HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


different pasta sauces? not tomato or creme based?

Hey! wonderring if anyone had a good heatly pasta recipes that aren't tomato or creme based. I've made pesto a few times but looking for change.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Mushroom? I usually cook the portobellos down into a nice vegetarian gravy for pasta. It's quite yummy.

    1. I saute strips of shitake mushroom, zucchini, and yellow squash in olive oil and toss with spaghetti and some pasta water and fresh lemon. I add more lemon the next day and eat it cold for lunch.

      1. olive oil, garlic, basil salt, pepper, red pepper flake, parsley, lemon juice, white wine, chicken stock. For richness add a bit of butter at the end unless you are trying to avoid the whole dairy thing.

        Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, butter.

        1. Doesnt really qualify as healthy, but Giada has a lemon spagetti recipe that is excellent. Lemon juice, zest( my addition), evoo and parmesean.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Calipoutine

            It's not really a "sauce" but I usually sautee in olive oil some artichokes, basil, black olives, capers, chili flakes, white wine, sometimes an anchovy and top with parmasean cheese

            1. A mixture of peanut butter and salsa is always tasty!

              1 Reply
              1. re: lgss

                Consider an entire class of Italian vegetable and pasta dishes. Works with broccoli, broccoli rabe, cabbage, cauliflower, escarole, mushrooms. Parboil vegetable in pasta water; remove. Heat good extra virgin olive oil in skillet, add garlic, sliced, red hot pepper, perhaps melt a few anchovies. Black olives (oil cured) also work; a few cherry tomatoes chopped. Add vegetable to skillet, cook till softened, infused with sauce, even to the point where vegetable disintegrates. Add cooked pasta (penne, rigatoni, ziti, and such). Toss, cook a bit more. Top with grated romano or toasted breadcrumbs. Drink cold Sicilian white wine.

              2. Also sauces with bottarga - though that salt may not be so healthy.

                1. Ricotta cheese mixed with smashed or pureed peas, some olive oil, garlic and parmesan, thin to desired consistency with pasta water

                  1. I know this may be cream based but if you like blue cheese you could melt it down with some cream and make a lovely sauce. I do this when I need a quick meal, it's excellent!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BamiaWruz

                      On this, the walnut and blue cheese variation is too too good.

                    2. Roast up a bunch of veggies and toss with pasta, EVOO, and a good vinegar (or lemon juice). Add a dusting of grated Parm.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pikawicca

                        If you salt little cubes of eggplant, then rinse and press to drain all the water out, sautee in oil with salt and black pepper then add little chunks of tomato or a can of whole tomatos and sautee until nice and "done" it tastes wonderful with pasta.

                        I know it's tomatoy but it's so good.

                      2. Something that I've done on occasion that has been well received is to saute my favorite vegetables in olive oil with salt, crushed red pepper & garlic. Then finish with balsamic vinegar and toss with angel hair or linguini. Add chicken and/or parmesan if you like. Fast, tasty and health.

                        1. Carbonara is one of my favorites...when it's not made with cream, but only with eggs, Pancetta,Parmigiana Reggiano and Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley.

                          Summer sauces that work well are Eggplant and Zucchini, cubed and cooked down with aromatics.

                          Last, Fresh Roasted Red Peppers....pureed......olives optional.

                          1. Oil and vinegar type salad dressings.

                            1. I love simple pasta with white clam sauce. Open a can of minced clams. Add some fresh chopped parsley and some puréed garlic to the liquer and heat it. Stir in the clams at the last second and toss with the pasta.

                              Alice Water's puréed garlic is perfect for this application and most others. I do it every month or so now and use it more than I use fresh garlic.

                              I also like pasta with browned butter and torn sage leaves. Or I sauté pieces of walnut to crisp and heat them add herbs and toss pasta in that.

                              Puréed pumpkin makes a great pasta sauce. Thin it with some chicken broth. Add some garlic and herbs.

                              1. What about red wine sauce? Or squik ink sauce?

                                1. Brown 1# turkey Italian sausage in large frying pan and remove, saute blanched broccoli rabe with olive oil and garlic - while you're doing this cook 8 oz penne, drain. Mix penne, sausage, broccoli, and one can drained cannellini ( or any white bean). Add 1/2 C chicken broth ( or just use the pasta water.) Serve with grated romano or asiago.

                                  1. broccoli rabe and spicy sausage. Pesto. Marcella has a great recipe for pasta with cauliflower sauce, which I thought sounded kinda weird until I made it- yum. I also love sauteed baby artichokes with pasta, lemon juice, a little bit of the pasta coking water an some grated cheese.

                                    1. Meatballs made w/ beef or pork or turkey that contain raisins and pinenuts and a dash of cinnamon over spaghetti tossed in a sauce of white wine vinegar (1/2 cup reduced to 1/4) and three tbsps. of white sugar. Sort of an "agro-dolce" thing. Adam

                                      1. Do you know what Cuban mojo is? You finely chop garlic, and then add it to oil on high heat, lower the heat, and let it cook on a very low flame for about 20 minutes until all of the harshness is gone and you are left with sweet garlic goodness. You could do this with and olive oil and butter combination, and add in dried Meditterranean type herbs, a pinch of chili flakes, and of course salt. You could also add in some veg of choice at the end of cooking. Toss your pasta in this, then garnish with grated cheese of choice.

                                          1. Does heatly mean healthy? It just occurred to me that maybe we are giving fatty recipes when the query wants healthier options.

                                            1. If you like peppers, M&M Jfood found this recipe, which he will summarize, many years ago and they love.

                                              -Roast 6-8 red/yellow/orange/green peppers, the color is your option but jfood likes one green and the rest the other colors
                                              -Remove skin and seeds and slice into strips
                                              -Heat some EVOO (maybe 1/2 C) in a skillet, and add peppers with some salt, pepper and some red pepper flakes and heat slowly for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally

                                              You need a good durable pasta for this like a rotini.

                                              1. This is a great recipe from Marcella Hazan:

                                                CAULIFLOWER SAUCE WITH GARLIC, OIL AND CHILI PEPPER
                                                Serves 4 to 6

                                                1 head cauliflower, about 1 1/2 pounds
                                                1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
                                                2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
                                                6 flat anchovy fillets, chopped very fine
                                                Chopped hot red chili pepper, to taste
                                                2 tablespoons chopped parsley
                                                1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta

                                                Recommended pasta: Penne, the quill-shaped macaroni, either in the smooth or ridged version, would be the most appealing choice.

                                                1. Strip the cauliflower of all its leaves except for a few of the very tender inner ones. Rinse it in cold water and cut it in two.

                                                2. Bring 4 to 5 quarts of water to boil, put in the cauliflower, and cook it until it is tender, but not mushy about 25 to 30 minutes. Prod it with a fork to test for doneness. When cooked, drain and set aside.

                                                3. Put water in a saucepan, and bring it to a lively simmer.

                                                4. Put the oil and garlic in a medium sauté pan, turn on the heat to medium, and cook until the garlic becomes colored a light, golden brown. Remove the pan from the burner, place it over the saucepan of simmering water, and add to it the chopped anchovies. Cook, stirring and mashing the anchovies with the back of a wooden spoon against the sides of the pan to dissolve them as much as possible into a paste. Return the sauté pan to the burner over medium heat and cook for another half minute, stirring frequently.

                                                5. Add the drained, boiled cauliflower, breaking it up quikly with a fork into pieces not bigger than a small nut. Turn it thoroughly in the oil to coat it well, mashing some of it to a pulp with the back of the spoon.

                                                6. Add the chopped chili pepper and salt. Turn up the heat, and cook for a few minutes more, stirring frequently.

                                                Ahead-of-time note : You can prepare the sauce several hours in advance up to this point. Do not refrigerate it. Reheat it gently when the pasta is nearly ready to be drained and tossed.

                                                7. Toss with cooked drained pasta. Add the chopped parsley, toss once or twice again, then serve immediately.

                                                1. Stir fried veggies and garlic with soy sauce and a little peanut oil.