I never grew up in a home where pasta sauce was made from scratch, and I am not a big fan of making it myself. There are plenty of foods I will make using the base ingredients, but pasta sauce isn’t usually one of them because of how messy and time consuming it can be. I prefer to buy my pasta sauce in the jar, already made up.
Whether you have made it yourself or bought it from a store, taking pasta sauce from a jar and cooking it up for your dinner is a simple skill that every cook should know. If you are using the sauce for spaghetti or making a pizza or adding it to your chicken filet, you ought to know how to cook pasta sauce from a jar. You should be able to cook it without it burning or without leaving it partly cold. You should also be able to season the sauce to make it even more flavourful, if needed.
I want to share with you my methods for cooking pasta sauce and how I make sure it tastes great every time. I had my own period of trial and error when it came to working with pasta sauce from the jar, and I want to help you speed through yours so you can get right to making the pasta sauce properly.
I know sometimes the pasta can turn out too thin or too thick, and a lot of that comes down to how you cook it. You can also make modifications if you need to, and I will show you how to do some of that.
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Cooking Pasta Sauce Perfectly
The secret to how to cook pasta sauce from a jar on a stove is to let it simmer in a frying pan. Just pour your pasta sauce into a skillet that has been warmed on medium heat. Once the pasta sauce is in the pan, you can reduce the heat to low. You want it to simmer, which cooks it slowly.
If you have your heat on too high, it will burn the sauce, and the sauce will stick to the bottom of the pan. You will end up with a mess that is tough to clean up, and the slow simmer is how to cook pasta sauce from a jar without it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
How long does it take to cook pasta sauce from a jar? I prefer to let it simmer for about 10 minutes, if the heat is very low. This should make it bubble and give it a lovely cooked flavour. It will be hot enough at that point to taste great with your pasta or whatever else you are eating it with. You also want to stir the sauce as it cooks. That way, you can reduce the risk that it will stick to the bottom of the pan.
Modifying the Pasta Sauce
What if you need to thicken the pasta sauce from the jar? How do you do that? I cook it for a bit longer, as it will thicken as it cooks, but if that isn’t enough and you still want it thicker, then you can add in a little cornflour. This is a great thickener that works so well, but you have to be careful how you mix it in. You should mix the cornflour in a small container separately with warm water. Stir it in until it is fully dissolved, and then mix that dissolved cornflour into the pasta sauce.
What about if you want to thin the sauce? If it is too thick, you can either add some thin pasta sauce to it or a little water. Be careful with adding too much water, as that can kill the flavour. Instead, just add a little at a time and then mix it in thoroughly to test if it is enough.
I like to add seasonings to the sauce when it is kind of bland, and that may mean adding in thyme, parsley, oregano, or salt. I may also make the sauce heartier by adding in mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, or green peppers. When adding any ingredients to pasta sauce, be sure to add them before you heat the sauce. That way, they cook with the sauce and help to spread their flavour out evenly and richly.
Keep in mind that anything you do add to the sauce may make it thicker. It could also add oils to the sauce, changing the texture slightly. In some cases, you will want to cook up your ingredients separately and then mix them into the sauce once both the sauce and the ingredients are cooked.
How to Cook Homemade Pasta Sauce
If you made up the pasta sauce for yourself at home, then congrats. That can be difficult but very rewarding. I would suggest just heating up the sauce you made yourself. You probably have it seasoned the way you want it and thickened just right. All you need to do is simmer it.
How long to cook homemade pasta sauce from a mason jar? I would suggest simmering it on low heat for the same 10 minutes as you would the store bought one. That makes it perfectly warm and makes it a great companion for your pasta or other food. Once the pasta sauce starts to bubble, it is basically done heating and is ready to eat.
There isn’t much to cooking up pasta sauce, whether you made it yourself or bought it off a store shelf. You can simply simmer it to perfection. Knowing how long to cook it for, at what heat, and how to perfect the thickness are what most people need to know.
It is always better to heat your sauce in a pan on the stove rather than in the microwave, and I hope this simple and short guide inspires you to do that. You will have better tasting sauce with a nicer texture and a thicker, richer quality.
What are some simple ways to enhance the flavour of jarred pasta sauce?
There are many ways to enhance the flavor of jarred pasta sauce. You could start by sautéing some garlic and onion in olive oil until they become translucent. Then, add the sauce and let it simmer for a while to meld the flavors. You could also add a splash of good quality red wine for a richer flavor. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar can also help to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.
Can I add fresh herbs or vegetables to my jarred pasta sauce, and if so, which ones work best?
Yes, you can absolutely add fresh herbs or vegetables to your jarred pasta sauce. Fresh basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme all work well with pasta sauces. As for vegetables, you can add bell peppers, zucchini, spinach, or mushrooms. Just make sure to sauté the vegetables before adding the sauce to ensure they are fully cooked.
How long should I simmer jarred pasta sauce for the best results?
The simmering time can depend on the specific sauce and your personal taste. However, a good rule of thumb is to let the sauce simmer for at least 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. If you have more time, you can let it simmer on low for an hour or more, just remember to stir it occasionally to prevent sticking.