Giada’s Quick and Easy Pasta Sauces

I am a fan of Giada De Laurentiis.  She clearly loves food, loves to eat, and always makes everything look easy.  And, without fail, her recipes are delicious.


This morning, on the Today Show, she prepared three simple pasta sauces: Thyme butter sauce (served with any kind of ravioli); Vodka sauce (great with spaghetti or penne); and Spicy pesto sauce (with rigatoni, served cold as a side, or add cooked shrimp or chicken to hearty it up).  Here are the recipes.

Buon appetito!


Recipe: Thyme butter sauce

Giada De Laurentiis

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter with the thyme leaves in a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes.

Recipe: Vodka sauce

Giada De Laurentiis

  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

In a heavy, large skillet, simmer the marinara sauce and vodka over low heat, stirring often, until the mixture reduces by one fourth, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and continue to simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe: Spicy pesto sauce

Giada De Laurentiis

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2- inch) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grated asiago cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 cups (3 ounces) baby spinach
  • 3 cups (3 ounces) arugula
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil.