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That Homemade Sauce, From a Jar.

August 2, 2017 Leave a comment

I have Italian blood coursing through my veins. Pasta, red sauce, cannoli are vital to my life even at the expense of my Germanic other-half. It has even been said that I ruined my first born on the red sauce by feeding it to him on a continual basis when he was a toddler. I just think the German part of him is sour much like sauerkraut. When I make pasta there is one problem I often face and that is time to make the sauce and the lack of necessary ingredients.

A jar of sauce is a convenient way to make a pasta and ruin the experience, too. Quality jar sauces are too expensive, and this leaves me with the Ragus and Pregos of the grocery store. I truly hate them. They’re too sweet and, well, just not very good. There is a solution to using these jars without any good Italian recognizing the imposter. Yes, I have actually seen Italians, proud of their tastes, claim an imposter to be a good sauce. I have a friend that has been clueless every time we make a sauce and he prides himself on his Italian heritage. Is there a secret to making a jar sauce palatable? Yes.

Two main ingredients are quality garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Seriously, olive oil is key and you need to find a very good maker and pay the price. Right now I use a domestic olive oil, California Olive Ranch. The imported are risky as you don’t know how long they been sitting since they were bottled and where they were sitting. There are even incidences of so-called quality olive oils from Italy being fake. A good way to know is to buy a bottle and test it. There is a bit of a wow factor when you taste the good oil. As for garlic, you want a type that you like as there are many varieties of garlic. I prefer not to use elephant garlic as it is part of the onion family, and I do not care for onions in my sauce.

You want to heat oil in a sauce pan before adding the garlic to infuse flavor. Don’t worry if you allow your garlic to sit idle for a bit after mincing. Apparently, there are healthy things happening when you do. Do not cook the garlic for too long as you don’t want it to brown. I usually eye it to my liking and turn the heat down before adding the dreaded jar. This is the first step.

The next step is allowing it to simmer for a short time while adding dried oregano and basil. It can simmer while you heat up the water and cook the spaghetti. Keep in mind of the sauce you are using as you could add too much if there is already plenty of these herbs in the sauce. You could try fresh but the dried imparts more flavor. This doesn’t make the jar taste go away, but it becomes palatable. You can add onions before the garlic and let the onions cook down. Another option, and a great

You can add onions before the garlic and let the onions cook down. Adding olives to the sauce, don’t fry these, imparts a nice flavor, too. Another option, and a great one,┬áis to add meat. My mother would fry up some pork on the bone and add it to the sauce. The pork and bone change the flavor for the best. You can add just about any type of meat to the sauce. Oh, do NOT make meatballs and place them in the sauce without first cooking the meatballs. The texture and taste become wrong with the meatballs if you do that. DO NOT buy the pre-packaged meatballs. Just make a large batch, broil or fry them, and freeze them. Adding real cheese, not the wood chips you find in the plastic containers, helps with the flavor of the sauce. Sometimes I’ll add tomato paste or another type of canned tomatoes.

The base of altering a jar sauce is the olive oil and garlic. From there you can add what you like to produce a sauce you can enjoy with your pasta. Some people prefer ground beef to pork or meatballs. My wife doesn’t like the cheese in the sauce while I try to sneak it in. The key is to add the very best ingredients to the jar sauce.

What about a white sauce? Make the real thing! You can’t improve the jar alfredo sauce. Look online for a good sauce recipe, and it will be unhealthy. Anything fat-free or has a substitute for health reasons does not taste good. We all know it, so why trying to fake ourselves as we struggle to eat horrible items. Just do not eat the white sauce as often or not at all. As for the red sauce, alter the jar sauce if you cannot make the real sauce.