Every family has a handful of nostalgic recipes that are passed down from generation to generation, recipes that, when cooked the old-school way, transport us back to a familiar dinner table shared by close friends and relatives. Whether it's grandma’s famous chicken noodle soup or your aunt’s perfectly flaky pie crust, take one bite and you’ll feel as though you’ve traveled back in time. For a lot of people, homemade pasta sauce is on that list — but sometimes there just isn’t time to slowly simmer tomatoes and garlic until they’re incredibly sweet and full or flavor.pasta sauce in just a few minutes; something that is guaranteed to taste as fresh and flavorful as homemade varieties.
One of the keys to amping up the flavor of premade pasta sauces is to add fresh ingredients; think about what is already in the sauce (or look at the ingredients on the label) and then add some of those things back into the sauce in their fresh form. Chunks of diced tomato, some freshly torn basil, or a bit of minced garlic can help bring life to otherwise lackluster pasta sauce. Just be sure to taste as you go and use your preference as a guide; adding freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to a sauce, for example, can improve its overall taste but the cheese will also add saltiness. Tasting your sauces as you adjust them will help you balance the flavors.
So, if you’re planning on pasta tonight but don’t have time to make your family’s secret sauce to serve it with, try these easy tricks for making store-bought pasta sauce taste like homemade.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.