Our Favorite Italian Sauces to Try & What Foods They Pair Best With

Authentic Italian food offers an exceptional dining experience for many reasons. However, we are here to highlight the importance of our favorite Italian sauces. There is a wide range of unique sauces that you can use throughout Italian cuisine—all with different ingredients and flavor profiles to enjoy. If you are looking to try a new sauce, consider some of these favorite Italian sauces and the types of dishes they might pair best with.


Though you can make pesto in multiple ways (including a vegan version), the most authentic way to prepare this classic sauce from Italy’s Liguria region is with pine nuts, salt, basil, garlic, cheese, and olive oil. You could swap pine nuts for walnuts or hazelnuts, depending on your tastes. That will switch up the nuttiness within the sauce’s overall flavor. Pesto sauce pairs with various pasta, but it also makes a delicious drizzle on top of your favorite pizza.

Aglio o Olio

Simplicity meets deliciousness with Aglio o olio sauce, which directly translates to “garlic and olive oil.” Aglio o olio sauce is a complete meal all its own — and a delicious one at that. However, consider red pepper flakes or parmesan cheese if you want to add additional toppings. This pairs well with just about any pasta, but we recommend spaghetti. (It is also great with picky eaters!)


Pomodoro sauce is a classic in the Italian tradition that you can use for various Italian sauce pairings. Made with a rich tomato base and simmered for hours with basil, garlic, salt, and olive oil, this aromatic and flavorful sauce is typically mixed with spaghetti pasta. However, it can be added to a vegetable or meat dish for a delicious result. Some chefs will even add red wine or brandy to their pomodoro sauce to give it a deeper flavor.


Though arrabbiata may seem similar to a classic pomodoro or marinara sauce, this sauce takes the familiar Italian flavors of rich tomato sauce, olive oil, and garlic to new heights. With the addition of chilis, the sauce has much more of a kick. Additionally, unlike pomodoro sauce, arrabbiata doesn’t need to simmer for hours to taste its best. (Definately a quicker alternative if you’re in a pinch.) You can pair arrabbiata with different kinds of pasta. Still, it often goes best with penne, as the ridges and tube-like structure of the noodles can properly hold the sauce for a delicious and satisfying bite every time.


Created in the Bologna region of Italy, this sauce is made with just enough tomato to keep it bound together. That is because the most crucial ingredient to an authentic Bolognese is not tomatoes but rather beef and pork mince, butter, celery, carrots, onions, and dry wine. You only need to add a little seasoning to Bolognese sauce besides salt and pepper. After hours of slow cooking, the sauce develops an incredibly creamy consistency that will make it one of your favorite Italian sauces. For the most authentic Bolognese experience, this sauce should be served with fresh tagliatelle, although it also pairs well with spaghetti.


Alfredo sauce is one of the most famous Italian sauces for a good reason. This rich and creamy sauce starts with a roux of chicken bouillon and flour, with butter, water, and milk added to give the sauce its creamy texture. Serve your alfredo with pasta or as a pizza sauce for the best results.

Indulge in Our Favorite Italian Sauces at Spizzico Italian Kitchen

Authentic Italian food is alive and well in Arnold, Maryland, at Spizzico Italian Kitchen. We offer all of your favorite Italian sauces throughout our menu. These are homemade and family recipes. Order online today or contact us to learn more about our catering menu!