Gochujang (고추장) is one of Korea’s most important “mother sauces.” It is the backbone of many popular recipes: 닭갈비 dakgalbi, 김치찌개 kimchi jjigae and 떡볶이 tteokbokki. It’s also used to make 쌈장 ssamjang, the quintessential barbecue condiment.

Gochujang‘s fermented yet sweet demeanor can also add some spicy backbone to your favorite marinara meat sauce.

Take note with this recipe: The sauce-to-pasta ratio is more Italian than American. Americans like lots of sauce on their pasta. Italians prefer lots of pasta for their sauce. This recipe leans towards the Italian style.