Let’s admit it when you think of canned pasta sauce, cheap highly processed food comes to mind. And while whipping up your own pasta sauce is the healthier and tastier route, some of us just don’t have the time to simmer down a sauce.
With canned pasta sauce as your base, there’s a lot of ingredients you can add to completely elevate and make you forget that it only caused you a few bucks at the supermarket.
This article is for the ones who want to well but also need things to be super convenient. So, here’s a list of ways you can immediately spruce up a cheap-looking can of pasta sauce and make it restaurant quality — or at least try to.
Ways to Spruce Up Canned Pasta Sauce
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instead of using any regular cooking oil to saute your ingredients, use extra virgin olive oil. It is also a fantastic source of antioxidants and healthy fats. And While the subtle flavour of the olive oil helps enhance your sauce it is also a much healthier option!
Freshly Minced Garlic
Heard of the saying, “You can never have too much butter”? It’s the same case with garlic. Adding freshly minced garlic to your sauce immediately gives it a huge boost. And once you start to saute garlic with the olive oil, you will immediately smell perfection.
Remember, garlic makes a big difference when it comes to canned pasta sauce.
Roasted Red Peppers
To make your pasta sauce creamy and even more aromatic, roasting up some red peppers till their charred really adds that extra depth to your canned pasta sauce.
If you’re an adventurous foodie looking to spice things up a bit, roasting, seeding and dicing a few red bell peppers will do the trick!
Freshly Ground Meat
Adding in some protein to your pasta sauce is a great way to get that ‘made from scratch’ from your store-bought canned pasta sauce.
The pasta sauce is a delicious and very versatile base where you can use just about any type of protein you’d choose. In fact, you can easily make the famous spaghetti with meatballs by just forming the ground beef into balls.
Overall, protein really adds an extra flavour and textural element to the sauce while keeping you full throughout the day.
A great way to add another punch of extra flavour to your canned pasta sauce is with hot pepper flakes. If you want that extra kick at the back of your throat chilli flakes can definitely hit you with it.
Not only does hot pepper flakes heat up the sauce it also helps harmonize the different flavours in the pot. If you don’t want to end up sweating after eating your meal, you can definitely customise the intensity level of spiciness to your taste.
Freshly Sliced Tomatoes
While it might sound a bit redundant to add in fresh tomatoes in a tomato base, tossing a few freshly sliced tomatoes gives the illusion that it was made from scratch.
By adding fresh tomatoes to your canned pasta helps revive the fresh taste of tomato as well as adds another layer to the texture of the sauce.
So, if you want to liven up the canned pasta sauce to the next level add in fresh tomatoes.
A Dash of Red Wine
Think of adding red wine to your pasta sauce like vanilla extract being added to your cookie batter, it adds that distinct flavour you never thought was missing till now.
Red wine is a very versatile cooking ingredient that can be used as a marinade, a cooking liquid or to the finishing touch of a dish.
Red wine helps intensify, enhance and emphasize the flavour and aroma of a dish. It does not dominate in flavour but uplifts the rest of the ingredients.
Freshly Chopped Herbs
Similar to adding fresh tomatoes, adding freshly chopped herbs like basil or rosemary to your canned pasta sauce really gives that authentic home-cooked taste that you’re trying to achieve.
Adding a few dashes of herbs really helps harmonise the different flavours the sauce has to a whole new level. And although canned pasta sauce might already be infused with different herbs, using the real thing, is still the real deal.
Last on our list of ways to sophisticate cheap store-bought canned pasta sauce is cheese. The best way to elevate canned pasta sauce is by adding grated cheese to it.
The most common type of cheese used for pasta is parmesan, however, you can experiment and use different kinds of cheeses. From cheddar, mozzarella to even blue cheese!
If we were to pick out the biggest game changer of all ingredients, it would definitely be cheese!
Canned Pasta Sauce Don’t Have To Be Bland
At the end of the day, it’s all about finessing what you have. Even though canned pasta sauce isn’t the tastiest, you can definitely find a way to sophisticate the sauce and turn a cheap meal into a classy, restaurant-quality dish.