definitely don't skimp. but i use the good stuff, so have no need to be salt phobic. anyway, sure makes a difference in the final flavor. i don't add oil to the water, although i know people who do.

i also follow the rule "rinse for dried, no rinse for fresh", and i carefully melt butter to the point where the solids separate but it hasn't brown, then toss the cooked pasta in it.


Well-Known Member
Glad I read this after dinner; the subject would have made me feel very hungry.

I just use Ragu sauce and ground beef and oh, just a little bit of BBQ sauce, but only a little.


Well-Known Member
I found this online:

"Why do Italians call Red Sauce - Gravy? The answer - Red Gravy contains meat, or the meat drippings from the browned sausage, meatballs and spareribs that eventually went into the sauce to be served with the pasta of choice.
Sauce as in Marinara Sauce - does not contain meat, and therefore retains the more common name of Red Sauce."

And, yes I love Alton Brown!


Well-Known Member
Surely you've heard of Alfredo and his sauce?
Of course...wasn't aware it involved tomatoes, though. And besides, if I'm going to have the horribly unhealthy Alfredo sauce, I don't want it made with milk. That's like getting a burger and fries and ordering it with diet soda...kinda pointless. If I want a heart attack in a bowl, I want the good stuff.


New Member
Another Alton Brown-ism: he mentioned that adding oil to the water prevents boil-overs by doing something to the surface tension of the water.


Well-Known Member
The salt is to raise the BP of the water. The oil/butter is to lube the pasta so it doesn't stick together.
Um...yeah...don't much care. It'll cook just fine without salt, and a bit of sauce mixed in keeps it from sticking. Not that it's usually around long enough to stick...and even if it is, more sauce fixes that little problem.


Well-Known Member
I salt the water, put a little oil in if it starts foaming. Drain, no rinsing, butter and salt , a little cheese, a little sauce. Grandma's way.

I also love learning from Alton, Ina, Mario, Rachel and Giada.


Active Member
used to love just tossing plain pasta with olive oil (or butter), some gralic powder, and a bit of basil.

Most of time, because I was in college and poor and I always had those inggredients around, evne when I didn't happen to have any pasta sauce (and had no money to get any :) )


Well-Known Member
I was told that in Desi Arnez' autobiography he told how when Lucy and he were struggling young performers all they could afford to eat was spaghetti. Then when one of them would get a gig and get paid, they'd celebrate by adding a bit of meat to the sauce.

In the beginning as a married junior enlisted, we had a few meatless-spaghetti nights ourselves.


Well-Known Member
yah, and with simple butter & cheese... delish.

for years i always wondered how my greek relatives created a certain taste to their plain noodles... turns out they carefully "boiled" the butter until the solids separated, and only then do you add the pasta. tastes different... very nice.


Well-Known Member
I love buttered egg noodles.

Or, just a bit of butter, cheese, salt and pepper with orzo.

Or, with leftover pasta of any kind...melt a ton of butter in a pot (can brown it a bit), add bread crumbs until it's kind of like a sauce, brown that a bit, and then stir in the leftover pasta (microwave to reheat it first). Add salt and pepper...heaven.

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