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Old 09-05-2011, 11:05 PM   #1
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What's your favorite jarred red sauce?

When I make spaghetti most of the time I just doctor up some pre-made sauce. Ciopinno too. I have found I like Ragu brand sauce laely. It has a nice balance and makes a nice blank palette for adding whatever you like.
I have tried many others but this is our favorite for now.

Which one do you use when your not making from scratch?

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Old 09-05-2011, 11:13 PM   #2
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interesting timing on this thread. i haven't used a jar of sauce since last christmas i think, but having no time to make a sauce from scratch i ended up opening a jar of prego marinara tonight for my meatballs. dw uses prego more often, especially for chicken parm.

it was good, but i definitely could taste the fact that it wasn't fresh sauce, and the meatballs only simmered about a half hour.

it's one of those things where it will taste better tomorrow.

besides prego, i really like "silver palate" brand tomato sauces, but i wait to buy it on sale as it's around $6 or $7 for a medium sized jar.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:18 PM   #3
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I add frash herbs,wine,mushrooms,ground beef,onions,chopped tomatoes,Tom sauce ,and a few spices to my meat sauce but we enjoy it plain sometimes too when we have no time for more. Prego was what we bought prior to Ragu.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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I stopped using jarred sauce for quite awhile because they were all WAY to sweet. But then I tried flavored Hunt's tomato sauce in the can which wasn't sweet at all and tasted better than the others. Now I buy Shop-Rite brand PLAIN tomato sauce - it has NO heavy spices and tastes like ONLY tomatoes. I then saute fresh onions and garlic and add fresh herbs and sometimes meat and/or mushrooms. Or if I want even quicker sauce I just use dry herbs and spices and red wine goes into either version. A nice quick start sauce.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:45 PM   #5
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Classico Tomato Basil is the one I doctor up. (Not the other Classico one, "Traditional Sweet Basil"). It's a perfect blank palette, not too sweet, not too salty, etc.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:48 PM   #6
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i've doctored up hunt's canned sauce before and it was pretty good. i remember making a shrimp and scallop marinara with it and it turned out very good since, as you mentioned, it was mostly a fresh tomato flavour.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:41 AM   #7
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I use the Bertolli Marinara as my blank slate.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:35 AM   #8
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classico tomato basil was the jarred sauce I used to doctor. Then I bought cans of san marzano and made my own and it was an OMG moment. Then I bought bushels of tomatoes (2nds even) at the farm and made my own by roasting and using a food mill. In an emergency I could go to canned tomatoes again but not to jarred sauce. Gun to my head I would recommend the classico, but...
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:11 AM   #9
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It used to be Ragu, but that has changed to Prego as my tastes have changed. I rarely have any on hand anymore though, and I really should. There's certainly no sense making sauce from scratch just to spread a little red gravy on a fatty you are making, or a pizza, or even that frozen ravioli lasagna I recently made (if I hadn't used Alfredo sauce instead).
I think a big reason that I don't seem to have any jarred sauce on hand is because spaghetti isn't one of my goto meals anymore. I don't care if it takes me a couple hours (short by some's standards) to make from scratch because I enjoy the sauce making process.
But yeah, Prego. It can usually be had on sale and isn't quite as sweet as Ragu.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:26 AM   #10
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I do not like the jarred sauces. Too, too sweet. That isn't to say I don't believe in short cuts. I think that Del Monte is the brand that makes canned tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano. I like it better than any jar of sauce I've tasted, and the last time I bought it, corn syrup wasn't high on the list of ingredients. Haven't bought it in a year, so that might have changed.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:40 AM   #11
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I doctor up Hunts sauces. They are very inexpensive compared to Prego or Ragu which I would be doctoring up as well so I save some money. If I want to be decadent, I'll get Newman's Sock-a-rooni sauce. I use it mainly for meatball subs since it is really thick and flavorful on it's own. It's too expensive to use for the big batches of spaghetti or lasagna but to simmer meatballs in for subs it's just right.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:07 AM   #12
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Prego. It's handy to have, like a pantry item.

Question: Once a jar is opened, what is its refrigerated shelf life?
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spork View Post
Prego. It's handy to have, like a pantry item.

Question: Once a jar is opened, what is its refrigerated shelf life?
I usually write the date I opened it on the lid. 2 weeks is pushing it for me for red sauce and salsa. Jarred veggies are about 1 week for me. Roasted peppers turn bad really fast in my fridge.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:20 AM   #14
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I'd be willing to bet I haven't opened a jar of pasta sauce in 10 years. It's so easy and inexpensive to make your own, I just don't see the point of paying through the nose for a jar. In the summer, just chop up two or three garden tomatoes, and along with onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and basil, you've got fresh sauce in about 10 minutes.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:14 AM   #15
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I'm with Steve. I more often than not have a batch of sauce going and make enough to freeze some. I make a basic marinara and then just add what I want for what I am making.

However, recently I was in a big rush and making lasagna for our youth conference. I was at Costco and bought some Newman's Own sauce (a three-pack). Now THAT is very close to homemade. Probably as close as you can get. I won't give up making sauce, but if I need to buy some, this will be my choice.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:18 AM   #16
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I refuse to pay through the nose for anything, even the canned tomatoes I use when making my own sauce. I just stocked up on 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes a week ago. A buck a can. Good deal.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:46 AM   #17
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I haven't bought a jar of red sauce since way back in the 70's. I didn't like them then as they were way too sweet and had lots of stuff in them I would never put in tomato sauce. I haven't even looked at them lately.

I do keep a few jars of whole canned plum tomatoes on hand, as well as the crushed. I like Muir Glen, or one of the imported Italian brands. It's just as quick for me to add a bit of garlic, basil or whatever and whip up a quickie sauce.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:04 PM   #18
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I am maternally Sicilian. If I ever bought a jar of spaghetti sauce my grandmother would roll over in her grave and my mother would haunt me for the rest of my natural life.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:09 PM   #19
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I wonder if the sweet thing is a regional taste. I love sweet spaghetti sauce. Most of the Italian restaurants I've eaten at around here all have sweet sauces, including the restaurants in a section we call "Little Italy". Some serve a sweeter than others though. Interesting.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:11 PM   #20
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I also make my own. Last year I bought a jar of TJs marinara to give it a try as we had been having good luck with some of their other foods. Didn't care for it at all.

If you're going to take the time to cut up veggies (and meat) to doctor a sauce, might as well start from scratch.
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