"People sometimes think sauce needs to be complex. In Italy, it's made with whatever's available: fresh, local ingredients, of course, or things from the cupboard in winter months. Even when you think you have nothing in the house, you can make a great homemade sauce."
-- Lidia Bastinanich
Marinara may be top tomato here in America, but chef and TV host Lidia Bastianich says there are a slew of lesser-known Italian sauces just as tasty: "Traditionally they're made with regional peak-season produce that has a lot of natural flavor. When you break them down with heat or in a blender, vegetables kind of make their own sauce, releasing their liquids as they turn tender."
The same magic happens with beans and legumes, herbs and garlic, and even nuts. With her favorite sous chefs at her side -- her mother, Erminia; daughter Tanya; niece Estelle; and Estelle's husband, Gus -- Lidia stirs up six scrumptious versions starring simple, seasonal ingredients, and shares her sauciest tips. Take our word for it: You're gonna want a spoon.Continued on page 2: