So… I have a confession to make:
I cannot make a decent red sauce from scratch. It is either too bland or too runny or too… well, generally it’s simply not too anything but blah.
But. I have found a nice little formula to take a jar of pasta sauce and make of it something more, something my own. The thing is to start with a good basic jarred sauce – I look for one without a lot of additives or corn sweeteners.
And what do you know? Target’s Market Pantry brand is pretty darned decent in the ingredients department, and I can pick it up for about $1 per jar when it goes on sale – I like that in a pasta sauce. Especially one I am using as a base for my own tasty little sauce.
•1 (24 oz) jar sauce
•1/2 jar water
•1/2 tsp dried basil
•1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•1 bay leaf
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tbsp sugar
•Dash 21 Seasoning Salute
•1/2 tsp Earl’s (or other hot sauce)
•1 lb ground beef or turkey
•1 onion, diced
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1-1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1-1/2 tsp pepper
If you are doing a meat sauce, heat the oil in a large pot, then add the ground beef or turkey, the diced onion, and the Seasoned Salt and pepper. Sauté until the meat is done, the onion is tender, and any liquid has been cooked off.
Add the jar of sauce to the meat in the pot, then fill the jar half-way with water, screw on the cover and give it a good shake to get any residue from the jar, and add to the pot.
If you’re not doing a meat sauce, just add the sauce and the half-jar of water to the pot and carry on…
Stir in the seasonings and sugar (don’t try to go all low-carb and leave out that tablespoon of sugar, it really does help to bring out the flavor).
Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
And may I say; One. FINE. Sauce.
I’m not gonna put anyone’s Nonna out of bidness, but I’ll stack this up against your local chain Garden-like place any day of the week.