College Kitchen: Pasta sauce

These recipes will make you want to say pasta la vista to your store-bought sauces.

Topped with parmesan cheese, this pesto sauce is the perfect addition to bread and pasta.

Niti Gupta

Topped with parmesan cheese, this pesto sauce is the perfect addition to bread and pasta.

Yena Lee

Pasta is both a staple food and a college staple. But it can be so much more with the addition of sauce.
 
 
Bottled sauces are convenient, but what you make up for in time you can lose in flavor. Some simple ways to enhance the pre-made: throw in some extra olive oil, add crushed red pepper (if you can take the heat) or grind in a few black peppercorns.
 
 
Making your own pasta sauce is a game-changer. Once you start making sauce, you won’t ever go back to the packaged stuff.
 
 
You can slather your sauce on other things, too. Don’t stop at pasta — top off chicken with pesto, or lather some onto a crusty slice of bread. 
 
 
The pastabilities are endless.
 
 
Pesto sauce
 
Use sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts to save money. 
 
4 cloves garlic
2 1/2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup parmesan cheese 
3/4 cup olive oil 
a big pinch of salt
 
1. Throw the first four ingredients into a food processor or blender.
2. Add in the olive oil.
3. Once everything is all mixed together, add salt to taste.
No fancy kitchen equipment? No problem! You can easily make pesto by hand. Chop up the garlic and fresh basil together, make sure it’s really fine. Same for the sunflower seeds. Once everything is finely chopped, add in the cheese, olive oil and salt. 
Carrettiera  sauce
Don’t be put off by the Italian word, it’s just really good red sauce. Also, fresh tomatoes make all the difference, but canned tomatoes will do just fine. 
1 1/2 pounds of plum tomatoes (substitute with a big can of tomatoes)
1 dried peperoncino chili, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
a pinch of salt
a handful of flat leaf parsley
 
1. If you’re using fresh tomatoes, throw them into boiling water for three minutes. Then shock them in cold water. Remove tomato skin.
2. Heat up olive oil, garlic, chili and salt together. 
3. Before the garlic browns, add in the tomatoes. 
4. Let the tomatoes stew. Over time, the tomatoes will start breaking down. 
5. After about 15 minutes, the sauce is ready to eat with some spaghetti.