Popular Uruguayan Pasta with Caruso Sauce Recipe

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Uruguayan pasta with Caruso sauce, or Cappelletti alla Caruso, is a beautiful Italian-Uruguayan fusion dish that offers mouthwatering textures and rich, smoky flavors with each and every bite. The sauce (salsa Caruso) is simple to make and a great way to eat your favorite pasta.

Uruguayan Pasta with Caruso Sauce

What is Cappelletti a la Caruso or Pasta with Caruso Sauce?

Cappelletti a la Caruso is native to Uruguary, but came to be due to Italian influence in the country. It was a dish developed to honor the tenor Enrico Caruso, hence the name of the sauce.

Caruso sauce is a creamy, meaty sauce with a thick, almost gravy-like consistency. Its core ingredients are ham, mushrooms, and cheese.

Pasta with Caruso sauce, traditionally, is made with cappelletti. However, you can serve it with any type of pasta. Tortellini and spaghetti are popular choices both in restaurants and home kitchens.

For a sauce of such simple ingredients, the Caruso sauce packs so much flavor. This is a hearty, smokey pasta dish, great for all occasions.

Pasta with Caruso Sauce Recipe (Step-by-Step)

Ingredients

First, prep your ingredients. You’ll need the following:

  • 60g (4 tbsp) butter
  • 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 finely diced onion 
  • 2 tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream/double cream
  • 200 g (7 oz) diced ham
  • 100g (3.5oz) grated Parmesan
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 450 grams (1 pound) pasta

Step-By-Step Instructions

Before you start on the sauce, start on the pasta so that it’s cooking while you’re making the sauce. Set a pot of water of high heat and add salt. Once the water starts boiling, add your pasta and cook according to the package instructions.

Now, on to the sauce. In a pan, over medium heat, add 1 tbsp (15 grams) of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have softened and the water has mostly evaporated.

Set the mushrooms and onions aside in a bowl.

In the emptied pan, over medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons (or 45 grams) of butter.

Once the butter has melted, add the 2 tablespoons of flour, whisking well. Cook for about one minute until bubbly. Slowly start incorporating the milk while whisking well.

Add the beef stock cube or bouillon. And then slowly incorporate the cream. Continue to stir until the sauce has thicked but don’t let it boil.

Once the sauce has thickened, add the diced ham and the Parmesan cheese, and stir. Add the cooked mushrooms and onions back in the pan, mixing the sauce well.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix lightly until the pasta is heated throughout. Serve it while hot.

Traditionally, cappelletti or tortellini are the pasta of choice for the Caruso sauce. But any pasta of your choice will pair well with the Caruso sauce.

The thick, creamy Caruso sauce is a match made in heaven with the pasta of your choice. Pasta provides a soft, savory foundation on which the earthiness of the mushroom and the smokiness of the ham really come to life in a sea of flavor.

Then there’s the colors. Dark, earthy tones from the sauce, glistening against the light, smother the smooth, golden surface of each and every shape or shell. It is mouthwatering to look at.

Uruguayan Pasta with Caruso Sauce Recipe

Uruguayan Pasta with Caruso Sauce

Uruguayan Pasta with Caruso Sauce

Ingredients

  • 60g (4 tbsp) butter
  • 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 finely diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream/double cream
  • 200 g (7 oz) diced ham
  • 100g (3.5oz) grated Parmesan
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 450 grams (1 pound) pasta

Instructions

  1. Before you make the sauce, start on the pasta so that it’s cooking while you’re making the sauce. Set a pot of water of high heat and add salt. Once the water starts boiling, add your pasta and cook according to the package instructions.
  2. Now, on to the sauce. In a pan, over medium heat, add 1 tbsp (15 grams) of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have softened and the water has mostly evaporated.
  3. Set the cooked mushrooms and onions aside in a bowl.
  4. In the now-empty pan, over medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons (or 45 grams) of butter.
  5. Once the butter has melted, add the 2 tablespoons of flour, whisking well. Cook for about one minute until bubbly.
  6. Slowly start incorporating the milk while whisking well. Add the beef stock cube or bouillon. And then slowly incorporate the cream.
  7. Continue to stir until the sauce has thickened but don’t let the sauce boil.
  8. Once the sauce has thickened, add the diced ham and the Parmesan cheese, and stir. Add the cooked mushrooms and onions back in the pan, mixing the sauce well.
  9. Add the pasta to the sauce in the pan, and lightly mix until the pasta is heated throughout.
  10. Serve while hot.

Notes

Traditionally, cappelletti or tortellini is the pasta of choice for the Caruso sauce. But any pasta of your choice will pair well with the Caruso sauce.

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Author: Doina Johnson is a content writer and strategist who loves to discover new and exciting foods and recipes while traveling. She replicates some of her favorite dishes in her home kitchen and is eager to explore native cuisine wherever she travels to.

Contributor: Cecilia Demartini is a creative writer from Maldonado, Uruguay. She is deeply passionate about Uruguayan culture and writes regularly on native foods, cuisine, and travel.

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