36% Said This Was Their Favorite Sauce To Put On Pasta

What do you think of when you hear the word pasta? Although most of us tend to picture a plate of spaghetti or penne sauced with something Italian(ish) in nature, Dream Kitchen tells us that orzo, spaetzle, and even pierogies are all considered to be pasta, as well. (Ramen noodles and egg noodles, on the other hand, are not. It's complicated.) Still, one thing that most types of pasta, at least the non-filled ones, have in common is that they don't really stand on their own, but need a sauce of some sort to give them flavor.

So which sauce goes best "on top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese" (or no cheese, should you be lactose-intolerant)? The people have spoken – well, 614 of them, responding to a Mashed survey – and they've told us which ones they like best. While the top vote-getter came as no shock, we were a bit surprised at just how low down the list some other popular sauces ranked.

Simpler sauces seemed to score higher

Survey respondents were provided with a hypothetical choice of 6 different sauces: alfredo, bolognese, carbonara, marinara, pesto, and ragu. Of these choices, the top vote-getter, favorite of 36% of our respondents, was a classic: marinara. While there's no shortage of store-bought versions available in your average supermarket, one can quickly make a marina recipe from scratch. In second place was the creamy alfredo sauce, earning over 24% of the vote, while in third place was ragu with nearly 16%. What was not clear, however, was whether our poll respondents were expressing a preference for the meat-based Italian sauce known as ragu or they're just fans of the popular American Ragu brand of jarred pasta sauces.

The fourth place sauce was the herb-and-cheese pesto, a popular pick for people nostalgic over '80s food trends. A real surprise was the relatively poor showing made by the meaty bolognese, a favorite of only 7% of our respondents. In last place, however, was another creamy sauce: carbonara, favorite of not quite 5%. Strange, when you consider just how high Alfredo sauce scored, Still, pasta preferences are personal, and there are no wrong answers when it comes to topping your noodles any way you please.