NBR Doctored up spaghetti sauce — The Bump
3rd Trimester

NBR Doctored up spaghetti sauce

Can you guys please share your tips on how to doctor up a jar a spaghetti sauce? I have some red wine left over from a bbq that I cant drink and it will go to waste so I thought I would add some of that. I am adding ground beef, garlic, and a little bell pepper. Any other suggestions? Also how much wine to one jar of spaghetti sauce?
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Re: NBR Doctored up spaghetti sauce

  • I'd start with maybe 1/4 cup of wine, as you can always add more later.  When I doctor up jarred sauce (which I always do with jarred as it tends to be bland), I add in a bit of water so it has enough liquid to cook back down for a while and let the flavors meld.  I also add in additional spices - whatever the sauce needs.  I usually stick with the Italian basics like basil and oregano.  Oregano is a common and often strong flavor in spaghetti sauce.  If you're using dried, a little goes a long way. 

    I also often add in garlic and caramelized onions.  The caramelized onions are super easy to make and add a sweetness, if that's what you're going for.  If not, just use regular onions.  To caramelize onions, chop them normally and cook them on a low/medium heat for about 20 minutes.  The slow cooking allows the sugars to fully develop.  You can actually get a lot of flavor out of them this way even if you don't get them to a true caramel color.  Sweet onions (like 1015s or Vidalias) will be sweeter than a white onion.  A yellow onion is usually sweeter than a white onion as well.

    Also, if you actually let your ground beef fry in its own grease before draining, you'll have a much better flavor.  Just brown it normally and then crank up the heat for a few minutes to get it to a deep dark brown.  Then, turn the heat off and drain the fat.

    Depending on the ultimate flavor you're going for and how salty the sauce is, olives can be a great addition.  

    BFP#1 4/17/10...EDD 1/6/11...M/C 5/28/10 BFP#2 11/19/10...EDD 8/4/11 Squeaker born 7/30.
  • Thank you! I usually put a little water in the jar and shake it up to get the rest of the sauce out.. Maybe I can do that with the wine this time. And I have never thought about the browning beef thing.. usually i just make sure its not pink. I will def try that.
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  • I always use enough wine to reach the bottom of the label on the jar. I also like adding mushrooms, either canned or fresh. If you like a bit of spice, red pepper flakes make a nice addition. 
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  • If you want to make it sweeter, I will throw some carrots into the food processor and dump them in.  Again a little goes a long way but its a great way to add some veggies.  

    Also don't forget about green bell peppers as another option!  

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  • image StefaniePace:
    Thank you! I usually put a little water in the jar and shake it up to get the rest of the sauce out.. Maybe I can do that with the wine this time. And I have never thought about the browning beef thing.. usually i just make sure its not pink. I will def try that.

    That's what I always did too until MH taught me that trick.  Now I'm hooked!

    BFP#1 4/17/10...EDD 1/6/11...M/C 5/28/10 BFP#2 11/19/10...EDD 8/4/11 Squeaker born 7/30.
  • I always add ground beef, italian spices, garlic, onions, mushrooms and a can of diced tomatoes
  • I throw in a tbsp or two of brown sugar usually, cuts the acidity of the tomato sauce and has a better flavor than white sugar.
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    DD1, Kathleen 9/15/2007

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