Kitchen Through the Lens: Pasta Sauce

Every time I make pasta using sauce from a jar, I chastise myself. It can’t  be that difficult, I think. Plus, can you even pronounce half of the garbage that’s in here? (I’ve taken to buying organic sauce which, yeah, I CAN pronounce the ingredients, but…EVEN SO…)

Pasta sauce is one of those things.

There are very few jarred sauces I like and honestly, I can never remember which ones those are when I go to the store and then I end up buying some garbagey thing that tastes awful and then it just sits in my fridge until it’s so old that the sauce around the rim of the jar is so crusty that I couldn’t take the lid off if I tried.

ANYWAY. That is how pasta sauce ended up on my list (I think I actually wrote “marinara sauce” and I am sure there is some legit difference between marinara and just any old pasta sauce, but I don’t know that difference, and I know what I meant when I wrote the list).

No tears

This recipe was pretty darn easy.

(It was also pretty darn boring. Next time? Imma add better stuff)

In a sauce pan, heat up onions and olive oil and salt for about ten minutes (the recipe called for a LOT of olive oil – I reduced it by a lot. I didn’t see the need for so much oil and it seems to have come out okay anyway).

Nit picky tomatoes

Add two 28-oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes, pureed with their juices.

These are more expensive than just any other whole tomato. And they were in a different section. At my grocery store, there’s a TOMATO section and an AUTHENTIC ITALIAN tomato section. Sooooo… here’s some fancy pants tomatoes. I guess.

I love the smell of basil

Seven basil leaves.

Also: add more salt.

Bring to a bubble on high. Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes.

I can pronounce all the ingredients in this sauce and it was mostly edible

In the end, though boring, it was still a win. It’s far too much for me and the girls – I’ve frozen half of the sauce and I’ve packaged up a few separate dishes of pasta and sauce to take to work for lunches this week (I’m going to be so sick of spaghetti). Next time, I’d maybe add more garlic. I keep thinking of elements of things I could add to make this tastier (mmmm pancetta…), but the fact is, I do dig its simplicity, and I do like that if I cut the olive oil down a liiiiiitttttttllllllleeeeee bit further, this is still a relatively healthy sauce and not bogged down by a bunch of junky (and delicious!) extras that make it less healthy.

Short story long, it was a win. The kids liked it. I’ll either halve the recipe next time or just be prepared to freeze in smaller quantities to have sauce on hand…pretty much until the end of time.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Reading about adding the ingredients reminds me of my other half cooking – I do fine until I get to an ingredient we don’t have. She invariably arrives to rescue me, and after digging around in our cavernous cupboards – full of junk we haven’t seen or used in years – she digs out some substitute or other that will work…

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