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Winter months, especially January and February after the holidays, are hard times for restaurants. Prepare for this potentially slow season by offering seasonal dishes that will bring people into your restaurant all winter long. If you don’t want to put too much effort into these experimental dishes, try something simple, like different pasta sauces. We’ve compiled a list of different and delicious pasta sauces to try this winter that your restaurant patrons will love. Keep reading to learn more.
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Most people think of pesto as the perfect summer sauce since you can eat it at room temperature or cold. However, it makes a great addition to chicken dishes during the winter. National Chicken Month is in September, so a winter pesto is a perfect recipe to close out National Chicken Month and prepare for the colder months. To put an extra seasonal spin on this popular dish, you can swap the traditional basil for winter greens and create a winter pesto with the recipe below.
- 8 ounces of winter greens with the stems removed
- 1 tablespoon of pine nuts or walnuts
- 1 chopped clove of garlic or ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup of freshly shredded Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- ½ teaspoon of lemon zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
You can boil the winter greens before adding them to your food processor or place them in the food processor raw. Add the nuts and then pulse until finely chopped. Then, include the garlic and cheese. Pulse until thoroughly combined, then add the honey, oil, and lemon zest. Pulse until smooth and season to taste.
Creamy Butternut Sauce
Butternut squash is a versatile winter vegetable that can easily become a delicious, creamy pasta sauce if you follow the recipe below.
- 3 cups of chopped, peeled, and seeded butternut squash
- 1 medium-large white onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan
Melt the butter or heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic, squash, and crushed red pepper. Once the onion is translucent, pour in the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the squash mixture for 15–20 minutes until the squash is soft, then remove it from the pot. Pour the mixture into a blender and puree it until it’s smooth, adding Parmesan partway through.
Classic Vodka Sauce
The warmth of a vodka sauce makes it perfect for the cold winter months. Follow the directions below for the perfect vodka sauce.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 and a half cups of crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup vodka
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup shredded Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons Italian herbs
Melt the butter in a saucepan and toast the garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Puree the tomatoes until they’re smooth and pour them into the saucepan. Add the Italian herbs and the vodka and allow the sauce to simmer for roughly 10 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, add the shredded Parmesan, and stir to combine over low heat.
These different and delicious pasta sauces to try this winter will offer your restaurant a chance to bring in new patrons throughout the cold winter months. Offer just one or try all three to give your customers the perfect plate.