Make dinner simple: Giada’s quick, easy pasta sauces

Love home-cooked meals but always feel they're too time consuming and complicated? Lucky for you, Giada De Laurentiis has a solution. Here, the celebrity chef shares her recipes for thyme butter, vodka and spicy pesto, savory sauces that can give you a perfect pasta dinner in minutes.

Thyme butter sauce

Ingredients

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

Preparation

Baking Directions:

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

Vodka sauce

Ingredients

    • 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

Preparation

Baking Directions:

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.

Spicy pesto sauce

Ingredients

    • 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

Preparation

Baking Directions:

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

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