There is nothing wrong with spaghetti sauce from a jar. Seriously. At the end of a long day of work, with two kids running around your legs and mass quantities of pink and purple LEGOs in a solid layer on the floor, I vote for any product that comes down on half the work of dinner. However, we just don’t find jar sauce to have a strong enough flavor or texture, and have reached a family-consensus on what should be added (or “renovated” as I think to think of it. I watch a lot of HGTV). By the way, ‘LEGO” is apparently trademarked in all capitals. Anyway…
Gather your ingredients:
- Spaghetti noodles (I prefer Barilla when it is on sale for $1 a box, but frequently use the Kroger brand too)
- A jar of pasta sauce, enough for whoever you need to feed (We think Prago tastes better, but Ragu costs so much less)
- Garlic (I like the Delallo jars of already minced garlic)
- A good extra-virgin olive oil (or EVOO if you watch Rachael Ray)
- Chopped up veggies – whatever you want. We use yellow onion and baby portobello mushrooms
- Fresh herbs (I cheat and use one of those AMAZING tubes of herbs by Gourmet Garden. I get them at Kroger for less than $3 a tube, and they last forever. I use them in everything!
- Dried spices & seasonings; black pepper, salt, dried Italian herbs, dried basil, and so on.
- Meat if you would like it (I don’t include it in this recipe)
Warm your EVOO in a saucepan, and add the garlic. Saute for a minute, but be sure not to burn it! I always burn it, and have to start over. Every single time. Ugh.
Then, add your onions and saute for another 2-3 minutes (or longer if you prefer them very browned, like me). Add your mushrooms, and cook 3-4 more minutes or until soft and cooked through. The above picture did not look that pretty, but I promise it smelled pretty.
When everything is browned enough, carefully add the sauce so it doesn’t splash on your white t-shirt, stir it well, and add the rest of the herbs, spices, and seasonings. Meanwhile, boil your water and prepare your spaghetti. I let the sauce simmer, covered, for at least 15 minutes but often for longer. I like the flavors to really meld. Half of our family eats meat and the other half doesn’t, so my husband cooks some Italian sausage on the side and adds it to his and our son’s sauce separately).
Voila! It is easy, affordable, and tastes just a little bit fancier than straight from the jar. Renovating foods is from, don’t you think? Frozen pizzas can be updated pretty easily too… any others to add to the list?
How I Pretty Up Spaghetti Sauce From a Jar
Gather your ingredients:
- Dried spaghetti noodles
- A jar of pasta sauce, size depending on servings needed
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow onio
- 1/3 cup chopped baby portobello mushrooms
- 2 tsp Italian Herb mix from Gourmet Garden (or fresh herbs)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs or dried basil
- Italian sausage, cooked (optional)
Warm the olive oil in a saucepan, and add the garlic. Saute garlic for one minute, add your onions and saute for another 2-3 minutes, add mushrooms and cook 3-4 more minutes or until soft and cooked through. When everything is browned enough, add the sauce and stir it well. Add the rest of the herbs, spices, and seasonings. Meanwhile, boil your water and prepare your spaghetti. Let the sauce simmer, covered, for at least 15 minutes or more; longer is better. If desired, cook italian sausage and add it to the sauce.
PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.