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10 Fancy Pasta Sauces Ready in 30 Minutes or Less

Many fancy Italian pasta sauces are actually very quick to make, and are ideal for busy weeknight dinners. Most are made with pantry staples plus a generous helping of Parmesan cheese. Here are 10 quick pasta sauce ideas to add to your weeknight recipe rotation.

1. Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta | Ready in 30 mins

This creamy sauce is almost like a carbonara, but with smoked salmon instead of bacon. Der Juana says, "I added a little white wine and a few teaspoons of lemon juice. I could not stop telling all my friends how delicious it was. Definitely a keeper."

Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta

Photo by chibi chef

2. Pantry Puttanesca | Ready in 25 mins

This recipes comes together so quickly, and we're guessing you might have a lot of the ingredients in your pantry. According to Rose, "All the flavors play beautifully together...a glass of white wine adds the final touch. Will definitely make again and again and again."

Pantry Puttanesca

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

3. Light Lemon Pesto Pasta | Ready in 30 mins

A splash of lemon adds a touch of acidity and brightness to a simple pesto pasta dish.  This recipe also has baby spinach and walnuts which give it a more complex flavor. This is a great recipe to make in the summer months when you've a glut of basil on your hands.

Light Lemon Pesto Pasta

Photo by Baking Nana

4. Penne and Vodka Sauce  | Ready in 30 mins

This 5-ingredient pasta sauce is divine. It tastes like you've put so much work into it, but can be whipped up in minutes.

5. Sugo Rosso (Red Sauce) | Ready in 25 mins

Sometimes the easiest recipes are the best. According to J Clark,  "Excellent. Surprisingly complex for such a simple recipe. I can't wait to try it with fresh heirloom tomatoes next time!"

Sugo Rosso (Red Sauce)

Photo by BuckWheat Queen

6. Creamy Pumpkin Sauce | Ready in 30 mins

If you find yourself with some leftover pumpkin purée in the pantry, this creamy pasta sauce is definitely one to try. "Amazing sauce! Crowd favorite! Not too pumpkin-y, but has a definite fall feel to it, which is very much welcome during the fall and winter seasons." -- Pamona2006

Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

7. Not Red Spaghetti Sauce | Ready in 30 mins

If you are looking for a quick, meaty pasta sauce, then look no further. Italian sausage and sherry make this one quick delicious recipe you'll be making again and again. "Totally different and totally fantastic. Needs to be rated even higher than 5-stars" -- AINAELGA

Not Red Spaghetti Sauce

Photo by Dianne

8. Alfredo Sauce | Ready in 20 mins

You are just five ingredients away from this heavenly, cream sauce. If you are craving fast, comfort food, then you need to make this recipe.

Alfredo Sauce

Photo by Dianne

9. Pasta with Gorgonzola Sauce and Radicchio | Ready in 25 mins

If you like your cream sauce with a little more depth of flavor, this Gorgonzola sauce is another great one to try.

Pasta with Gorgonzola Sauce and Radicchio

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

10. Salsa di Noci  | Ready in 25 mins

This authentic Italian sauce is full of herbs, cream, and walnuts and will make you feel like you're on vacation. Watch and see how easy it is to make.

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About Vicky McDonald

Always looking for more cheese! I love to bake, potter about the garden, and drink lemony gin & tonics in the sun. I also blog at stasty.com.