There are times when you can stand over the stove all day, slowly cooking that red sauce down. Then there are times when you need to put dinner on the table in under an hour. For those moments when convenience trumps patience, this is the red sauce to turn to. Simmered with plenty of garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and basil, this sauce can be whipped up in no time but still has that deep, rich, long-cooked flavor.
'sauce' on Serious Eats
This rich and hearty red sauce tastes like it's been cooked for hours, because it has. The secret to rich, naturally sweet, complex flavors is to cook the sauce in the oven, allowing the surface to brown while the sauce slowly concentrates. The resultant sauce is great on pasta, with meatballs, on your chicken parm, or scooped right out of the pan with a spoon on its own.
Roasted fennel bulb, raw fennel fronds, toasted almonds, olive oil, and garlic are the starts of this flavorful pesto variation. It's good on...well, just about everything.
The key to this amazingly rich-yet-fresh sauce made from perfect summertime tomatoes is that it's a blend of three different sauces: homemade oven-baked tomato paste is deeply sweet and rich; a classic tomato sauce provides bulk and flavor; and finally a splash of barely-cooked tomato purée guarantees the bright, fresh, fruity taste of vine-ripened tomatoes. Served on pasta, it's so flavorful you won't even need cheese on top.
Mint, pistachios, and feta make a deeply flavorful, rich variation on a classic pesto. It's delicious tossed with pasta, drizzled on fresh vegetables like sliced tomatoes, or served as a sauce for meats like chicken, pork, or lamb.
This pesto sauce, through rounds and rounds of testing, has been honed to the perfect ratio, ingredients, and method. And while a mortar and pestle is a bit of work, the superior sauce it produces compared to a food processor can't be argued. This is the true, best pesto. Using a food processor, this ratio of ingredients will still produce a great sauce.
This rich, complex clam sauce was inspired by linguine with clam sauce. Here it's infused with fried alliums, nori, and Korean flavors like gochujang chili paste. It was created to be served with smoked Korean rice cakes, but can also be served on pasta or rice.
Cubed pork chops doused in garlicky and tangy sour orange sauce are contrasted with sweet mango in these mojo-marinated kebabs.
A classic sweet, spicy, and savory accompaniment for grilled meats.
The perfect union of orange and chipotle just gets stronger when added to ketchup, making a strong spicy, smoky, and fruity sauce.
A good salsa can be used for so much—chip dip, taco topper, condiment for eggs, etc. Mix it with ketchup and you have a nice accompaniment for fries, taquitos, and more.
Sriracha and ketchup together make a great condiment, but add a little honey for some contrast with the heat, rice vinegar for extra tang, and lime and cilantro for freshness, and it's pretty killer.
Gochujang—a Korean fermented chili paste—gives this ketchup its unique spice, balanced with brown sugar and given more depth from soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
It may not be much of a recipe, but simply mixing mayonnaise and ketchup together makes one killer sauce that's a tangy, sweet, and fruity force to be reckoned with.
Thai sweet chili sauce is good with so many things, and this ketchup creates a similar balance between sugar and chili flakes that's just as versatile.
Using Serbian ajvar as inspiration, roasted red peppers are mixed with ketchup, garlic, and sherry vinegar, along with smoked paprika for that required smoky flavor.
Pineapple juice provides the fruity note of a classic Chinese-American sweet and sour sauce whose balance is a mix between brown sugar and rice vinegar.
Taking a cue from Kansas City barbecue sauce, this ketchup delivers the sweet tang with a little heat, without being overwhelmingly strong.
Hoisin gives this ketchup a deep, earthy sweetness while honey, soy sauce, sherry, and five spice powder add the distinctive additional notes of char siu sauce—the Chinese answer to barbecue sauce.