UPGRADE YOUR JAR OF PASTA SAUCE
We all love a classic Italian pasta sauce. But without fresh ingredients or the time to let things simmer for hours, we often go to the "jar". Let's face it we're all pressed for time and money, relying more and more on prepared foods or take-out. Yet we still crave the experience of gourmet along with healthy ingredients. Our simple trick does both. It transforms even the most basic jar of store bought sauce.
Ultimately, a great homemade sauce leans heavily on adding fresh extra virgin olive oil. Adding lots of it will make a plain jar of sauce worthy of an Italian kitchen.
Add 3 tablespoons of one of our robust fresh olive oils on medium-low heat in a saucepan or skillet. Add the jar of sauce (or half if you're serving two) and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Stir occasionally. Processed jarred sauce rarely, if ever, has enough fresh olive oil; nor is it allowed to simmer for the time it takes to eliminate the bitterness of its processed canned tomatoes and paste. TIP: For an extra kick add 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chili peppers to the olive oil before adding sauce.
While the sauce simmers, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a tablespoon of Kosher salt (it should taste like seaside saltwater). Follow pasta package directions but remove from heat just before it's al dente.
Using tongs, transfer pasta to the sauce. Don't drain since the pasta water adds body. In fact, you'll want to add an extra 1/4 cup more pasta water. Stir until completely coated, then simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Serve in pasta bowls, then generously drizzle with any of our infused olive oils. Add grated or shaved parmesan and ground black pepper before serving.
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