Saturday, August 20, 2011

How to jazz up a jarred pasta sauce

Recently, I got a request for manicotti from the hubs. (It was delicious - recipe to come, I promise.) He also wanted chicken Parmesan with some, and I quote, "fun noodles." I didn't want to make my own pasta sauce, so I bought a jarred natural sauce from the local market. Total fail. It tasted like tomatoes, a little basil, and sugar. Ok, mostly it tasted like sugar. That is not what I am looking for in a pasta sauce. I don't know anyone who's looking for that in a pasta sauce, but apparently they still make it anyway. Regardless, it called for some doctoring. The results were so much better than what we started with. In fact, the hubs has requested that I now doctor all pasta sauces we buy. So I decided it might be helpful to throw out some ideas of stuff to put in to doctor the sauce.
  • a teaspoon of red pepper flakes heats it up a little bit and makes it much more flavorful
  • a teaspoon of basil is always a welcome addition
  • try a teaspoon of oregano, too - it adds another depth
  • try a half a teaspoon of chopped fresh garlic, or
  • sprinkle in a teaspoon or so of garlic powder
  • half a teaspoon of onion powder
  • a fourth cup of chopped, sauteed fresh mushrooms
  • if you like rosemary, try throwing a half teaspoon of that in the mix
Have you doctored your spaghetti sauces before? What else do you add to make them sing?

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