How to improve a canned tomato sauce

“Tomato sauce is one of the basic, and fundamental, elaborations of world cuisine. If we have time and we enjoy cooking, we can make it at home, rescue a family recipe or try different spices. The preparation of this sauce is simple. However, there is not always time or desire to cook. For these cases, preserves are a splendid solution. Just open the can or the carton and heat its contents in a saucepan. The result will be very good … although it can be improved. With spices, vegetables and other ingredients it is possible to personalize a pot tomato sauce, giving it a special touch. Here’s how to do it.

Five ways to personalize a canned tomato sauce

A basic tomato sauce can be used in all kinds of dishes, from pizzas to pasta, through fish, seafood or lasagna. Now, depending on the recipe you want to make, some spices and ingredients work better than others (a Bolognese, which has meat, is used for pasta, but not for fish). For this reason, there are different specific variants on the market for certain dishes. These “”special”” versions are very comfortable and practical, but also more expensive than the base sauce. Thus, for economy -and by taste-, we can buy the simplest tomato sauces and personalize them at home. The following are some practical ideas:

1. Bolognese sauce. We make a sauce or stew of minced meat with onion, garlic, a little wine and a touch of oregano (or basil). We pour the tomato sauce into the same container and let it finish cooking everything together. We will obtain an enriched and powerful sauce, ideal for pasta dishes with nooks (macaroni, sharks, etc.), which will be filled with this garnished sauce.

2. Neapolitan sauce. We add oregano and cooked onion (and in pieces) to the tomato sauce. Thus we will achieve a fine, elegant and aromatic combination that adheres very well to the pasta; especially spaghetti and noodles.

3. Marine sauce. Its name suggests it all. It is used to finish fish dishes in sauce such as hake or monkfish, even with clams. To prepare it, we add to the tomato sauce a sauce of onion and parsley, sweet paprika and fish stock. The combination is delicious.

4. Puttanesca sauce. We make it by adding to the tomato sauce a mixture of canned anchovy, minced garlic, pitted black olives and some capers, all cut very small. We will achieve an exquisite combination that we can use in all kinds of recipes with tomato sauce, from fish and meat to pasta dishes, of course. However, where it will look best is on pizzas and panninis.

5. Hot sauce. Add to the tomato sauce a garlic sauce with some chilli or red chili rings. We stir and that’s it! A splendid mix to accompany some mussels, some patatas bravas or a fish, which diners who like strong flavors will appreciate.”

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