The cuisine of Italy consists of culinary ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques that were created across the Italian Peninsula.
They later spread across the world with the emigration of Italians to other countries, including the United States.
Italys most popular dishes and recipes, over the centuries, have often been created by ordinary people more so than by chefs.
With that said, one of the main characteristics of Italian cuisine is its simplicity, with many dishes made up of few ingredients.
Two of those Italian dishes are sauces, which are Alfredo sauce and Pesto sauce.
The two sauces are made with few ingredients that are readily available and easy to make in your own kitchen.
Two Italian Favorites – Alfredo Sauce & Pesto Sauce
Alfredo sauce was named after Alfredo Di Lelio, who was an Italian restaurateur.
He featured the sauce with fresh fettuccine pasta tossed with butter and cheese. This was the original version of Alfredo sauce, butter and cheese.
Cream was added to the mix as it gained popularity in the United States. The addition of cream gives the sauce a rich, velvety texture that we have come to associate the present day Alfredo recipes.
Once you learn how to make a basic Alfredo sauce, you can use it in endless ways, by adding your favorite ingredients to create yummy dishes like this Creamy Chicken Alfredo Casserole.
Creamy Chicken Alfredo Casserole
Basic Alfredo Sauce
¼ cup butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Whisk the heavy cream into the butter until combined. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the cream simmers, 3 to 4 minutes.
Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, salt, nutmeg, and pepper.
Cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, then serve immediately.
Prepare These Dishes With This Alfredo Sauce Recipe
Claudia Romeo of “The Insider,” reports that pesto is one of the most popular sauces in the world.
Pesto in Italy is called “pesto alla genovese,”indicating that its origins lie in the northwestern Italian city of Genoa.
Pesto sauce typically consists of garlic, pine nuts, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
Firstly made using a mortar and pestle, though today is made using a food processor.
Read More Here About Using A Mortar & Pestle – Cooking With A Molcajete
The secret to preparing a creamy pesto sauce is to add the ingredients to the food processor in the right order.
First you add the pine nuts to ensure that they break down to a fine paste before the basil has the chance to turn brown.
Besides Pesto Sauce – There Are Other Ways To Use Basil – Read About It Here – Cooking With Fresh Basil
Basic Pesto Sauce
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 cups packed basil leaves
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Pulse pine nuts in a food processor until they’re completely broken down. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time. Add olive oil and garlic and pulse until garlic is finely chopped.
Chop basil very roughly — just run a knife through it once or twice to cut most of the leaves into halves or thirds — then add to food processor. Pulse, stopping every 15 seconds to push the leaves down with a rubber spatula, until basil is entirely worked into the oil. Pulse for another few seconds, and then stop to prevent turning the basil brown.
Pour pesto base into a bowl and add grated cheese and salt. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
This recipe is for a basic pesto sauce that can be used as a pasta sauce, a sauce for ravioli, as a spread for sandwiches, or thinned out with a little olive oil to drizzle over a favorite protein like steak, chicken, or fish.
To store leftovers, pour a little more olive oil over the pesto to cover. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.
Try This Pesto Sauce Recipe With These Dishes
You can even add some chipotle to the pesto to make you and your family this Orecchiette With Andouille Sausage & Pesto Chipotle Sauce.
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