Tips To Make Jarred Pasta Sauce Taste Homemade
Want to make that jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce taste like the real deal? Heres some easy tricks to layer homemade flavor into jarred pasta sauce. Plus, Ill share an easy recipe for transforming plain-Jane commercial marinara and spaghetti sauce into a chunky, meaty, spicy, irresistible sauce thats perfect over your favorite linguini, tossed in your next penne bake or spooned over roasted spaghetti squash. Everyone needs a good cheaters sauce in their back pocket, Ill show you how to customize yours for a thick, chunky pasta sauce, using whats in your fridge and pantry.
I always have a jar or two of simple marinara sauce on hand for quick and easy dinners, but that doesnt mean I use the pasta sauce straight from the jar. No way. Heres my simple tips and a few fun tricks to making that off-the-shelf spaghetti sauce taste more like homemade.
How To Make It
One-Pot Spaghetti is such a simple, easy spaghetti recipe that it’s almost ridiculous. Allow me to break it down for you…
And y’all, THAT’S IT.
I’m not gonna lie…One-Pot Spaghetti is the only way I ever make it anymore.
It saves time and effort AND it turns out really tasty!
The Easiest Way To Make A Jar Of Pasta Sauce Taste Homemade
Some nights or, lets be honest, most weeknights, a complicated dinner isnt an option. But that doesnt mean you have to order takeout. The beauty of a jar of pasta sauce is that it really is an instant meal .
A simple dinner of spaghetti tossed in jarred marinara is something I grew up on when nights were busy and from-scratch sauce wasnt an option. And while theres nothing wrong with this dump-and-stir dinner, theres actually a ridiculously easy way to make that jarred sauce taste a little more homemade.
The best part? There are no extra ingredients required no chopping of onions or mincing of garlic or raiding your spice cabinet.
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Homemade Bolognese Sauce Recipe Using Store
July 16, 2020 by Zoe Nguyen-Patalano
One of my favorite Italian pasta sauces in the world is Bolognese Sauce. Its meaty, filling, and oh so satisfying, especially when paired with my favorite Italian pasta noodle pappardelle noodles.
I love the texture of the pappardelle noodle. Its a broad, flat noodle thats similar to lasagna noodles . It has a nice bite and it just elevates bolognese sauce. If you cant find pappardelle noodle at the store, fettuccini noodles would be a nice substitute.
Back to my homemade Bolognese Sauce! I absolutely love, love, love this sauce. Its so rich, full of flavor, and slow simmered on the stove. This recipe uses store-bought pasta sauce mostly because I was in a hurry and had no canned tomatoes or tomato paste in my house. However, if you have a fully stocked pantry, you can use canned tomatoes and tomato paste to make this recipe. Youll just have to slow simmer it for 2-3 hours to reach the same consistency and depth of flavor.
Making Bolognese sauce is a labor of love. It requires a lot of patience! Even though Ive quickened the simmering time by using store-bought pasta sauce, youll have to wait around a lot.
Bolognese Sauce is one of my specialities. Every since I discovered how to make it with lots of trial and error , my bolognese have gotten better and better. And TRUST ME this recipe has been tried over and over again. It is SO good.
I hope you enjoy this Italian pasta sauce as much as I do. Happy eating!
What Is The Best Tasting Store
There are many store-bought Alfredo sauces of good quality and excellent flavors at the store. But theres no guarantee that all of them will suit your needs. They all vary in price, taste and have different ingredients, so it can be hard to pick the right one especially if there are so many options to chose from.
For you to find what you really like, you will have to choose it out for yourself because everyone has their own tastes, but that doesnt mean that we cant give you some pointers and recommendations.
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How To Tell When Pasta Is Done
Do you know that old trick of throwing pasta against a wall to see if it sticks? Yeah, dont do that. Although, that is a great way to tell if its overdone!
Really and truly, the only way youre going to tell for sure is to test it along the way. Take one out, blow on it, or run it under cold water to cool it off, and take a bite!
If its edible with a bite its probably done.
- Cook garlic: Return the pot to medium heat and add the olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, and oregano. Cook for 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Garlic cooks fast and can easily burn, so dont walk away. Turn off the heat.
- Add drained pasta, tomato sauce, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and 1 more fresh garlic clove: Stir gently until warmed through. That 1 clove of fresh garlic at the end is a must!
- Sprinkle with parmesanand serve immediately!
Mixing The Pasta And Sauce
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How To Make Spaghetti In Your Instant Pot
Start with your Instant Pot on sauté mode and add the olive oil. Once it is hot add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir often making sure they dont burn.
Turn off the sauté mode and stir in the kosher salt. Then pour in the chicken broth and scrape up and browned bits from the bottom.
Pro Tip: never skip scraping up the browned bits when using the Instant Pot. It helps prevent the burn notice.
Grab the spaghetti and break in half. Place the spaghetti in the pot in a crisscross pattern. This prevents the pasta from cooking in one large clump.
Do not stir the pasta at this point, just give it a light press to make sure that it is all touching the liquid.
Pour half the jar of sauce over the pasta, then sprinkle on the seasonings.
Close the lid and turn the pressure valve to seal. Set to cook for 2 minutes.
At the end do a 5 minute natural release. Finish with a quick release.
PRO TIP: It will look a little watery when you open the pot, dont worry, the starches from the cooked pasta will thicken it up while it cools!
Stir in the rest of the jar of sauce and toss the pasta. Let the pasta rest for about 5 minutes so it can thicken a little while it cools.
Taste for additional seasonings , then serve warm topped with parmesan cheese.
Using A Flavored Roux
Using a roux is the preferred method for thickening creamy sauces used by most cooks in the USA. A roux is made by combining butter with flour.
You can also use something like rendered bacon fat to impart a little flavor to your roux. Most cooks, however, prefer to use butter. You can check the recipe here on how to make a simple roux.
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How Do You Make Leftover Pasta Creamy Again
Add a little water to a microwave safe container or bowl, with your leftover pasta. Zap for 30-60 seconds, remove, stir well, zap again, and repeat until well heated. The steam from the water will revive your pasta and give you a more even heating. Stirring often will keep it from turning to a gluey mess.
Why Do You Put Sugar In Spaghetti Sauce
The reason for sprinkling a pinch of sugar into a simmering saucepan of tomatoes is simple: sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes and creates an overall more balanced sauce. The exact acid levels in tomatoes can vary quite a bit depending on whether theyre fresh or canned, the tomato variety, and the time of year.
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Tricks To Making A Great Sauce Even Better
Even the best store-bought spaghetti sauce might taste just a little bit better if you enhance it with a few extra ingredients, so dont be afraid to add a pinch of this or a dash of that to help make the flavor better.
- Sugar. Is the sauce bitter? Try adding just a pinch of sugar in the mix to help neutralize the acidity.
In Italy, typical homemade tomato sauce known as conserva di Pomodoro or passata di pomodoro is quite simple and plain. You remove the tomato skins, use a food mill to grind the tomatoes, add some basil and olive oil, and cook. Thats it.
Other ingredients are added later, once the sauce has been canned and then re-opened for use. Many add in salt, pepper, onions, garlic and any preferred spices.
- Garlic & Onions. Onions and garlic in powder form or even pressed is a good way to add some pizzazz to a sauce, but make sure you sauté them on low heat for a few minutes to prevent them from causing heartburn.
Before you add the sauce, pour in about a Tablespoon or so of water and turn the heat up to let it evaporate this is done by many in Italy to help make the onions and garlic more digestible.
- Spices. Add some of your favorite spices to the mix such as oregano, salvia, chili powder or thyme.
- Meat. Browned meat will turn that sauce into a ragu, which is what tomato sauce with meat is called in Italy.
Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
This easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe tastes amazing and is perfect for any busy weeknight. Made with items you probable already have in your pantry, ditch the store bought sauce because once you try this recipe, youll never go back to spaghetti sauce in a jar again.
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce from scratch is an easy family dinner that can be made in 30 minutes, but will taste like you spent all day making it. We love to make this meat spaghetti sauce in large batches for freezing or canning when we want easy homemade meals quick.
This homemade pasta sauce can be served over your favorite pasta noodles for a family favorite meal that is easy enough to serve any night of the week. If your like me and enjoy vodka sauce on your pasta, try mixing our marinara sauce with our Homemade Alfredo Sauce.
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How To Freeze Spaghetti Sauce
This pasta sauce recipe can easily be made a head of time. Prepare sauce as directed above and allow to cool completely. Label a gallon size freezer bag and pour sauce into bag. Seal tightly removing all the air and place flat in the freezer for up 4-6 months. To use, place frozen sauce in a large pot and reheat until warm.
How Long Does It Last In The Fridge
Bearing in mind that Alfredo sauce has cream in it, if it is store-bought and the jar is unopened, you can keep it in your larder for between six and eight months.
But once the jar has been opened, you should be able to keep it for up to one week in your refrigerator.
The same goes for if it has been mixed with cooked pasta. However, I wouldnt recommend keeping it for more than 4 to 5 days.
If youve got some Alfredo sauce in your fridge and you are a little wary about its freshness, dont take any chances throw it away.
If you got the ingredients to hand, it only takes a few minutes to make from scratch.
In a worst-case scenario, you can always pop out to your local store and buy another jar.
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Helpful Tips Tricks & Equipment
- If you’d like to add onion to your One-Pot Spaghetti, you may start out the recipe by cooking 1 cup of diced onion in a tablespoon or two of oil for 5 minutes or until tender. Then add the beef to the pot and proceed with the recipe.
- As previously mentioned, I like adding extra ingredients to my store-bought marinara for a boost of flavor. However, if you wish to make this recipe with a regular ol’ jar of spaghetti sauce or marinara and NO extra herbs/spices/flavorings, your meal will still turn out just dandy.
- On the other hand, if you’d like to swap crushed tomatoes for jarred marinara sauce, feel free to do so. I recommend doubling the tomato paste and the balsamic vinegar, tasting the sauce, and then adjusting the dried herbs and seasonings as desired, since crushed tomatoes are not already seasoned. Also, I’d allow the sauce to cook for a few minutes — thereby allowing the flavors to develop — before stirring in the broth and the pasta and proceeding with the recipe.
Is Homemade Pasta Sauce Better Than Store
Homemade pasta sauce is better than store-bought pasta sauce on any day.
When you make homemade pasta sauce, you can choose the recipe and select the highest-quality ingredients, while keeping salt and sugar to the levels that you want them.
You dont really get that choice when eating jarred pasta sauce that you bought at the grocery store. And, frankly speaking, making your own pasta sauce, tomato- or cream-based, doesnt take much more time and effort than heating up store-bought pasta sauce.
If you lead a busy life and dont want to make your own pasta sauce every time you cook pasta, consider making homemade pasta sauce in large batchesand storing the leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When I know Im going to have a busy week or month, I cook up a big batch of tomato sauce that I can use as an ingredient for making pasta, eggplant Parmigiana, and meatballs with tomato sauce.
As soon as the sauce is done cooking, I transfer it to airtight containers, let it cool down for about an hour, and store it in the freezer. To thaw my homemade tomato sauce, I transfer it from the freezer to the fridge the night before I plan to cook with it.
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To Cook The Best Spaghetti We Have A Few Simple Tricks
Check the package directions of the spaghetti you plan to cook. On the box, there should be an approximate cook time for al-dente, which means the pasta will be tender, but not mushy. It will still have a bit of a bite, which is perfect.
When you know the suggested cook time, set a timer for a minute or so before it. So if the box suggests 10 minutes, set a timer for 8 minutes.
This way, at the 8-minute mark, you can check on the spaghetti to make sure it isnt done already. The box directions are a helpful guide, but its always a good idea to check the pasta early!
Cook the spaghetti in salted water. The water should taste salty. This seasons the pasta as it cooks and is necessary for the best-tasting pasta.
Toss the cooked spaghetti with a flavorful sauce like our homemade spaghetti sauce. Dont just spoon the sauce on top of the pasta.
For more spaghetti recipes, look at this baked spaghetti is similar to lasagna, but easier and if you love veggies, try our easy veggie spaghetti.
If you were looking to reduce the carbohydrates in your dish, swap half or all of the pasta with zucchini noodles. Heres our recipe for zucchini noodles pasta.