Different Types of Pasta Sauces for Italian Food Lovers to Enjoy

Pasta sauce has been created and perfected by Italian cooks and chefs during the 19th century. However, this particular food was used by the Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Chinese and French long before it became a staple food within Italy.

In short, the Italians might not have invented this dish but they have certainly perfected. Pasta sauce helps to define the cuisine of the Italians. This tomato based salsa (the Italian and Spanish word for sauce) has been created in many different varieties and flavors throughout the years. The following information will describe the various pasta sauces that are now used to create different dishes.


Traditional Spaghetti Sauce

You might have heard of the commercial spaghetti sauce brands Prego or Ragu. Both of these sauces are popular ready to eat spaghetti sauce that many people use for their Italian dishes. These commercial spaghetti sauce brands are based off of the traditional spaghetti sauces that were created by Italians.

Traditional spaghetti sauce is made out tomato paste, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, ground beef and from Italian spices such as bay leaves, oregano, basil and Italian seasoning. This sauce can be prepared with or without the ground beef. Keep in mind that traditional spaghetti sauce is typically prepared with rounded beef meatballs.



Fettuccine is another popular type of pasta sauce. It is made from Parmesan cheese and butter. It is the second most commonly used type of pasta sauce next to the traditional variety. Fettuccine is a great sauce because it provides a different alternative to the standard tomato based salsas that people normally eat.


Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is similar to traditional spaghetti sauce. However, standard marinara sauces do not contain any type of meat or ingredients such as anchovies. Also, marinara sauces could include things such as wine, capers or olives. This type of sauce is usually served over pasta and it is lighter than regular spaghetti sauce.


Vodka Sauce

Vodka sauce is a potent type of spaghetti sauce that is made out of tomatoes, herbs. cream and vodka. This type of sauce is not for minors and it is often served over pasta with seafood, steak or veal dishes. This type of sauce is not common but it has a unique flavor for people who are crazy about pasta.


Arrabbiata Sauce

Arrabbiata sauce is a very spicy pasta salsa. It contains red chili peppers which is the ingredient that separates from the other pasta sauce varieties. Arrabbiata sauce is sometimes made with wine and lemon juice. Meat is not typically added into the sauce and it is commonly used as an alternative substance to other pasta sauce varieties.


Cabornara Sauce

Cabornara is sauce but it does not have the same consistency as most other types of pasta sauce. This particular sauce primarily uses eggs, Romano cheese, black pepper and bacon. This is an egg based sauce that sticks to the noodles and it is simple to prepare.


Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca was literally the meal of prostitutes long before it became a home standard Italian cuisine. Hundreds of years ago, prostitutes would eat a meal of tomato sauce and pasta between the clients. This sauce is similar to regular spaghetti but it usually does not contain meat. Anchovies, olives and capers are featured in this sauce as well.



Pesto is a green colored pasta sauce that has been used since Roman times. This type of dish has a unique look and flavor. Pesto is made out of ingredients such as European pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, basil leaves, sheep’s milk, olive oil, vinegar and coarse salt. This type of pasta sauce is thick and green. It also has a thick texture. It is served with pastas such as linguine.


Butter and Oil Sauces

Butter and Oil based sauces are also popular in Italian cooking. Many pasta salads contain this type of coating. Butter and oil sauces are light and they blend well with many of the Italian styled vegetables that people like to eat.

Keep in mind that ingredients such as cream and lemon are not commonly featured inside of Italian cooking. However, some sauces do contain these ingredients. Most of these sauces are used on pastas other than spaghetti and they are often served up accompanying dishes such as seafood (for the lemon based salsas. The heavy meats such as beef typically uses cream based salsas.