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dragonflyfaith's avatar

Best Spaghetti Sauce?

Asked by dragonflyfaith (1986 points ) July 23rd, 2008

Do you have a favorite recipe you use? A favorite can or jar sauce that you use or add to?

I normally start with a jar sauce and add veggies, meat and seasonings but it’s hard to find the right one to use as a base. Most of the time I brown the meat and cook the veggies until they’re almost done, then I throw it all together with the sauce and seasonings in the crock pot and let it cook for several hours.

Any suggestions?

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25 Answers

marinelife's avatar

A friend to all cooks is tomato paste in a tube. If you start with a can of whole tomatoes and add a generous squirt (a couple of tablespoons worth) of tomato paste in a tube, you will get a wonderful depth of flavor. Then, you can put the cap on and toss it in the frig until the next time you make your sauce.

What herbs do you use? Fresh basil is a wonderful addition. I also like rosemary and oregano. Sometimes I vary which one I make the star and which the supporting cast. I also often put in thyme and marjoram.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

@Marina Somehow I knew you’d have a good answer to this!

I’ve always worried that tomato paste would be too tart so I’ve avoided it in the past. I usually use an Italian blend of seasonings and add a little extra stuff, whatever hits me at the time. I’ve never tried marjoram though. I also like to sauté the veggies in a little wine; I think it adds a good flavor to it.

I’ll look for the tomato paste in the tube next time I shop, I’ve never noticed it before, only the cans.

augustlan's avatar

Prego! 3 cheese is really good

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

If you want super easy and delicious tomato sauce, Prego is fantastic!

poofandmook's avatar

I love Prego as is. Especially.. I think.. parm and garlic? I may be wrong.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

Next time I want a quick sauce I’ll try the Prego. Normally I use Ragu (it goes on sale a lot at my store) and I mix and match the blends. I tried Classico tonight and I thought it was awful. Edible, but for the price it just wasn’t worth it! Of course I also used different noodles, but that shouldn’t make that much difference to the taste.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

Good luck with your spaghetti experiments!
And yeah, I’m not a big fan of Ragu myself…

dragonflyfaith's avatar

Isn’t it Ragu that you’re not supposed to have to add stuff to? I find myself adding all sorts of seasonings to get it just right.

poofandmook's avatar

ragu is great if you’re using chunky garden and you add ground beef.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

Yeah. I find that for Prego, you really don’t need to add anything besides the meat. And when you mix and match the flavors, they all go with each other!

dragonflyfaith's avatar

@poofandmook I normally use chunky garden, chunky mushroom and the cheese blend. Then I add ground beef, sweet onion, mushrooms and green peppers. So far (since I haven’t tried Prego) Ragu is the only one that is thick enough to support all those extra veggies and meat. During a cheap week I grabbed a few cans of hunts spaghetti sauce and it was so watery! Never again.

PupnTaco's avatar

Standard quick marinara in our house when we don’t have fresh tomatoes:

Sauté 2 cloves minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat
Add two cans pureéd fire-roasted tomatoes and one small can tomato paste
Add basil, a little bit of oregano (not too much or it’ll taste like pizza sauce), salt & pepper
Stir in a splash of red wine and simmer over low heat 20 minutes

cooksalot's avatar

I have a recipe I just made up and my kids and their friends think it’s the best.

Heat some olive oil in a very large pan. Saute some garlic, basil (fresh or dried), a pinch of chili pepper flakes, half a small onion finely diced. When onions and garlic soften add a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.
Boil up one pound of noodles, and add to the tomato sauce. Now if during the time it takes for the noodles to boil up the tomato sauce starts to get a bit dry then add some of that pasta water to loosen it up. Mix it all together and add some Parmesan to the mix.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

These are all great answers! Once we get into our new place I’ll have to have a spaghetti cook off (me against myself) using all these ideas and recipes. It actually sounds fun now that I think of it. My poor husband will come home to me covered in spaghetti sauce and will be forced to try 20 different combinations! I love it.

SuperMouse's avatar

I start with ground turkey and sweet Italian turkey sausage. I brown those then add a can of Newman’s Own Marinara . Finally, I add a can of Italian style stewed tomatoes. This sauce always gets raves!

BronxLens's avatar

Regardless of the brand of tomatoe sauce you use, if you like your food a bit spicy (but not necessarily hot), add a few spoonfulls of salsa dip! You can thank me later =)

dragonflyfaith's avatar

@Bronx Salsa huh? That might be a good thing for me. I’m allergic to Cayenne pepper/red pepper but there are some salsa brands that I can eat. And I love spicy food. I added a can of rotel once and that added a nice little kick. Thanks for the idea!

skfinkel's avatar

I find that by the time I’ve doctored up canned or jarred sauce, it would have been easier (and would taste better) to do it myself from scratch.

Here’s what I do for delicious marinara sauce: saute lots of garlic in olive oil—medium heat.
Add a can or two of “San Marzana” tomatoes (really delicious—but if you can’t find them, any canned plum tomatoes), and let it simmer until it reduces nicely. Could be at least an hour or two. Lowish heat. Mmmm good. Use with spaghetti, lasagna, or whatever other noodle you like. I know that at restaurants, they plop a dollop of butter on top just before service (I’ve seen this at Geno’s in New York).

Enjoy!

babygalll's avatar

My mamas homemade sauce! I am still trying to perfect it.

PupnTaco's avatar

If you can find it, those boxes of Pomi brand tomatoes from Italy are outrageously tasty.

Randy's avatar

I make mine from scratch. It’s the best! You can’t call it spaghetti if it started in a can/jar. The taste is so much crappier.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

amore is a great brand of tube tomato paste. you used to only be able to find it at high end stores, but now they have it at kroger.
it looks like this: http://www.amazon.com/Amore-Tomato-Paste-4–5-Ounce-Tubes/dp/B000FGXTE8
they have pesto that way too. it’s not as good as homemade, but it’s very handy.
as for sauce already in a jar, prego has corn syrup in it (if i remember correctly), and i’m not really into that…i like classico better.

cooksalot's avatar

Really in all truth for what it takes to heat the can sauce it takes no extra time to make it from scratch. At least the way I make it. I use this sauce for lasagna, meatballs, just about any pasta dish really.

cooksalot's avatar

Oh but if you have to use the jar stuff and can afford it. I love Paul Newman’s Sock-O-Rooni sauce. That’s about the only one the boys don’t make faces at either, if it’s not my homemade.

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