8 Ways to Elevate Canned Spaghetti Sauce
It’s Buttered Side Up, according to The Pioneer Woman I know what some of you are thinking: “Canned spaghetti sauce?! What are you talking about?” “That’s the work of the Devil!” I’m quite sure we can all agree that the finest spaghetti sauce will always be fresh, homemade spaghetti sauce. The same can be said for practically any handmade cuisine vs store-bought food. The fact is that we all have those days when our schedules are too hectic to devote the necessary time to making a great pasta sauce.
In the meanwhile, we’d want to eat something that genuinely resembles wholesome home-cooked fare.
When it comes to pasta sauces, I’ll be the first to say that the majority of them are rather bland straight from the jar.
My favorite techniques to make bottled spaghetti sauce more interesting are listed below!
1 – Extra virgin olive oil
Making your sauce taste better will be made easier by using a generous amount of a delicious olive oil in the recipe. You may either add it to the pot at the beginning of the cooking process or sprinkle it on right before serving as a finishing oil. It’s entirely up to you!
2 – Fresh garlic
Yes, I am aware that the ingredients for your bottled spaghetti sauce include garlic. The flavor will be more distinct and intense if you use fresh garlic, and the sauce will taste more homemade if you do it as well as you can.
3 – Meat
I enjoy adding extra protein to bottled spaghetti sauce when I make it from scratch. It enhances the flavor and adds a textural aspect to the dish. Furthermore, it will assist you in keeping your stomach full for a longer period of time! You may use any meat you have on hand, such as ground beef, sausage, meatballs, chicken, or a combination of meats. Begin by browning the beef in a skillet with the garlic until it is no longer pink. When the meat is just partly done, you may add the sauce and let it to continue cooking in the sauce, which will give additional flavor to the meat.
4 – Hot pepper flakes
Hot pepper flakes are another method to add a little additional spice to your dish. Yes, you could just buy hot Italian sausage for that extra burst of heat, but for those of us who are a little wary of spicy food, it’s good to be able to regulate the amount of heat we’re exposed to. Furthermore, some meats, such as ground beef, do not have a “hot” option. When you add the pepper flakes, it doesn’t really matter when you do it. All you have to do is keep in mind what it is you want spicy: the meat or the sauce?
And, no, I did not use all of the hot pepper flakes—just thinking about it makes me want to start sweating already!
5 – Red wine
Wine dramatically enhances the flavor of your sauce by adding another layer of complexity. Consider this to be similar to vanilla extract.
Given the limited time available to cook out the alcohol, you want to use only a small amount, just enough to flavor the sauce without imparting too much of an alcohol flavor. Depending on how much sauce you’re preparing, a few of teaspoons should be plenty.
6 – Fresh or dried herbs
Again, herbs may be included among the components in your sauce, but adding fresh or even dried herbs can assist to enhance the tastes. If you are using dried herbs, you may add them at any point throughout the cooking process. Using fresh herbs, you may wish to add them at the end or as a garnish to ensure that the fresh flavor is not lost in the cooking process.
7 – Cheese
Cheese, cheese, cheese. It may be used to conceal a variety of sins, including monotonous spaghetti sauces. If you don’t have Parmesan on hand, you can easily use cheddar, Colby, mozzarella, or whatever else you have on hand instead. I really prefer to use a blend of cheeses, such as mozzarella, that are more melty and a cheese that has more bite, such as Parmesan, in my dishes.
8 – Cream and/or butter
A buddy of mine taught me how to make a tomato sauce with cream for the first time. A red sauce had been prepared, and towards the end, after plating the pasta and sauce, he drizzled heavy cream on top of the dish. While I was watching, I was little terrified that the acidity of the tomatoes might cause the cream to split. However, after tasting the concoction, I was persuaded otherwise. It was just great. As an added richness, I like to sprinkle a small amount of cream on top of my spaghetti sauce before serving.
Make sure to tell us about your favorite additions in the comments section below!
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10 Easy Tricks to Make Store-Bought Pasta Sauce Taste Homemade
There’s nothing better than fresh, handmade tomato sauce, but in order for the flavors to properly emerge, the sauce should be simmered for several hours. And while it is very worthwhile to do so if you have the time, it is not always possible on some evenings. That is where the pre-made items come into play. Jarred pasta sauce isn’t the same as fresh pasta sauce, but it’s a cinch to spice up when you’re in a hurry and need something delicious. Here are 10 tips for making store-bought spaghetti or marinara sauce taste like you cooked it yourself if you don’t want anybody to find out about your “secret recipe.”
1. Start with Sautéed Vegetables
Prepare the veggies by chopping them up and sautéing them in a little oil before adding the sauce. Onions, peppers, carrots, and garlic are all fantastic additions, but you may use any vegetables you choose. The idea is to include some sort of fresh vegetable to give it the appearance and flavor like a freshly produced homemade sauce.
2. Add Some Meat
Grease a skillet with ground beef, turkey, or sausage to add gobs of flavor to your sauce while also making it heartier and more substantial.
However, make sure to drain it well before adding the remaining ingredients because you do not want any excess oil in your sauce.
3. Spice It Up
A few herbs and spices may make a significant difference in the flavor of a pre-made sauce. If you enjoy a little spice, you may add a teaspoon or two of thyme, oregano, basil, or even a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the dish. It’s important to realize that some of these components may already be present in your sauce, so don’t go crazy with them. If the sauce appears to be too liquid, thicken it with a few teaspoons of tomato paste to give it a richer tomato flavor while also thickening it.
4. Deglaze Your Pan
Cooking vegetables or meat in a pan before adding the sauce will allow any portions that have adhered to the bottom of the pan to come to the surface and be released more easily. This is referred to as deglazing, and it aids in the incorporation of all the ingredients into your sauce that would otherwise be burned on the surface of the cooking pan.
5. Add a Spoonful of Sugar
Although it may seem unusual, a small amount of sugar may help bring the flavors of a tomato sauce together. It helps to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes while also enhancing their natural sweetness. If your sauce is already acidic, a teaspoon to a tablespoon of vinegar should be plenty, and you may not need any at all. It’s all a question of personal choice.
6. Let It Simmer
Allow your sauce to boil for a few minutes if you have the luxury of time. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes, it will assist to concentrate the flavors and thicken the sauce significantly.
7. Throw in a Handful of Greens
By concealing greens in your spaghetti sauce, you may obtain an additional serving of veggies. Just before serving, add a handful of spinach, chopped kale, or basil strips to make a healthier, heartier sauce by stirring them in just before serving.
8. Save Some Pasta Water
Save some of the cooking water from your pasta and add it to your tomato sauce a few tablespoons at a time after it’s completed cooking, as needed. The starchiness of the pasta water aids in the binding of the ingredients and the improvement of the texture.
9. Add a Little Dairy
Just before serving, whisk in roughly a half-cup of heavy cream or milk to make the sauce creamy and rich in texture. My personal preference is to use a scoop of ricotta cheese, but you can also use cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, or crème fraîche if you like. It imparts silkiness to the texture and improves the coating of the pasta. If you have any parmesan rind leftover, you may put it in as well while the dish is cooking to add richness to the flavor.
10. Finish with Butter
When your sauce has been heated through and you’re ready to remove it from the heat, add a pat of butter and stir well. It may appear unusual, but it is a tactic that expert cooks employ in a variety of sauces. A tablespoon or two increases the flavor depth and smoothness of the texture, while also helping to reduce the acidity of the dish. Are there any tricks you use to dress up jarred pasta sauce that you would like to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. Do you want to learn how to use Microsoft Excel and improve your chances of landing a job working from home?
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock of sautéed onions, Bolognese sauce, jarred sauces, butter, and parmesan cheese
The 5 Rules To Using Jarred Pasta Sauce
When my Epi Test Kitchen colleague Anna Stockwell was whipping up batches and batches of Parmigiana—with anything from chicken to eggplant to veal and everything in between—the Epi staff was pleasantly delighted by how much we appreciated the sauce. Why? It was extracted from a jar. We are big supporters of anything that helps us save time on weeknight dinners, and jarred spaghetti sauce is absolutely one of those things for us. Consequently, similar to what we did with butter and peanut butter before, we decided to put several jars to the test in order to determine which sauce to use when a four-hour marinara just isn’t doable.
- To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of 10 sauces to try, ranging from Rao’s, which is a staff favorite, to the cult classic Trader Joe’s brand, to the actually-classic Classico.
- Most of them tasted flat right out of the jar, several tasted suspiciously artificial, and virtually all of them were disappointing.
- However, this does not imply that we would eliminate canned sauce from our cupboard.
- You only need to follow a few simple procedures before you can begin using it.
1. Heat It
You should never pour canned sauce directly onto spaghetti and call it a meal. Ensure that the spaghetti sauce is heated in a separate pot at the very least. Warming the sauce will bring out the flavors of the spices and stimulate the caramelization of the sugars as the scents are released. (After all, you want your meal to smell pleasant, don’t you?)
2. Flavor It
Even better, add some seasoning! Once the sauce is heated, taste it and adjust the flavor as needed. Perhaps a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, or a clove or two of fresh garlic would be appropriate additions. You might also use dried or fresh herbs, such as oregano, basil, thyme, tarragon, and parsley, which are all delicious. Do you want to take it to the next level? Alternatively, some chopped anchovies (or anchovy salt), olives, or lemon zest and/or juice might be added. This combination of flavors adds layers of taste to the sauce and gives it either depth or brightness, depending on the component.
3. Cook It
Consider using the canned sauce in the same manner as you would a can of whole or crushed tomatoes if you really want to get inventive. Cook the garlic and onion until soft, then add the wine and allow it to deglaze the pan, releasing any (flavorful) pieces that have accumulated at the bottom. Taste after you’ve added the sauce. In order to truly concentrate that flavor, you can reduce the jarred sauce a bit—you can even let it dry out in the pan until it’s caramelized (and then thin it back out with pasta boiling water) to really concentrate it and give the sauce body.
Would you want to try it? If required, add a splash of vinegar or a teaspoon of sugar to help balance the flavor of the sauce. Finally, if you have any fresh herbs on hand, add them in for a finishing touch.
4. Enrich It
Do you want to change the sauce into a creamy, rich texture as soon as possible? Add a couple spoonfuls of heavy cream and mix well. Alternatively, you may use butter to complete the sauce, like in the popularMarcella Hazan technique. A few handfuls of grated Parmesan or another hard cheese might also be added to the boiling sauce while it’s still hot. Do you have any goat cheese on hand? Regular marinara is transformed into a creamy, tangy pasta sauce that goes well with any vegetables you happen to have on hand when you add some to it.
A generous sprinkle of extra-virgin olive oil, mixed in after the dish has been finished cooking, is also a good idea.
Sauté mushrooms or caramelize fennel in lots of olive oil to add some vegetable richness to your dish.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked meat or veggies with the canned sauce.
5. Bake It
The Epi staff’s preferred method of preparing jarred pasta sauce is to bake it, which allows the sugars to caramelize fully and the tastes to simmer down and deepen, as well as take on some of the flavor of the items with which the sauce is prepared. It may be used to make Parmigiana, Lasagna, Meatballs, Baked Ziti, or any other recipe that calls for a baked tomato sauce.
16 Ways to Gussy Up Store-Bought Spaghetti Sauce
My objective for most weekday dinners is to lessen the amount of time that elapses between the time I walk into my apartment and the time I eat pasta. It goes without saying that the ultimate achievement would be to walk through the door while eating pasta (or, if angels have come, to arrive home to a table already laden with macaroni and cheese). Instead, I normally make sauce from scratch in 30-ish minutes, which takes me around 30 minutes total: Boiling water while changing clothes; cooking noodles while sautéing greens with fresh garlic; adding pasta to greens with a splash of cooking liquid and ample quantities of pecorino, olive oil, and fresh herbs; dumping onto a serving dish By using the microwave and the glass jars of marinara sauce that we usually had on hand, my parents, on the other hand, were able to cut down on the time it took from door to pasta.
Cook the pasta and microwave the sauce, then combine the two ingredients and silence your eager crew of youngsters.
It is also quicker than simmering down canned tomatoes, which, despite the warnings, I don’t always keep on hand in my cupboard.
Some jars of tomato sauce are far superior to others in terms of taste and texture.
Look for sauces that are made with whole tomatoes and have no additional sugar. Here are some of Cook’s Illustrated’s favorite places to visit. Here’s how to quickly and simply dress up a jar of spaghetti sauce (even if it’s not fully homemade).
The bare-bones, do-this-one-thing approach:
1.Bring it to a simmer on the stovetop or in the oven. You may concentrate the taste of your sauce by cooking it down until part of the water has evaporated, leaving you with a sauce that is thicker and more tomato-flavored. Allow your sauce to simmer on the stovetop for at least 10 to 20 minutes while your pot of soup is heating up and your noodles are cooking. Alternatively, pour the sauce into a Dutch oven or baking dish and bake it at 300° F for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Yes, this will add a few more minutes to your cooking time, but you’ll need to heat up the sauce before mixing it with your pasta anyhow.
If you really want to go above and beyond (or if you’re an Instant Pot fanatic), try it this way.
Let’s assume you don’t have time to boil your sauce (or you’ve reduced it but it’s still missing flavor), you may add a dollop or two of tomato paste, which is a paste made from tomato paste.
Bonus points if you can extract the maximum amount of flavor from your tomato paste by sautéing it in hot olive oil before incorporating it into the sauce.
For extra credit, take on any—or all—of the following:
3.Explore your spice drawer and condiment cubby: If your sauce is lacking in depth and complexity, open your pantry or refrigerator and begin experimenting with different spices. Depending on your preferences, you may opt for hot (Sriracha, gochujang (Korean chili paste) or smokey (smoked paprika, sliced chipotles in adobo) or fruity (roasted red peppers, Calabrian chiles) and then mix and match until you reach your desired flavor profile. It’s important to taste frequently to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the flavors.
- An often-discarded cheese rind can make a pot of humble beans more salty and savory, and it can also enliven a stale tomato sauce by adding salt and savory flavors.
- 5.While we’re on the subject of a saltyje ne sais quoi, how about an anchovy?
- Add a few crushed garlic bulbs if you have them, then pour in your tomato sauce and bring everything to a simmer.
- 6.Make use of the nutritional benefits of sautéed veggies.
- I normally stick to the bare essentials of onion and garlic, although mirepoix or a couple handfuls of sliced mushrooms can make for tasty accompaniments.
- 7.Embrace the flavor of the garlic.Most store-bought sauces contain at least some garlic, but the flavor is often muted by the time it reaches your table.
- If you want a deeper, sweeter taste, crush a few roasted garlic cloves and toss them into the sauce while it’s simmering to give it a richer, sweeter flavor.
Try apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, capers, chopped olives, or lemon juice as a base for your marinade or dressing.
In order to maintain as much vibrant freshness as possible, stir in the dressing at the conclusion of the cooking procedure.
A sprinkle or two of sugar can be used to balance an acidic sauce (it helps the medication to dissolve!).
Continue to cook the sauce while adding granulated sugar a sprinkle or two, stirring and tasting after each addition, until the sauce has reached your desired sweetness.
10.Brighten with a splash of brine.
After heating the sauce for a few minutes, toss in some chopped or whole, pitted olives and/or a handful of drained capers.
The following are examples of “basil leaves” that can be found floating around in store-bought jars.
To rectify the problem, add freshly torn basil towards the conclusion of the cooking process so that the scent of the basil permeates the entire pot of sauce.
Finish your sauce with a pat of butter, a splash of cream or coconut cream, or a tablespoon of yogurt, crème fraîche, or sour cream to make it rich and luscious in texture.
Just before serving, drizzle in a small amount of olive oil to give the sauce the same richness and sheen of butter without adding any dairy.
A spoonful of ricotta or mascarpone lends a little sweetness to the creaminess, while soft goat cheese or simply plain cream cheese adds tangy richness to the bland tomato sauce, bringing it to the next level.
15.Make it hearty and filling.
Tomato sauce goes well with crumbled Italian sausage (mild or hot for the heat-seekers), ground beef, pig, or lamb, all of which can be prepared in a variety of ways.
16.Make use of the pasta water that you have left behind.
Even while you won’t want to add a lot of water to the dish, a good spray of that starchy water will assist the sauce stick to the noodles (butyou knew that already). What are your favorite ways to jazz up store-bought sauce? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
How to Make Jarred Tomato Sauce Taste Homemade
Catherine De Orio, a friend of ours, is a chef, national culinary expert, and host of a cooking program. Aren’t we fortunate? When it comes to cooking hints and suggestions, she’s a fantastic resource to have on hand. She shares a few semi-homemade secrets with us in this section. Find out how to make jarred spaghetti sauce taste even better (almost if you prepared it from yourself) by continuing reading. Tomato sauce is one of my favorite foods. The fragrance of tomato sauce, referred to as “gravy” in my family, simmering all day on a Sunday burner brings back happy memories of time spent at home with my family and friends.
Here are ten steps to transforming a jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce into something more like home.
Step 1: Build A Flavorful Foundation
Everything tastes better when the garlic and onions are sautéed together. Finely chopped onions and garlic are sautéed in olive oil until aromatic and golden, then the sauce is added and let to simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Step 2: Spice It Up
Crushed red pepper can be added to the sauce to give it a little heat.
Step 3: Go Green
Simmer the fresh herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf) for a few minutes until they release their flavorful punch into the dish.
Step 4: Veg Out
Because many prepared sauces contain sugar, I prefer savory veggies such as mushrooms rather than sweet vegetables such as carrots. Make careful to brown the vegetables a little before adding them to the sauce to bring out their natural flavors.
Step 5: Thicken It Up
With a spoonful of Hunt’s tomato paste, you can thicken the sauce a little bit while also adding depth and richness to it.
Step 6: Add Body With Pasta Water
If you’re serving the sauce over pasta, save a small amount of the salty, starchy water (approximately 1/4 cup) aside; it will give the sauce body and help it cover the pasta better.
Step 7: More Cheese, Please
While the sauce is boiling, crumble in the rind of a piece of Parmesan cheese to give it a nutty, salty flavor that will complement the dish. Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese over the meal just before serving is a nice finishing touch. Do you want something a little heartier? Add a couple of tablespoons of ricotta cheese to make a rich and creamy tomato sauce by spooning it in.
Step 8: Carnivore Cravings
Using your preferred ground meat—I enjoy a combination of beef, veal, and pork—make your sandwich. You may also use lamb or neck bones if you choose. Brown the beef and drain off any extra fat before adding it to the sauce and allowing it to simmer. While it is simmering, skim off any fat that has risen to the surface.
Step 9: Wine About It
Take your favorite wine (I like to use a Sangiovese) and deglaze the pan after sautéing meat or vegetables so that all of the delicious brown pieces, known as fond, may be incorporated into your sauce and served over pasta or rice. Pour yourself a drink of wine while you’re doing it, because I always find cooking to be more soothing when I have a bottle of wine in hand!
Step 10: Simmer Down Now
It’s true what they say about not having to cook sauce all day, but it should simmer for a few minutes at the very least.
You can, however, reduce the amount of time required. After a nice 20- to 30-minute simmer, you’ll have a lot richer, more delicious sauce to show for it.
Catherine De Orio is a television personality, chef, and national culinary expert who specializes in fine dining.
Doctored up Spaghetti Sauce (from a jar)
It has been doctored up I prepare spaghetti sauce virtually every single week, and it’s one of my favorite dishes. Beginning with a regular jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce, this method transforms it into a robust meat sauce that can be used in a variety of different meals. Everyone can agree that a red sauce usually tastes better after it has been allowed to sit for a number of days. Using a jar of sauce just adds to the flavor of the meat sauce, which has been simmering all day.
How to doctor up a jar of spaghetti sauce:
It all starts with the addition of vegetables and ground meat. The flavors of onion, bell pepper, and garlic are fantastic! This vegetable combination is the foundation of many of my meals, and for good reason! I put the veggies in the pan with the meat at the same time and cook everything together until it’s done. It enhances the taste of the meat while also saving time. We often use ground beef, but you may substitute any of the other ingredients listed below.
What other kind of meat can you add to spaghetti sauce?
- Ground beef, ground turkey, Italian sausage (I would only advocate using this for half of your meat), and venison are all good options.
Once the meat and vegetables have been seasoned and cooked, you may add the jar of your favorite sauce, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and any other ingredients you like. The sauce is then cooked for 20 minutes, after which you may add a handful of parmesan cheese for even more delectable flavor.
Recipes using spaghetti sauce:
- Cheesy Lasagna, Italian Pasta Bake, Stuffed Shells with Spinach, and more dishes are available.
Our favorite way to consume this pork sauce is over a simple spaghetti dish like this one! Simply cook your pasta, combine it with the sauce, then top it with more parmesan cheese to make it delicious! It is not uncommon for us to prepare a double batch of this doctored up spaghetti sauce and keep it in the freezer for a quick weekday supper. Simply defrost in the refrigerator before re-heating over a low heat in a saucepan.
Doctored up Spaghetti Sauce (from a jar)
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes Course:dinner American and Italian cuisines are available. Servings:6people
- 2tablespoonsolive oil
- 2poundsground beef(or a mixture of beef and turkey)
- 1small yellow onion(diced)
- 1small green bell pepper(diced)
- 4garlic cloves(minced)
- 1teaspoongarlic powder
- 1teaspoonitalian seasoning
- 24ouncejar of store-bought pasta sauce
- 14.5ouncecan of petite diced tomatoesdrained
- Prepare the vegetables by chopping the onion and pepper, as well as mincing the garlic cloves, before starting. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, ground beef, vegetables, and 1 teaspoon of salt
- Cook, stirring, until the ground meat is browned. To finish, cook until the meat is completely browned and the vegetables are tender. (Approximately 7-10 minutes)
- Remove the meat/vegetable combination from the pan and place it back in the pan with the fat
- Add in the spaghetti sauce, drained diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and another 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning
- Stir well to combine
- Serve immediately. Stir everything together, cover, and cook on low heat for 20 minutes After 20 minutes, throw in the parmesan cheese and mix well. Stir until the chocolate is melted
- Serve over spaghetti or chill and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
This Will Make Store-Bought Tomato Sauce Taste So Much Better
Additionally, it takes very little time. Cooking your own tomato sauce is a fantastic thing to do, but it is not always practical to do so throughout the course of a hectic weekday when dinner needs to be put together in a matter of minutes. Alternatively, you may be preparing a time-consuming meal such as lasagna and would like to save some time in the kitchen. Sometimes you simply have to crack open a jar of store-bought tomato sauce and eat it right now. There are several decent types of tomato sauce available at your local supermarket (we prefer Rao’s), but they might all benefit from a little improvement.
Never serve store-bought spaghetti sauce directly from the jar, even if you’re pouring it over something that’s sizzling hot, such as cooked pasta or meatballs, according to the package directions. It just takes a few minutes on the burner to bring all of the components together, which improves the flavor and scent of the finished product significantly.
Allow the sauce to reduce on a low heat for 15 to 30 minutes, if you have the luxury of time. Sugar and other substances will be concentrated, resulting in a more intense flavor.
Yes, you are correct. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in a couple tablespoons of butter, letting it melt into the sauce. While using a small amount of butter to make tomato sauce may seem weird to some, it adds richness and smoothness to the sauce while also balancing out excessive acidity, which is prevalent in canned sauces.
Spice it up
If you’re using a simple tomato sauce (marinara), you may add seasonings to it to give it a little more taste. Red pepper flakes, dehydrated or fresh garlic, dried oregano, parsley, or basil, or an Italian seasoning mix are all excellent additions to a dish of roasted vegetables. Dried herbs and spices should be put at the beginning of the cooking period so that they have time to blossom before being cooked further. Fresh herbs, such as basil or oregano, should be added at the conclusion of the cooking process, just before serving the sauce.
In comparison to fresh herbs, the leaves have a slimy feel and don’t provide much flavor to the sauce, whereas fresh herbs do.
Enhance That Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
Seasonings can be added to a simple tomato (marinara) sauce to enhance its flavor if desired. Red pepper flakes, dehydrated or fresh garlic, dried oregano, parsley, or basil, or an Italian spice blend are all excellent additions to a dish of fried chicken. Dried herbs and spices should be added at the beginning of the cooking time so that they have time to bloom before being cooked. After the sauce has been cooked for a while, fresh herbs such as basil or oregano should be added just before serving.
Instead of adding flavor to a sauce, the leaves have a slimy texture and do not impart much flavor, as fresh herbs do.
The original recipe yields a total of 20 servings. The ingredient list has been updated to match the number of servings stated.
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a small pan over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Cook and toss the mushrooms in the butter mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are tender. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are extremely black and shriveled in size, adding 1/4 cup red wine as needed to keep the liquid from boiling away. Advertisement: Place a large saucepan over medium heat and cook until boiling. Using a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef with the onion, diced tomatoes, red pepper, green pepper, and garlic until the meat is thoroughly browned, about 10 minutes
- Season with oregano, basil, and rosemary. Add 3/4 cup red wine and the tomato paste to the meat mixture and stir well. Pour the spaghetti sauce into the saucepan and toss it around. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook until the flavors have melded, 10 to 30 minutes.
Per serving: 122 calories; 5.7 grams of protein; 10.2 grams of carbs; 5.7 grams of fat; 17.6 milligrams of cholesterol; 251 milligrams of sodium Nutrition in its entirety
13 Tips To Make Jarred Pasta Sauce Taste Homemade
How would you want to make that jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce taste more like the genuine thing? Here are some simple techniques for infusing handmade flavor into canned spaghetti sauce. In addition, I’ll share a simple recipe for transforming plain-Jane commercial marinara and spaghetti sauce into a chunky, meaty, spicy, irresistible sauce that’s perfect over your favorite linguini, tossed in your next penne bake, or spooned over roasted spaghetti squash (or any other squash you like).
It is common for me to keep a jar or two of plain marinara sauce on hand for quick and easy dinners, but that does not mean I use the pasta sauce straight out of the jar every time.
No way in hell. Here are some basic techniques and a couple of entertaining tactics for making your store-bought spaghetti sauce taste more like homemade.
1. Choose simple jarred pasta sauce
Buy simple marinara sauce to start with– preferably one that does not contain any sugar or corn syrup– and follow the recipe from there. The store-brandstend has shown to be the most effective for me. They often have the fewest ingredients and have the nicest taste. Also, avoid sauces that contain extra vegetables or are enhanced with cheese, as well as creamy sauces and wine-infused sauces. They don’t have the handmade flavor you’re looking for, yet it’s simple to achieve with a few ingredients from your refrigerator and pantry.
2. Choose the right pan
To doctor the pasta sauce into the pan, use a 10′′-12′′ skillet with 2′′ to 3′′ high edges and a tight-fitting cover. If you try to accomplish this in a 2-3 quart saucepan, it will take an eternity since saucepans are narrow and tall, rather than broad and shallow, and as a result, you will spend an excessive amount of time stirring and boiling down the vegetables, meat, and other components. I prefer to cook in a large skillet, especially while cooking mushrooms, since it allows them to brown without being crowded.
3. Load up on veggies
Prepare the spaghetti sauce in a 10-12 inch pan with 2 to 3 inch high sides and a tight-fitting cover. Trying to make this in a 2-3 quart saucepan will take an eternity since saucepans are narrow and tall, rather than broad and shallow, which means you’ll spend an abnormal amount of time stirring and cooking the vegetables, meat, and other ingredients down. My preferred method of cooking mushrooms is to use a large pan, which allows them to color without being overcrowd. A larger, broader pan will impart more flavor and thicken the sauce more quickly, as well as provide more even cooking results.
Great veggie additions:
For those who like a rich meaty sauce, they can choose for a classic hamburger or experiment with some delectable alternatives. Cook your protein of choice in a skillet until it is browned, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. If there is any fat remaining in the skillet, drain it all except for about 1 tablespoon (which will be used to sauté the vegetables). You will not need as much if you are substituting pancetta, pepperoni, or salami for the bacon. If you’re making a 24-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce, one-half to three-quarter cup should be plenty.
- Ground beef, Italian sausage, ground pork, and leftover chicken are all good options.
- Ground turkey, ground chicken, pulled pork, ground bison
- All of these are options.
5. Raid the pantry
You’d be amazed at how nicely antipasto dishes pair with a classic pasta sauce like Alfredo. With the addition of olives, artichokes, and sweet roasted peppers, tinned tomato sauce will take on a whole new flavor profile. There’s no need to heat canned vegetables; simply drain them thoroughly and chop them finely (if necessary) to create a chunky pasta sauce that’s bursting with Italian flavors.
6. The spice jar
Incorporating dried herbs and spices into pre-made marinara can significantly improve its flavor and/or entirely modify the sauce’s appearance. Yes, the typical herbs such as basil, oregano, marjoram, and bay leaf are OK. However, a dash of cayenne pepper or some crushed red pepper flakes will give this dish a fiery, tempting kick. Also, try chopping up entire fennel seed to bring forth a subtle anise taste that is characteristic of Italy. Sauté the veggies with the spices for a few minutes, until the fragrances begin to fill the room.
It just takes a minute for the garlic to get aromatic, and if the chopped garlic is introduced too soon after the vegetables, it will burn.
7. The wino and I know…
Sauces made from jars benefit from a few sips of wine (red or white) or other types of alcohol to enhance their flavor. When it comes to wine, choose a brand that you enjoy drinking. It does not have to be an expensive bottle of wine; just a quality table wine would suffice. To make the sauce, use around 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Pro Tip: I pour the wine right into the pasta sauce container, screw on the top, then shake it up to mix everything together. The wine will loosen any remaining marinara sauce in the jar, allowing you to pour it directly into the spaghetti sauce together with the wine at the same time, saving you time.
8. Moo-ve over
Simple canned spaghetti sauce may be converted into a rich, creamy, and luxurious sauce by adding. you guessed it. cream. Cream. To thicken a store-bought marinara, whisk in heavy whipping cream (or normal) and cook at a moderate boil until the sauce has thickened. When heated, heavy whipping cream is sufficiently stable to ensure that it does not degrade. In comparison to whole milk, half and half has a lower fat level and is less rough; if you want to use half and half, wait until you’ve removed the sauce from the heat before whisking it in.
9. Let’s talk cheese
If you have a leftover rind of parmesan, pecorino romano, or other end-piece remains of hard Italian cheese, you may add them into your sauce to simmer while the rest of the ingredients cook (just be sure to fish it out before serving). Any pasta sauce that includes the rind will have a deeper umami flavor (or soup). Of course, you may always top your spaghetti with more cheese if you like. Consider using grated parmesan and pecorino cheese instead of the more traditional technique and topping your doctored-up spaghetti sauce with pieces of fresh mozzarella or a scoop of ricotta for an authentic flavor of home.
10. Fresh herbs
A parmesan rind, pecorino romano rind, or other end-piece leftovers of hard Italian cheese can be added to your sauce to simmer while the rest of the ingredients are prepared (just be sure to fish it out before serving). Adding the rind to any spaghetti sauce enhances the umami flavor (or soup). On top of that, more cheese may always be added to your pasta dish. Consider using grated parmesan and pecorino cheese instead of the more traditional technique and topping your doctored-up spaghetti sauce with pieces of fresh mozzarella or a scoop of ricotta to give it that home-style flavor.
11. Give it a little time
As soon as you’ve created your sauce, turn the heat down to medium low and allow it to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
While cooking, stir the pot regularly, but keep it covered to prevent the contents from burning. That small amount of simmering time will undoubtedly improve your spaghetti sauce and bring out the taste of the chunky handmade ingredients.
12. Sea food? Eat it!
In the mood for seafood? It’s simple to make a store-bought spaghetti sauce more fish-friendly by substituting fresh seafood for the beef. Using your preferred vegetables, spices, and wine, make a canned pasta sauce and then top it with your favorite ingredients (in the shell for clams and mussels, or peeled shrimp). Stir occasionally for 10-12 minutes after covering with the lid. The shells will pop open, and you’ll have a delicious and simple Fruits de Mer on your hands. Canned sardines are my go-to ingredient for infusing marine flavor into any premade pasta sauce recipe.
Give it a go.
Add half a cup of clam juice to the mix to give it a more seafood taste (or evenClamato).
Great seafood and shellfish options:
- Clams (fresh or frozen)
- Shrimp (fresh or frozen)
- Bay scallops
- Canned sardines
- Mussels (fresh or canned)
- Clams (canned or fresh)
- Langostinos (fresh or frozen)
- The following items are available: fresh mussels, canned clams, frozen langostinos, and clams in a clam shell.
13. Pasta water
If your sauce becomes too thick, use this restaurant tip and add roughly 1/2 ladle of pasta cooking water at a time until it thins down again. (In this case, the water in which the spaghetti is being cooked.) Not only will the water thin out the sauce, but the starch from the noodles will also give the sauce a little body and thickness. Grab a jar of marinara the next time you find yourself wondering, “What should I make for dinner?” then go through your refrigerator and pantry for ideas. It’s right there, and you can do it yourself.
What to serve with doctored up pasta sauce:
- Crispy Belgian Endive and Walnut Salad
- Crusty French Bread with Boursin Cheese
- Cheddar Chive Popovers
- Simple Green Leaf Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette Drop Biscuits made with only three ingredients
Cheater’s Spicy Turkey MushroomWine Pasta Sauce
The following is a classic method of enhancing a basic jar of marinara for pasta night. It’s thick, rich, and meaty, and it’s packed with easily recognizable vegetables. It goes well with pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, and other similar dishes. Course Course I: The Main Course Cuisines include American and Italian. Spaghetti sauce made by cheaters, spaghetti sauce made by cheaters Preparation time: 15 minutes Preparation time: 20 minutes Time allotted: 35 minutes Servings4
FOR DOCTORED MARINARA SAUCE:
- 2tablespoonssolive oil divided
- 1poundhot italian turkey sausage removed from casings
- 1/2bell pepperchopped
- 1 carrotpeeled and diced
- 1-2large cloves garlicminced
- 1/2taspoondried basil
- 1/2taspoondried oregano
- 1/4taspooncrushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2cupred wine
- 1/2cup Optional: garnish with fresh herbs such as parsley or basil
- Optional: parmesan rind
- In a skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Break up the turkey sausage with the back of a spoon or fork once it has been added. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are largely cooked. Transfer the meat to a large mixing basin and set it away for later
- Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil to the skillet and turn it back on to medium heat. Cook the mushrooms in a single layer, tossing them periodically, until they have reduced by approximately half and have browned, about 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the onion, bell pepper, and carrots with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the garlic, crushed fennel seed, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes until everything is evenly distributed. Allow the garlic and herbs to cook for one minute, or until they are aromatic. Return the turkey to the stove and whisk in the marinara sauce and wine until well combined. You can boil the sauce with the rind of one or more parmesan cheeses if you have any leftover
- However, you must take the rind out before serving. Cover with a cover, decrease the heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring periodically, until the vegetables are tender. If the sauce begins to burn or becomes too thick, you may thin it out by adding a little more wine (approximately 1/4 cup) or half a ladle of pasta water.
In a large pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Break up the turkey sausage using the back of a spoon or fork after it has been added to the pan. Allow 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are largely cooked. Remove the meat from the pan and put it aside; Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and bring the skillet back to a medium-low heat. Cook the mushrooms in a single layer, turning them regularly, until they have reduced by approximately half and have browned, about 20 minutes.
saute until softened (around 3-4 minutes).
Allow the garlic and herbs to cook for one minute, or until they are fragrant; Pour back into the saucepan and add the marinara sauce and wine, stirring well to combine them.
Cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, after covering with a lid and reducing the heat to medium.
The sauce can be thinned out by adding a little more wine (approximately 1/4 cup) or half a ladle of pasta water to prevent it from burning or becoming too thick.
Pin “13 Tips To Make Jarred Pasta Sauce Taste Homemade” For Later!
Home·FoodRecipes· Pasta sauce hacks that will make your spaghetti taste amazing in 9 minutes or less It’s difficult to emphasize how often I relied on plain ol’ spaghetti meals as a single mother of four little children. Spaghetti served as a life raft, something I could cling to when I found myself adrift in the choppy waters of motherhood. Because of this, dried spaghetti and jars of pasta sauce have always had a particular place in my heart. In all honesty, I must say that I wasn’t quite as inventive in the kitchen as I am today.
In a perfect world, I would have told myself how simple it is to transform a jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce into something savory and delectable!
The reason for this is that today I’m going to show you 9 very simple ways to jazz up a jar of spaghetti sauce.
How To Choose A Good Jar Of Pasta Sauce
Even though the focus of this piece is on “dressing up” a jar of spaghetti sauce, it will always be simpler if you start with high-quality ingredients in the first place. So I thought it would be beneficial to give a few helpful hints for selecting a nice jar of spaghetti sauce when you’re out shopping. You may expect to pay anywhere from $1 to $10 for a single jar of spaghetti sauce, depending on the brand you choose. However, you are not need to spend the entire $10 in order to have a respectable sauce!
If whole tomatoes are the first ingredient on the label, choose for that sauce; otherwise, stay away from sauces that have added sugars.
9 Ways To Make A Jar Of Pasta Sauce More Delicious
Including fresh veggies in your pasta dish is a simple way to improve the flavor and nutritional value of your meal. Begin by sautéing chopped onion, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots until tender in a large skillet over medium heat. To finish it off, add your pasta sauce and simmer for a few minutes to bring it all together!
The addition of fresh garlic to a pre-made spaghetti sauce makes all the difference in the world. You may either use roasted garlic (seeMinimalist Bakerfor an excellent instruction on how to roast your own garlic) or fresh garlic for this recipe. Using roasted garlic is recommended. Using a few cloves of garlic, mince them and put them in a hot pan with a little oil until they are aromatic. After that, add your spaghetti sauce and toss everything together.
3. Fresh Greens
Adding some fresh greens to your pasta sauce while it is heating up on the stove will give it a nice fresh flavor boost.
Tender young greens, such as baby kale and baby spinach, will wilt wonderfully in your sauce while they cook. Get creative and throw in some chopped broccoli or peas to make it more interesting! (Just make sure they’re thoroughly warmed before you start.)
4. Ground Meat
Including meat in your sauce may assist to enhance the flavor of your dish while also making it more filling! Cook some ground beef, ground turkey, or Italian sausage in a skillet until it’s browned and drain any excess grease off. Season with salt and pepper as required after adding the drained meat to the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Making your sauce more flavorful by include meat might assist to increase the satiety of your meal. Remove any excess fat from a skillet after browning some ground beef, turkey meatballs, or Italian sausages. Add the drained meat to the sauce and bring it to a boil for a few minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
To enhance the flavor of a pre-made spaghetti sauce, herbs and spices can be used as flavoring agents. Meanwhile, while the sauce is heating, sprinkle in some red pepper flakes for a little kick of heat. Serve immediately. Alternatively, add a sprinkling of aromatic dried oregano or thyme. In addition, when your pasta meal is ready to be served, a sprinkling of fresh chopped basil or parsley will not go amiss.
Adding a small amount of cheese may transform a bland pasta dish into something delicious. While the sauce is heating up, stir in a tablespoon of ricotta cheese, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, or goat cheese until well combined. It’s also delicious with a dash of cream or a handful of grated Parmesan cheese on top. Important Reminder: The key to successfully incorporating a dairy product into your pasta meal is to do so at the very end of the cooking process, if possible. This provides adequate time for the component to dissolve into your sauce while still retaining the great flavor and character of the ingredient itself.
8. Pasta Water
In the meantime, as you’re heating your pasta sauce and boiling your noodles, pour a dab of the pasta water into your sauce and stir well. While the pasta is cooking, the carbohydrates from the pasta are absorbed by the water. Making your sauce thicker by include starches will aid in the sauce adhering to the noodles rather than slipping straight off!
9. Simmer It
It’s simple to make your store-bought spaghetti sauce richer and more delicious by simmering it on the stovetop while your pasta cooks while your pasta cooks. Adding a tiny bit of tomato paste to your sauce while it’s being heated will provide results that are similar to these. Are there any ways you like to jazz up a plain spaghetti meal that you enjoy?
Doctored Up Spaghetti Sauce
It’s simple to make your store-bought pasta sauce richer and more flavorful by simmering it on the stove while your pasta is cooking. Adding a tiny bit of tomato paste to your sauce while it is being heated can provide results that are quite comparable. Which of these pasta dishes is your favorite way to jazz it up?
Now for some specifics on the sauce
My mother used to cook spaghetti sauce in this manner when I was a youngster, thus it brings back memories of my youth. It’s the epitome of home-cooked goodness!
Several of my other “fancier” or “from scratch” sauces (which can be found on this site) are superior than this one, which starts with a jar of your favorite marinara as a starting point and then adds a few ingredients to make it even better. And I’ve discovered that it’s incredibly adaptable!
Repurposing leftover sauce into creative meals and an easy veggie idea
For lunches, I’ve been making fast pizzas with some of the remaining sauce, which my family really enjoys. I started with some frozen pizza crusts that I had in the freezer at the time of baking. Afterwards, my younger son requested that we do the same with English muffins while they were gone. To assemble, just layer the sauce on top of the foundation and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and Italian blend cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand). Because I use a small amount of pepperoni in the sauce, I also use a few slices of pepperoni on top of the pizza.
- If you’re using English muffins (or plain old bread if that’s all you have on hand), toast them first before proceeding.
- Because I still had some pepperoni left over, I topped it with a couple slices of that (which I zapped briefly to render out some of the fat).
- Served with roasted broccolini, which was one of the few fresh veggies I was able to find on my most recent grocery shopping trip, this dish was delicious.
- My preparation was straightforward: I tossed it lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting it at 425°F for approximately 15 minutes, or until the stems were just soft but not falling apart.
- Using this simple technique, you may achieve a caramelized flavor in the relatively short amount of time it takes for the stems to cook through.
- I posted this on my Instagram profile last week, curious to see if any of my followers were interested in learning more about the shortcut sauce.
For the sauce recipe below, I’ve included the amounts I use for every one jar of sauce, but the recipe is easy to scale up as needed. Feel free to adjust the enhancements based on what you like and have on hand. I’ve included a list of choices in the recipe notes. This sauce freezes well, too.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or a good swirl around the pan)
- 12 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper garlic cloves, minced (about 1-2 cloves)
- 1 pound ground beef (or Italian sausage that has been removed from its casings, or a combination of the two)
- 10-12 slices of pepperoni, quartered (optional, but adds amazing taste)
- 10-12 slices of mozzarella, quartered (optional, but adds exceptional flavor)
- Marinara sauce (around 24 to 28 ounces) of your choice 12.2 teaspoon of dried oregano leaves Ingredients that can be used as an alternative: to make the sauce thicker or to extend the recipe, add an additional 1-2 cups of canned tomato sauce, pureed tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes to taste
- 14.2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2-3 tablespoons of red wine or 12 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- A sprinkle of salt
- A Parmesan rind that has been left over from the previous day
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Cook for another 30-60 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant, before adding the tomatoes. Cook the beef, breaking it up as you go, until only a tinge of pink is visible on the surface of the meat. Toss in the pepperoni, then add the spaghetti sauce, oregano, and any other optional seasonings and combine thoroughly. Tip: If you’re using red wine, pour it into the sauce jar and swirl it around to get all of the ingredients out.
- Make a thorough stir.
- Make care to stir it regularly to avoid it from scorching on the bottom.
- Serve over a bed of spaghetti that has been cooked.
- In order to get the onion taste without having to deal with the bits, cook half an onion (not chopped) with the sauce for a few minutes and then remove it before serving.
- If you want to make a meat lovers version, you may sauté some sliced, completely cooked sausage in a little oil before putting the sauce in the pot.
- I’ve found that one pound of beef is a nice quantity for every four cups of sauce, but you may certainly change the amount of meat to your liking by adding or subtracting sauce.
This sauce is the ideal vehicle for using up the last of your tomato and meat items from your cupboard and freezer. Mushrooms, either sliced or chopped, might be used with the onions. The Fountain Avenue Kitchen is a restaurant on Fountain Avenue in New York City.
Protocol for safely delivering meals during the quarantine
- If you are experiencing any indications of disease, refrain from participating. Hands should be washed for 20 seconds before cooking and each time you touch your face, for example. Surgical gloves may be used as an additional layer of protection. Make use of new containers. Alternatively, wipe out any containers you are using with a bleach/water combination before rinsing thoroughly with hot water. Using a paper towel, dry the surface. If at all feasible, pack your belongings into the trunk of your car to prevent coming into touch with germs that have been aerosolized while in the car. Before touching the containers or bag that is being delivered, use hand sanitizer and/or gloves to protect your hands. Food that will be heated (no salads or fruits) should be brought in order for the heating process to destroy anything that may have slipped through the cracks.
Pia Boben Fenimore, MD has provided this information as a courtesy.
I started to work right once when this post went up, and I quickly made two large pots of sauce. Repackage the marinara jars after cleaning them off with a damp cloth as described above to comply with the current quarantine regulations. You’ll have a little bit left over, but you can always use it as a treat for your efforts in the kitchen! A lighthearted touch, I reasoned, would be appreciated by the friends and family who would be receiving the care packages. My spouse had the bright idea to put flowers in the arrangement!
(If you missed the reference to the cork game above, read the specifics below.) I snapped this picture of Christian’s corkboard in progress while he was working on it.
The cork game
When this post went up, I immediately got to work making two large pots of sauce for the family. Repackage the marinara jars after cleaning them off with a damp cloth as described above to comply with the current quarantine requirements. You’ll have a little bit left over, but you can always use it as a treat for your efforts in the kitchen. A lighthearted touch, I reasoned, would be appreciated by the friends and family members who were receiving the care packages. Incorporating flowers was a fantastic idea that my husband came up with.
The cork game was mentioned above, but if you didn’t catch it, view the specifics below.
This project went up well, and he had a lot of fun with it!