image description

Cook’s Tip: Using Jarred Tomato Sauce


Confused when buying jarred tomato sauce? It starts in the store, put on your glasses and read the tiny words on the ingredient label.

Pick the one with the least ingredients, avoid the ones with sugar and corn syrup. Look for more tomato, less tomato paste. Stay away from the freckled dried herbs too. Just get plain and simple tomato sauce. Then stroll by the produce section and pick up some fresh garlic and basil.

Go home and get your sauce pan really hot and drizzle in a bit of olive oil, throw in the garlic and 20 seconds later, the moment the garlic is golden, add the tomato sauce. If you happen to have the rind of a Parmesan cheese, throw it in. If you have a chopped anchovy add it too, if you don’t, a splash of Asian fish sauce is a sneaky cook’s trick that adds “bass” to your sauce.

Let the sauce simmer while you boil your pasta water. If you care to, add a sprinkle of chopped capers and some red pepper flakes. Remove the Parmesan rind. Tear up your basil and fold it in. Taste your sauce…. it is yours now, give it a family name.


Join the Discussion

One Response

  1. Anissa R McCullen says:

    Our “family” sauce is always a can of  tomato sauce added to sauted garlic-this is much better tasting than any jarred sauce in stores and more affordable too. Now if I could only grow enough tomatoes to jar my own!

Connect with Us


Recent Comments


2012 IACP Cookbook Award Finalist


CoomMomPicks Pick of the Year