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August 25, 2018 / Leslie

Just Add Sauce from America’s Test Kitchen

A Revolutionary Guide to Boosting the Flavor of Everything You Cook

Publisher: America’s Test Kitchen | February 2018
Format: Paperback 328 Pages | Rating: 5 stars

America’s Test Kitchen has put together a new recipe book with over 175 sauces and 100 easy meals. There are so many sauces in this book I’m not sure where to start! Everything from salad dressings and vinaigrettes to multiple types of pasta sauces, barbecue sauces, pan sauces, and dessert sauces to name a few.

Helpful Introduction

The book opens with an introduction plus some helpful information on how to use the book, tools and equipment you will need, how to store the sauces, and other techniques. There are several helpful indexes right at the beginning, before we even get to the recipes. There is a list of food (ie beef, chicken, pork, etc) and what sauces pair with it, plus a list of the sauces and a list of the recipes that use the sauces. At the end of the book is the usual alphabetical index.

Well-Organized and Attractive Layout

I like the way the book is organized. Chapters are arranged by type of sauce, not by recipe. Following each sauce are a few easy meals that use the sauce or a slight variation of it. I found the instructions to be clear and easy to follow. The ingredients are readily available in most areas with a large supermarket.

The layout of the book is attractive and the food is inviting. There are photos of most dishes, but the book is not overloaded with them.Dinners are not overly complicated; many are easy. They don’t hesitate to use the microwave or even a shortcut like canned tomatoes, and I can attest it does not affect the flavor. The Pomodoro Sauce is delicious using canned tomatoes.

Each sauce recipe begins with “why this recipe works” and offers useful information that can be applied to other recipes, which is helpful for those who like to create their own dishes, make substitutions, or experiment. While this is not a beginners cookbook, you don’t need to be an expert either. It has something for everyone.

Sample Recipe

Garden Vegetable Marinara Sauce


2 (28‐ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
¼ cup extra‐virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
⅓ cup dry red wine
Salt and pepper
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


1. Drain tomatoes in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl. Using hands, open tomatoes and remove seeds and cores. Let tomatoes drain for 5 minutes. (You should have about 2½ cups juice; if not, add water as needed to equal 2½ cups.) Measure out and reserve ¾ cup tomatoes separately.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and carrot and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, garlic, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in remaining tomatoes and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to brown and stick to skillet, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Stir in wine and cook until thick and syrupy, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Transfer sauce to food processor, add reserved tomatoes, and pulse until slightly chunky, about 4 pulses.

5. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add zucchini and cook, without stirring, until well browned, about 2 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Return sauce to skillet and bring to brief simmer. Stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Makes about 6 cups; enough for 1 pound pasta

wkendcookingThis post is linked to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Carole from Carole's Chatter / Aug 25 2018 5:56 pm

    Hope the library has this one. Thanks


  2. BermudaOnion / Aug 25 2018 7:29 pm

    I need to get this for my sister!


  3. Gluten Free A-Z / Aug 25 2018 10:53 pm

    175 sauces is quite a variety. It’s amazing they can create so many different kinds of sauce.


  4. Mae / Aug 26 2018 9:14 am

    I wonder if this book dates from before or after the guy with the bow tie left America’s Test Kitchen! I consider their publications (on or off-line) to be a reliable source of recipes, though I’ve never owned one. You make me think this might be a good one to own.

    best… mae at


  5. Mary / Aug 26 2018 5:55 pm

    I think anything from ATK would be great.


  6. Deb in Hawaii / Aug 26 2018 9:51 pm

    I love trying and making different sauces–they add so much to a dish. I’ll check this one out. Thanks for sharing it with Weekend Cooking this week. 😉


  7. Tina / Aug 27 2018 12:07 pm

    You just can’t go wrong with ATK.



  1. Just Add Sauce from America’s Test Kitchen — Under My Apple Tree – „Ingerii sunt spirite inaripate, prietene cu spiritul tau inaripat.“

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