It came as a surprise to me that marinara, puttanesca and arrabbiata were different kinds of sauces rather than different fancy words people tacked onto their recipes to make them sound extravagant and complex. Here is what I have learned about these various sauces, and here is to all of us becoming sous chefs in our own kitchens.
Originated in South Italy as a very basic sauce composed predominantly of tomatoes, garlic, oil and herbs. These recipes now commonly include onions for flavour, or a bit of butter to make the sauce silkier. This is one of the more versatile sauces used in a lot of pasta dishes, both on its own or paired with red meat and cheeses. Basil is a good herb to add to this type of sauce, either fresh or dried as is oregano.
I swear everytime I have to write something about this sauce, I spell it wrong. Luckily, once you have got the spelling correct you basically know where this sauce originates from; Bologna, in Northern Italy. A bolognese sauce (unlike any ‘bolognese sauce’ I have been making) begins with a mixture of vegetables, meat and cheese that gets doused in butter and white wine before the classic tomato paste flavouring is added that this sauce is known for. Similarly to Marinara Sauce this sauce is often either combined with pasta, or is deposited on top, such as with Spaghetti Bolognese.