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Old 02-18-2018, 07:27 PM   #1
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Improving store bought pasta sauce?

Are there any quick and easy ways to spice up store-bought pasta sauce for a weekday dinner?

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Old 02-18-2018, 07:48 PM   #2
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Why? Making sauce from good canned whole tomatoes requires no more effort than spicing up store bought sauce. Plus, you can make it and freeze it, so you have good, fresh sauce readily available whenever you want. Seriously, make some good sauce from scratch, and put meal size portions in the freezer. Then. any busy weeknight, you have good homemade sauce ready to heat and serve.

BTW, welcome to DC. I hope you will stay with us.

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Old 02-18-2018, 07:53 PM   #3
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Hi Jerry, and welcome! You could add some chopped sautéed onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic....maybe a little oregano if you like. Be careful with it though, it's strong. Garlic and onion powder also works, if you don't have fresh. Sometimes I also add sliced black olives to a store bought sauce.

You could also add some cooked and crumbled sweet or hot Italian sausage, or some ground beef.

A sprinkling of grated or shredded parmesan just before serving also does wonders. Lots of possibilities!
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
Why? Making sauce from good canned whole tomatoes requires no more effort than spicing up store bought sauce. Plus, you can make it and freeze it, so you have good, fresh sauce readily available whenever you want. Seriously, make some good sauce from scratch, and put meal size portions in the freezer. Then. any busy weeknight, you have good homemade sauce ready to heat and serve.

BTW, welcome to DC. I hope you will stay with us.

CD
Lots of reasons. It's what Jerry asked for, and maybe a jar of store bought is all he has to work with at the moment. It actually does require quite a bit more time and effort to make a pasta sauce from scratch, and it's possible that Jerry doesn't have the freezer space or other resources to make and store a giant batch of homemade pasta sauce right now.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:17 PM   #5
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Welcome to DC!

I add a can of chopped clams with some of the juice, along with the veggies and seasonings Cheryl mentioned. Nice also with some fennel seed and dried Italian seasoning and maybe a good shake of dried red pepper flakes.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jerry S. View Post
Are there any quick and easy ways to spice up store-bought pasta sauce for a weekday dinner?
Store bought can certainly be modified to suit your personal taste. I add garlic and black pepper. Sometimes other things. Canned clams, sausage, ground beef, peppers. spicy spices.

It should be noted that not all commercial sauces are equal. Give the one you have a taste and decide what is missing.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:46 PM   #7
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- Fried up onions, garlic, mushrooms and peppers all will make a significant difference ( any combination or just all of them).
-Some times a put a little fennel seeds ( if using the seeds, I usually heat them up a bit with olive oil before adding the sauce / or ground fennel in it ( a little goes a long way)
-A little wine also can do the trick.
-Parm cheese
-Marinated artichoke hearts will give it an extra punch ( i like throwing in black olives along with the artichokes)
-A nice spoon full of pesto
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:07 PM   #8
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It depends on the jar of sauce. Many come with lots of different things already added.

Were you talking about doctoring up a basic, no frills can of tomato sauce? Or how to turn a jar of more developed sauce (garlic and basil, meat sauce, mushroom, wine and herbs, etc.) into a meal?
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
Lots of reasons. It's what Jerry asked for, and maybe a jar of store bought is all he has to work with at the moment. It actually does require quite a bit more time and effort to make a pasta sauce from scratch, and it's possible that Jerry doesn't have the freezer space or other resources to make and store a giant batch of homemade pasta sauce right now.
Honestly, I've made a killer pasta sauce with a can of tomatoes, EVOO, some spices and garlic in a matter of minutes. My reply may not be a direct answer to Jerry's question, but this is a cooking forum, I'm just trying to say that you can cook great food from scratch without spending hours in the kitchen.

I apologize for suggesting "cooking" on a cooking forum.

CD
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:45 AM   #10
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I agree with all of the above but first I would try buying a better brand of pasta sauce!

A couple more thoughts.

Try adding some fat: A pat of butter, heavy cream or as others have mentioned grated cheese.

For a meatier flavor try some bouillon powder or soup base.

Add some frozen vegetables to the sauce. Try chopped broccoli or one of the vegetable blends.
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