No Sugar - Mild Spice Pasta Sauce

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cab-design

Assistant Cook
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
6
Location
Florida
I need a pasta sauce with no sugar, low sodium, and most importantly mild spices.

Supermarkets have several no sugar brands. It seems like the sauce manufacturers are adding
extra spices to compensate for the lack of sugar.

The "normal" quantity of spices that most people love are not good for me. I always feel kind
of sick if something is too spicy.

I know this a cooking forum, but I don't want to make my own sauce.

If you can, please recommend a decent pasta sauce with no sugar, low sodium, and very mild spices.
 

CraigC

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
6,483
Wish I could help, but the only time we buy jarred sauce is for hurricane supplies. Personally, I'd be more concerned about the other "stuff" in a jarred sauce than a little sugar in my homemade. Carrots will sweeten a homemade sauce.
 

di reston

Sous Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2010
Messages
805
Location
Calosso, Piemonte
Your post is very interesting. I hope I can help.

In general, most pasta dressings and sauces in Italy don't contain many spices at all, the preferences lean towards herbs. Perhaps a grinding of black pepper, or nutmeg. Pasta dishes here vary from opulent to very sparse and simple. I would be very interested to be proved wrong! There are always things to pick up along the way, to learn new ideas etc. What I can give you is the all-Italian standby tomato sauce, made in minutes. I'm afraid that commercially made sauces all have preservatives, (sugar, chemical preservatives and the like). These basic tomato sauce recipes can be made in minutes, with all the seasonings of your choice:

The Basic Tomato Sauce, done swiftly:

Per 400g can of pulped tomato:

Dried garlic to taste
dried oregano to taste
1/2 sherry glass of good olive oil, or more, to taste
salt and pepper to taste.

Put all the ingredients toegether in the pan, bring to a good boil , and dress the pasta, whatever it is, or add to your other dishes. Don't forget the Parmesan!

This is the quick pasta sauce (although it's also used for other dishes) we all love to make after a party, after the cinema, or simply after an evening spent with friends, or when we're washed out and can't think of anything other than 'simple'. It's also very good to use when making a dish calling for tomatoes - although I'm perfectly aware that the Mexican preferences for spices give you all another great world of flavours!

This is the great Italian standby, and comes into its own very often over here.

di reston


Enough is never as good as a feast Oscar Wilde
 

medtran49

Executive Chef
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
4,855
Location
Florida
I need a pasta sauce with no sugar, low sodium, and most importantly mild spices.

Supermarkets have several no sugar brands. It seems like the sauce manufacturers are adding
extra spices to compensate for the lack of sugar.

The "normal" quantity of spices that most people love are not good for me. I always feel kind
of sick if something is too spicy.

I know this a cooking forum, but I don't want to make my own sauce.

If you can, please recommend a decent pasta sauce with no sugar, low sodium, and very mild spices.

Every person has their own taste. Asking for recommendations isn't really going to help. My husband and I generally have similar tastes, but there are lots of things he likes much, much better than I do and vice versa, and sometimes there are things I like that he doesn't at all and vice versa. You will just have to read the labels and try each brand until you come across 1 you like.
 

tenspeed

Executive Chef
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
2,509
Location
New Hampshire Seacoast
I think you will be a lot happier if you make your own sauce. It's pretty easy to do, and you can control what goes into it. I freeze it in 2 cup containers, which is about right for the two of us. The link is to the recipe that I sort of follow. Other recipes omit the celery, and that is usually what I do. An additional carrot will offset some of the acidity of the tomatoes. I use an immersion blender, rather than a food processor.

Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe | Giada De Laurentiis | Food Network
 

cab-design

Assistant Cook
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
6
Location
Florida
You guys are great! I appreciate all your replies.

I realize making my own sauce is a probably the best solution. I have no trouble cooking
solid foods like fish or chicken. I've never had much luck with soups and sauces.

There are so many different brands of pasta sauce. Anyone trying to read all those labels
would go crazy. Also, I don't know enough about spices and other ingredients to make a
logical choice.

I stopped eating pizza many years ago for the same reasons. The spices (including a ton
of salt) made me sick. Recently, I tried a pizza sold in a health food store. It was low
sodium with mild spices, but it tasted horrible!

If you google, there is plenty of confusing info about pasta sauce. Some folks prefer the
cheaper brands, while others say the higher priced sauce is worth the extra money.
 
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caseydog

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
5,734
Location
Dallas
I never, ever put sugar in my tomato-based pasta sauce. I start with good San Marzano whole canned tomatoes. No sugar needed!

Homemade tomato sauce for pasta is so easy to make. Really. It is one of the easiest things I can think of to make from scratch.

I dump my San Marzano tomatoes (Cento Brand) in my blender, with whatever else I feel like adding. Usually diced onions and garlic, and some basil and oregano from my garden (but you can use whatever seasonings you want). I also like to put hot red peppers in mine (cayenne), but you can pick and choose what you want for yours.

Processed foods are full of sugar and preservatives with names I can't pronounce. But, I can make homemade sauce in ten minutes. I can even make a big batch and freeze it.

CD
 

caseydog

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
5,734
Location
Dallas
You guys are great! I appreciate all your replies.

I realize making my own sauce is a probably the best solution. I have no trouble cooking
solid foods like fish or chicken. I've never had much luck with soups and sauces.

There are so many different brands of pasta sauce. Anyone trying to read all those labels
would go crazy. Also, I don't know enough about spices and other ingredients to make a
logical choice.

I stopped eating pizza many years ago for the same reasons. The spices (including a ton
of salt) made me sick. Recently, I tried a pizza sold in a health food store. It was low
sodium with mild spices, but it tasted horrible!

If you google, there is plenty of confusing info about pasta sauce. Some folks prefer the
cheaper brands, while others say the higher priced sauce is worth the extra money.

I really hope you will take a shot at homemade tomato sauce for your pasta. It is not like most other sauces. It really is very easy to make. The only real cooking you do is to make it hot. You can do that in a bowl in the microwave.

Hopefully others here will back me up on the San Marzano tomatoes. They are naturally sweet, so they just don't need any sugar.

Plus, if it is homemade, you have 100-percent control over what goes into it.

CD
 

GotGarlic

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
26,757
Location
Southeastern Virginia
You guys are great! I appreciate all your replies.

I realize making my own sauce is a probably the best solution. I have no trouble cooking solid foods like fish or chicken. I've never had much luck with soups and sauces.

There are so many different brands of pasta sauce. Anyone trying to read all those labels would go crazy. Also, I don't know enough about spices and other ingredients to make a logical choice.

I stopped eating pizza many years ago for the same reasons. The spices (including a ton of salt) made me sick. Recently, I tried a pizza sold in a health food store. It was low sodium with mild spices, but it tasted horrible!

If you google, there is plenty of confusing info about pasta sauce. Some folks prefer the cheaper brands, while others say the higher priced sauce is worth the extra money.

As others have said, pasta sauce is very easy to make, and it's really the only way to have it to your taste. To follow on what di said, a simple tomato sauce doesn't generally have spices in it, except sometimes black pepper or red pepper flakes. But they can certainly be left out.

And, to be clear, herbs are the leaves of aromatic plants; spices are other plant parts, e.g., black pepper is a berry, cinnamon is bark, red pepper flakes are the dried fruit, etc.

So the simplest recipe for a tomato pasta sauce is tomatoes (I don't find that the brand matters), olive oil, onion, garlic and fresh parsley or basil. To make pizza sauce, add oregano. If it's too acidic for your taste, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize it. Salt enhances other flavors, but a dish should not taste actually salty. So add a little salt, 1/4 teaspoon or so, and taste the sauce to see what you think.

I'm guessing the sauce you got from the health food store had no added salt at all ;)

I wouldn't worry about what other people "on the Internet" think about different sauces. It just means that different people have different tastes; some people believe that food from a specific store or manufacturer is "best" or that more expensive means better. There are all kinds of ideas that go into what's "best." But I really think your best solution is to make your own.

Here's what I do.

Note: chiffonade means to stack basil leaves on top of each other, roll them up and cut them cross-wise into ribbons.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion (about 1/2 cup), diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
1/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda, if needed

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 3-quart saucepan. Add onion and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, till onion is softened, about three minutes. Add garlic and stir till it's fragrant, about one minute.

Add tomatoes and basil and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and add 1/4 teaspoon salt, if necessary. If it tastes too acidic, add baking soda.

To make pizza sauce, use 1 tablespoon dried oregano instead of the basil.

Hope this helps.
 
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