Jazz up pasta?

Hi, I have a jar of pasta sauce and a box of fusilli. What can I do to jazz it up for weeknight dinner? We don't eat meat or eggs.

  • Posted by: Kris
  • February 6, 2019
  • 348 views
  • 11 Comments

8 Comments

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Nancy
Nancy February 6, 2019

Add some ingredients to your tomato sauce to evoke Sicily...capers, raisins, pine nuts, some fresh garlic & onion (if not already in the sauce, or if you like more).
If you eat fish /or eggs, supplement with sardines anchovies and/or Parmesan (note, some Italians don't put cheese on dishes with fish).
For an Indian subcontinent direction, doctor the sauce to make it like makhani (butter sauce): add garam masala or a curry spice blend, shallot, butter, cream or yogurt, ginger garlic paste. Maybe also a steamed substantial vegetable like cauliflower.

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Nancy
Nancy February 6, 2019

Sorry, meant to write "fish and/or cheese"
You already said you don't eat eggs.

Kris
Kris February 7, 2019

Thanks. We don't eat fish or any seafood. I'll try nuts and raisins. We have eaten a lot of chickpeas and beans in the last few weeks. Else I would've tried that

eileen
eileen February 7, 2019

I like to add fresh spinach and sneak in tofu

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Hana Asbrink
Hana Asbrink February 7, 2019

Hi Kris - take a look at this list, I think you might find it helpful drumming up new ideas:

https://food52.com/blog...

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PHIL
PHIL February 7, 2019

Step one, forget the jar sauce. Why not make cacio e pepe?: https://food52.com/recipes... another option is simply garlic & oil and you can add any vegetable you have handy (charred broccoli & lemon maybe? ) . saute some sliced garlic over a low flame till golden , add some hot pepper flakes to taste and your done. SO many options that are better than jar sauce and almost as easy.

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Smaug
Smaug February 7, 2019

The problem would be not so much what to add as what to subtract-most likely excess salt and sugar, to begin with.

BerryBaby
BerryBaby February 7, 2019

I add capers and olives with a dash of hot pepper flakes.
BB💐

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Laurie Volkman
Laurie Volkman February 7, 2019

If I need a fast dinner and don't feel like cooking my own sauce, I like to add browned crumbled sweet italian sausage, quartered artichoke hearts, black or kalamata olives and garlic to a good jarred sauce (I use Rao's - either the marinara or vodka sauce). I know you said you don't eat meat, this is great with or without the sausage, I've made it both ways.

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Ttrockwood
Ttrockwood February 8, 2019

I saute some onion and garlic in olive oil and then add in the jar of sauce and some chopped fresh or canned tomatoes.

For a more sturdy sauce mushroom walnut bolognese is great- saute the onion and garlic, add 8oz chopped mushrooms and cook til they release all liquid and are half original size (maybe 10min). Add whatever spices, some thyme, salt and black pepper are good basics. Add the jar of basic marinara sauce and about one cup of finely chopped walnuts. Maybe a splash of water if it’s too thick.
Let it simmer together til it’s the consistency you like. Taste and add salt if needed or a splash of red wine vinegar to brighten it up.
Great on basic pasta or something simple like baked spaghetti squash or polenta

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy February 9, 2019

Try sauteing some garlic in olive oil, add the sauce and a good dosage of red wine. If you have cured olives that would be great too. Simmer for a while, like 30 min (the longer the better). It will be very fragrant and moody.

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