How To Make Canned Pasta Sauce Better

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.

Oh, absolutely.

Make sure to tell us about your favorite additions in the comments section below!

You may be able to discover further information on this and other related items at the website piano.io.

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.

Jarred sauce may save you time when preparing a quick evening supper, and makelasagna, meatballs, or Parmigiana are all delicious when cooked together. 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.

If required, add a splash of vinegar or a teaspoon of sugar to help balance the flavor of the sauce.

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.

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.

Pro Tip

It’s true what they say about not having to cook sauce all day, but it should simmer for a little while longer than you think. The amount of time you spend can be reduced. After a nice 20- to 30-minute simmer, you’ll have a lot richer, more delicious sauce as a result.

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.
  • Here are some of Cook’s Illustrated’s favorite places to visit.

The bare-bones, do-this-one-thing approach:

It is my objective to lessen the amount of time that elapses between entering my flat and eating pasta during most weeknight evenings. It goes without saying that the ultimate achievement would be to walk through the door while eating pasta (or, if angels have fallen, to arrive home to a dinner table already set with macaroni and cheese). Instead, I normally make sauce from scratch in 30-ish minutes, which takes me around 30 minutes total time: Bring the water to a boil while changing clothes; cook the noodles while sautéing the greens with fresh garlic; combine the pasta and greens with a splash of cooking liquid and generous quantities of pecorino, olive oil, and fresh herbs; face-plant into the serving dish.

See also:  How To Keep Pasta From Boiling Over

Toss together a pot of spaghetti and a jar of sauce in the microwave, then quiet your hungry crew of youngsters.

It is also faster than simmering down canned tomatoes, which, despite the warnings, I don’t always keep on hand in my cupboard.

Certainly, some jars of tomato sauce are superior to others in terms of taste and texture.

Look for sauces that are made with whole tomatoes and include no sugar added. Check out these suggestions from Cook’s Illustrated. Here’s how you effortlessly dress up a jar of spaghetti sauce (even if it isn’t fully homemade) with a little creativity and imagination.

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 may make a pot of simple beans more salty and delicious, and it can also invigorate 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 typically 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.

11.Basil!

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.

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)
  • 1teaspoonsalt
  • 4garlic cloves(minced)
  • 1teaspoongarlic powder
  • 1teaspoonitalian seasoning
  • 24ouncejar of store-bought pasta sauce
  • 14.5ouncecan of petite diced tomatoesdrained
  • 2tablespoonst
  • 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.

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 feels runny, add a few teaspoons of tomato paste to thicken it out and add more tomato flavor.

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

Save some of the cooking water from your pasta and add it to your tomato sauce a few tablespoons at a time once it has completed cooking. The starchiness of the pasta water aids in the blending of the ingredients and the improvement of the texture overall.

10. Finish with Butter

When the sauce has been cooked through and you’re ready to remove it from the heat, add a pat of butter and whisk 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 ways you use to jazz up canned spaghetti sauce that you would want 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

Enhance That Jar of Spaghetti Sauce

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Ingredients

The original recipe yields a total of 20 servings. The ingredient list has been updated to match the number of servings stated.

Directions

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

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.

Here are some basic techniques and a couple of entertaining tactics for making your store-bought spaghetti sauce taste more like homemade.

See also:  How To Cook Spinach For Pasta

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

Fresh vegetables will breathe fresh life into your premade spaghetti sauce, but they must first be sautéed before being added to the sauce. Don’t put raw veggies immediately into the sauce; they’ll either be crunchy or will take an hour to soften depending on how long they’ve been cooking.

Cook chopped veggies in a few tablespoons of olive oil, or some rendered fat from sausage or ground beef, until they’re soft and aromatic, about 10 minutes. This gives the spaghetti sauce a chunky handmade taste when combined with it.

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.
  • Seasoned ground beef
  • Seasoned Italian sausage
  • Seasoned ground pork
  • Seasoned shredded chicken

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. To make 24 ounces of jarred spaghetti sauce, use approximately 1/2 cup.

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

Adding fresh herbs to the sauce while it is simmering, or after it has finished cooking, increases the freshness aspect. Fresh thyme, basil, or parsley are excellent herbs to use when cooking. When using fresh oregano, be sure to use a little quantity (1/2 -1 teaspoon) because fresh oregano may be overwhelming. Although rosemary is a touch too aromatic and piney for tomato sauce, if you like it, add it sparingly in your recipe. Garnish your homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh basil, parsley, or a combination of the two.

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)
  • Calamari, lobster tails, fresh or frozen crawfish tails (shelled), and other seafood are available.

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. Make sure to also check out my cheater’s chunky spaghetti sauce recipe, which is included below.

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

Crusty French Breadwith Boursin Cheese; Cheddar Chive Popovers; Crunchy Belgian Endive and Walnut Salad; Simple Green Leaf Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette Drop Biscuits Made with Only 3 Ingredients

FOR DOCTORED MARINARA SAUCE:

  • 2tablespoonssolive oil divided
  • 1poundhot italian turkey sausage removed from casings
  • 8ouncesmushrooms
  • 1mediumonionchopped
  • 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.

345 calories|23 grams of carbohydrates|22 grams of protein|18 grams of fat|5 grams of saturated fat|60 milligrams of cholesterol|1963 milligrams of sodium|1125 milligrams of potassium|6 grams of fiber|15 grams of sugar|3950 international units (IU) of vitamin A|70 milligrams of vitamin C|67 milligrams of calcium|13 milligrams of iron

Pin “13 Tips To Make Jarred Pasta Sauce Taste Homemade” For Later!

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.

Heat it

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.

Add butter

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.

Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce

Preparation time: 1-1/2 hours plus simmering time Process time: 40 minutes

Makes

A tomato grower’s dream come true, these 9-quart DIY canning spaghetti sauce recipes are a cinch to make.

Make use of your garden’s produce now so that you can enjoy it later in the year. Tonya Branham of Mt. Olive, Alabama, provided the following response:

Ingredients

  • 25 pounds tomatoes (approximately 80 medium-sized ones)
  • 4 big green peppers, seeded
  • 4 large onions, sliced into wedges
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 4 large green peppers, seeded
  • 4 large onions, cut into wedges 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Directions

  1. 2 quarts of water should be brought to a boil in a Dutch oven. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water one at a time, using a slotted spoon, for 30-60 seconds each tomato. Remove each tomato from the pot and quickly submerge it in cold water. Remove the skins and quarters from the tomatoes and set them in a stockpot. Green peppers and onions should be finely chopped after being pulsed in a food processor in stages
  2. Put to a stockpot. Add in the remaining 11 ingredients and mix well. Bring the pot to a boil with enough water to cover the vegetables. Turn down the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 hours, stirring periodically. Remove bay leaves from the dish. Fill each of nine 1-quart jars with 2 teaspoons lemon juice and set aside. Fill the jars halfway with the heated mixture, allowing 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and, if required, correct headspace by adding heated mixture to the container. Clean the rims. Place lids in the center of the jars and screw on the bands until they are fingertip tight. Fill the jars halfway with water in a canner filled with simmering water, making sure that they are entirely covered with water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the jars and allow them to cool
  • Test Kitchen Tips: When making this refreshing summer drink, use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of store-bought. Bottled lemon juice, which is made from concentrate, would not have the same bright, fresh flavor as fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce was initially thought to be a mistake. During the year 1835, an English nobleman hired two scientists to recreate a sauce he had sampled while traveling in India. The pungent batch turned out to be a disappointment, and it ended up in their basement. When the couple came upon the aged mixture a second time, they were pleasantly pleased by its distinct flavor. Over our greatest pasta meals ever, drizzle this delectable sauce on top.
See also:  How Much Is 12 Oz Of Pasta
Canning Altitude

It should be noted that the processing time stated is for elevations of less than 1,000 feet. Up to 3,000 feet in elevation, you’ll need to add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet will require 10 minutes; 8,000 feet will require 15 minute; and 10,000 feet will require 20 minute.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup has 118 calories, 5 grams of fat (0 grams of saturated fat), 0 grams of cholesterol, 614 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates (4 grams of fiber), and 3 grams of protein. 1 carbohydrate, 1 fat are recommended as diabetic exchanges.

3 Ways to Make Canned Pasta Sauce Taste Better

How are you getting along? As a result of living in such difficult circumstances, I know that the only thing I really want to do is cook. I’ve been bringing you pantry recipes over the last two weeks, but I’m always on the lookout for new ways to make your meals as delectable as they can be. I’m quite aware that we’re all probably consuming a lot of canned food at the moment. I’ve been preparing a large quantity of beans. And you all know how much I like a good pasta dish! That’s why I’m going to tell you about three different ways to improve the flavor of bottled spaghetti sauce today.

I get what you’re saying.

Are you looking for an excellent store-bought sauce brand?

Tip1: Add More Seasoning

Although it may seem obvious, flavoring your bottled spaghetti sauce with additional spice can improve its flavor! While the sauce is heating on the burner, season it with oregano, garlic, or any other herbs you have on hand that you enjoy cooking with. Let it simmer on low for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together, stirring occasionally.

Tip2: Add Some Butter

Butter makes everything taste better, right? Adding a small amount of butter – around one tbsp – after boiling your sauce actually makes a tremendous difference to the taste of shop purchased sauce. Why? A creamy aspect to the recipe is provided by the cream cheese, which is absent from bottled spaghetti sauce. Whenever I make my own bolognese sauce, I usually finish it with either butter or milk, so why not do the same with store-bought sauce?

Tip3: Add Starchy Pasta Water

I cannot emphasize this point enough. ALWAYS have a cup full of pasta water in your refrigerator! In fact, there’s some science behind it all. Adding some of the starchy pasta water to your sauce while combining with the pasta allows the starch in the water to help bind the sauce to the pasta and prevent it from falling apart. This assists in bringing everything together in your dish and reduces the need for your pasta and sauce to be two separate entities.

The pasta water is what ties everything together. My Lemon Ricotta Pasta is a terrific example of this type of dish. It is estimated that about half of the sauce in this meal comes from the pasta water! It’s a miraculous component that shouldn’t be ignored at any costs.

Bringing it together

I hope that these three tips for improving the flavor of canned spaghetti sauce will assist you in making your supper even more enjoyable during these trying times for humanity. I’d like to remind you that I’m always available to you! If you have any questions regarding cooking or would want to see specific recipes, please do not hesitate to contact me through the comments section or on social media.

Kick Butt Spaghetti Sauce (Out of a Jar!) Recipe – Food.com

A concoction I came up with tonight; I utilized clues and some “secret” components that I had received from various sources during the day. The fact that it came from a jar took my husband by surprise, and I had to show him the jar to convince him otherwise. Take a chance and try it out. Believe me when I say that I will never tell anyone that it all started with a jar of pickles! Enjoy!

NUTRITION INFO

1 (93) g serving size 6 AMT. PER SERVING percent AMT. PER SERVING g serving size PERFORMANCE ON A DAILY BASIS Caloric intake: 113.7 calories, of which 64 g are from fat 56 percent of the population The total fat content is 7.1 grams (10 percent). 2.2 g10 percent of total fat is saturated fat. Carbohydrates in total (11.1 g, 3 percent) Dietary Fiber (2.1 g8 percent of total calories) Sugars 6.6 g26 percent of the total

DIRECTIONS

  • Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Add the diced onion, mushrooms, and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and spices until fully combined. Simmer for at least 10 minutes on a low heat, but the longer you can go, the better. Always whisk the mixture from time to time to prevent it from scorching. Make a sauce and pour it over cooked pasta.

RECIPE MADE WITH LOVE BY

In this concoction, I used clues and some’secret’ elements that I’d collected from various sources to come up with it tonight. The fact that it came from a jar took my husband by surprise, and I had to show him the jar to convince him otherwise. Take a chance and try it out. Believe me when I say that I will never tell anyone that it all started with a jar of pickles! Enjoy!”

recipes

First and foremost, how are things doing for everyone? If you’re feeling down, terrified, or lonely and you simply want to talk to someone about it, please don’t hesitate to contact me through message. And I mean that in the most sincere way. These are not easy times to be living in. In order to alleviate the sense of loneliness I’ve been experiencing and the inability to follow my typical pattern, I’ve been looking for small ways to make each day a bit brighter. Fortunately, I’ve come across a few that have helped.

(More on this in a moment.) Using a large bucket of corks that he had gathered when he was younger, my younger son created a pretty cool cork board for himself.

Because it’s critical to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I discovered an app that serves as a fantastic substitute for my gym routines.

When combined with an occasional stroll outdoors to take in the fresh air, it has a significant positive impact on mental health.

It’s simply that it’s difficult to locate actual quality in the midst of the sea of possibilities, which is why I wanted to share.) But, above and beyond all of the ridiculous games and valiant efforts to keep moving, I’ve discovered that the moments when I actually feel the greatest are those in which I do something pleasant for another person.

  • If you succeed in making someone smile, you will succeed in making yourself happy as well.
  • Yes, this is correct!
  • With a quick shortcut, this dish is sure to become a family favorite, and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled in size.
  • Given the importance of maintaining sterility, I sought the guidance of a trusted acquaintance who also happens to be a doctor, who graciously explained the necessary process to follow.

As part of this effort, I’ve recruited the help of a local market to create dinner bags containing this sauce, a box of pasta, and some freshly baked bread—and, in the near future, perhaps even an alternate hearty soup dinner—that people can pick up curbside for themselves or leave at the door of a neighbor.

I’ll keep you informed on the progress of that endeavor, since company requirements change on a daily basis.

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 suggested 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 tiny quantity 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 separated from its casings, or a mix 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

2 large medium yellow onions, chopped; 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or a liberal swirl around the pan); garlic cloves, minced (about 1-2 cloves), 1 pound ground beef (or Italian sausage that has been separated from its casings, or a mix of the above); Optional: 10-12 pepperoni slices, quartered (optional but adds fantastic taste); 10-12 slices of ham, quartered (adds exceptional flavor); marinara sauce (around 24 to 28 ounces) of your choosing 12 teaspoon oregano leaves (dry), substances that can be used instead of the ones listed above to make the sauce thicker or to stretch the recipe, add an additional 1-2 cups of canned tomato sauce, pureed tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes; 14.2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes; 2-3 tablespoons of red wine or 12 tablespoons balsamic vinegar; a sprinkling of salt; a Parmesan rind that has been left over from a previous meal

Protocol for safely delivering meals during the quarantine

  1. 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.

Update

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

The following is a description of how to play the crazy game I stated above, but first, some background information: When the boys were little, a waiter in a restaurant showed them how to keep themselves entertained as they waited for their dinner to arrive. The beginning of Christian’s cork collection may be traced back to that moment. The waiter at every restaurant where we visited would ask him if there were any leftover corks, and he’d always get a large number of them.sometimes a lunchbag’s worth that they were happy to give away.

At the dinner table, we occasionally engage in a game of corkscrew.

As you can see, I warned you it would be ridiculous!

Christian scored three goals in a row last night.

The game evolved into everyone competing against Christian with their own cork in an attempt to outdo him.

Last but not least, the fitness application I mentioned earlier is Kira Stokes Fit.

Without being excessively enthusiastic, Kira is easy to follow and gives great encouragement, clear directions, and change suggestions without being overly enthusiastic.

By the way, this is not an advertisement.

It dawned to me that I may be able to emerge out of quarantine stronger than I was when I went in, if I had access to such resources. Any favorite activities that have helped you get through the quarantine period would be greatly appreciated. We’ll get through this together, believe me! ❤️

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