3 Essential Pasta Sauces Every Home Cook Should Know How to Make

We caught up with Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani, who gave us the lowdown on the three essential sauces he thinks every home cook should know how to make.

  1. Classic tomato sauce: "Everyone should be able to make it because it's easy. All you need to do is roast garlic with olive oil and add tomato, basil, salt, and pepper — it's that simple! It's a classic sauce and it's the base for any red Italian sauces."
  2. Cheese sauce: "A béchamel-based sauce made with cream, butter, flour, and three to four Italian or American cheeses such as montasio, grana padano, cheddar, or blue cheese. Melt butter, add a little flour to it (equal parts by weight), and then add heavy cream or half and half. You're going to have a velvety, silky cream sauce. Melt in the cheese to the base, and you'll have a delicious, homemade cheese sauce."
  3. Pesto sauce: "Any home cook should own a food processor. Mix basil, grana padano, pine nut, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper into the processor. It is a cold sauce that's perfect for summertime and packed with lots of flavor. All you need to do is blend all the ingredients together for about 30 seconds in the blender."

To see Fabio up close and learn more about all things pasta, you can find him this weekend (Aug. 26 through 28) at the Sixth Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival.