Thank goodness for spaghetti. Moms and Dads everywhere breathe a sigh of relief on spaghetti night. It’s a meal that comes together fast and that everyone loves. That said, sometimes it’s nice to shake things up a bit. Another great thing about spaghetti: it’s easy to make it more interesting without a lot of effort. If you’re looking for ways to take your spaghetti dinners to the next level, here are five easy upgrades:
Meatballs are a delicious and easy addition to standard spaghetti, especially if you use the best brand of frozen meatballs. Toss frozen meatballs (no need to thaw first) into your favorite jarred sauce and simmer until the meatballs are thawed and warmed through. It’s an instant, effortless change that turns ho-hum pasta into something special.
Add Sautéed Veggies
Next time spaghetti night rolls around, try adding some sauteed veggies to your favorite sauce. Sliced onions, peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini are delicious when sauteed in high-quality olive oil for just a few minutes and then added to a pasta sauce right before serving. Adding fresh flavors and a bit of crunch elevates store-bought sauce into something that tastes just a bit more thoughtful and authentic.
Add Some Spices
Jarred pasta sauce is like a blank canvas that is just begging for creativity and imagination. While the sauce already includes spices, your additions depend solely on the starting point and your own taste preferences. Thyme, oregano, and basil are good places to start. A pinch of red pepper flakes is an easy way to add heat to an already tasty sauce. You’ll be amazed at the difference these simple additions can make.
Let it Simmer
If you’ve got the time, let the sauce simmer for a bit, especially if you’ve added your own spices or any meat. Simmering on low heat time gives the flavors the opportunity to develop and bloom, creating a deeper, richer sauce.
A typical, average tomato sauce tends to be a bit acidic. There are several tricks you can use to reduce the acidity and give the sauce a smoother, more velvety texture. Adding a teaspoon or so of sugar cuts acidity. It shouldn’t make the sauce sweeter, but it will balance things out. Stirring in a bit of pasta water is another great trick. The salt and starch in the pasta water adds flavor and smoothness. And finally, stir in a tablespoon of butter. Butter makes everything better and spaghetti sauce is no exception.
Try One This Week
Try one of these easy spaghetti upgrades this week. Your family will love it.