So, I don’t always have time to make pasta sauce from scratch. Life gets busy and sometimes, I buy the basic jar kind from the grocery store. Generally, I do prefer to make my sauces homemade. I find that they are more flavourful, interesting, and healthier (lower salt content and more fresh vegetables). Recently though, because of limited access to ingredients due to shifts in demand for various foods, I haven’t been able to reliably get the things I need to make my homemade sauces. So, I was inspired to put together a short list of what I have learned to really spice-up jarred sauces and make them more delicious!
Here are my 5 quick tips to better jar sauce!
- Add fresh garlic or onion. Take 2 minutes and dice up some fresh onion or garlic and sauté it in the pot before adding in your jar sauce. It really brings the sauce back to life and makes it more flavourful.
- Add some fresh spices. Whether they’re actually fresh from your garden or even just some additional dried spices from the cupboard, adding in a little more seasoning such as basil, oregano, chili flakes, cayenne, or paprika can really boost the flavour of your jar sauce.
- Add Ricotta or cream. This is a favourite of mine for tomato based sauces or pesto. Add in a dash of cream (half and half or table cream) or a few spoon fulls of ricotta and mix into your sauce as it heats. This gives a creamy richness to the sauce and also adds a little more protein!
- Combine 2 jar sauces! It might sound strange but trust me it can lead to some good eating. This can work if you have 2 jarred sauces sitting in your pantry. Some of my suggestions are adding a basil pesto to a marinara or tomato basil sauce to increase that basil taste. Or, combining a tomato sauce and cream sauce (like Alfredo), to create a rosé type sauce.
- Don’t underestimate the power of fresh Parmesan! Okay so maybe you don’t have much at home but adding a little (or a lot) of fresh Parmesan to your bowl of pasta can sometimes make all the difference!
I hope you try out these quick tips and let me know how it goes!