Are you tired of the same old jarred vodka sauce?
Do you want to take your pasta dish to the next level?
Look no further!
In this article, we will explore some simple and easy ways to enhance the flavor of your jarred vodka sauce.
From adding vegetables to seasoning with herbs and spices, we’ve got you covered.
So, grab a jar of your favorite vodka sauce and let’s get started!
How To Make Jarred Vodka Sauce Better?
1. Season it: One of the easiest ways to improve the flavor of your jarred vodka sauce is by adding some seasoning. Taste the sauce once it’s warm and add some salt, red pepper flakes, or fresh garlic to liven it up. You could also add dried or fresh herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, tarragon, or parsley for an extra layer of flavor.
2. Add vegetables: Adding vegetables to your jarred vodka sauce is a great way to enhance its flavor and make it healthier. You can sauté your favorite vegetables like tomatoes, spinach, peppers, or collard greens and add them right into the saucepan. Alternatively, you can bake your veggies and pour the sauce on after.
3. Parmesan or Pecorino rind: Adding a Parmesan or Pecorino rind while the sauce simmers will make it more creamy and rich.
4. Sauté garlic: Sauté smashed cloves of garlic with olive oil in the saucepan before adding your tomato sauce. This will give the sauce a nice garlic flavor.
5. Zing it up: Add some last-minute zing with capers, chopped green olives, or lemon zest.
6. Creamy and luxurious: Bring on the butter and cream to create more rich and luxurious sauces. Try a pat of butter, a splash of cream, a spoonful of yogurt, crème fraiche, ricotta, sour cream, or mascarpone.
7. Save pasta water: Save your pasta water! Just a 1/4 cup or a generous splash of that hot and starchy pasta-cooking water will give your sauce a consistency ready to stick gloriously to your noodles.
8. Drizzle like you mean it: Take it to another level with your favorite flavored extra virgin olive oil. Heat with the sauce or drizzle as a finish.
9. Everything’s better with bacon: Sauté diced bacon or pancetta in a saucepan. Add the pasta sauce straight to the pan to incorporate those tasty drippings and all that flavor.
10. Make a splash with wine: Add red or white wine or marsala to your pasta sauce to enhance its lush tomato flavor.
Add Vegetables For A Nutritious Boost
Adding vegetables to your jarred vodka sauce not only enhances its flavor but also gives it a nutritious boost. You can sauté your favorite vegetables like onions, peppers, carrots, and garlic, or even throw in some greens like spinach, kale, or basil strips. The key is to have some kind of fresh vegetable to make it taste and look like fresh homemade sauce. This will not only add vitamins and minerals but also fiber to your meal. If you want something even quicker, you can try adding diced tomatoes or collard greens to your sauce. By doing so, you are making a healthier version of the pasta dish without compromising on taste. So next time you heat up a jar of vodka sauce, consider adding some sautéed or baked vegetables to make it more nutritious and delicious.
Elevate The Flavor With Fresh Herbs And Spices
Fresh herbs and spices are an excellent way to elevate the flavor of your jarred vodka sauce. Adding herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, or parsley can add a layer of complexity to your sauce. You can use fresh herbs or dried herbs depending on your preference. Just be sure to add them towards the end of the cooking process so that they retain their flavor.
If you’re using fresh herbs, try tearing or chopping them into small pieces before adding them to the sauce. This will help release their essential oils and maximize their flavor. You can also try using a mortar and pestle to crush fresh herbs before adding them to the sauce.
Spices like red pepper flakes or black pepper can also add a kick of heat to your sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some exotic spices like cumin, coriander, or turmeric. These spices can add a unique flavor profile to your sauce and make it stand out.
When it comes to adding fresh herbs and spices to your jarred vodka sauce, remember that less is more. Start with a small amount and taste as you go. You can always add more if needed, but it’s difficult to take away once you’ve added too much.
Customize Your Vodka Sauce With Protein Options
While vodka sauce is delicious on its own, adding some protein can make it even more satisfying and filling. Here are some protein options to consider when customizing your jarred vodka sauce:
1. Chicken: Cook some chicken breasts or thighs and slice them into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the saucepan and let them simmer for a few minutes to absorb the flavors.
2. Shrimp: Sauté some peeled and deveined shrimp with garlic and olive oil in a separate pan. Add the cooked shrimp to the sauce just before serving.
3. Sausage: Brown some sliced Italian sausage in a pan, then add it to the saucepan and let it simmer for a few minutes to meld the flavors.
4. Meatballs: Make your favorite meatball recipe and cook them separately. Add them to the sauce just before serving, or serve them on top of the pasta with the sauce on the side.
5. Ground beef: Brown some ground beef in a pan with garlic and onion. Drain any excess fat, then add the beef to the saucepan and let it simmer for a few minutes.
6. Tofu: For a vegetarian option, cube some firm tofu and sauté it with garlic and olive oil in a separate pan. Add the cooked tofu to the sauce just before serving.
7. Grilled vegetables: If you want to keep it vegetarian but still add some texture and flavor, try grilling some vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers. Chop them up and add them to the sauce just before serving.
Remember, you can always customize your vodka sauce with different types of pasta as well! Try penne, pappardelle, or even spaghetti squash for a low-carb option. With these protein options and pasta choices, you can make your jarred vodka sauce better than ever before!
Create A Creamier Texture With Dairy Additions
If you’re looking to create a creamier texture in your jarred vodka sauce, there are several dairy additions you can try. One easy option is to stir in a few spoonfuls of heavy cream. This will immediately transform the sauce into a rich and luxurious texture. You could also try finishing the sauce with butter, à la the Marcella Hazan method. This involves stirring in a tablespoon of butter at the end of cooking, which will add richness and depth to the sauce.
Another option is to fold in a few handfuls of grated Parmesan or other hard cheese into the simmering sauce. This will add a tangy and salty flavor, as well as a thicker consistency. If you have goat cheese on hand, stirring some in will make the sauce creamy and tangy, and it pairs well with vegetables.
If you don’t have any dairy on hand, a hefty drizzle of olive oil stirred in off the heat is also a great move. It will add richness and depth to the sauce without making it too heavy.
If you’re looking to add some meaty richness to your sauce, you could crisp some bacon or brown sliced sausages or ground meat. For some veggie richness, sauté mushrooms or caramelize fennel in plenty of olive oil. If you’re drinking wine, you can pour in a bit to deglaze the pan as you cook them. Add the jarred sauce over the cooked meat or vegetables, stir well, and simmer it all together for several minutes.
Experiment With Different Pasta Shapes To Enhance The Dish
When it comes to pasta dishes, the shape of the pasta can make a big difference in the overall taste and texture. Experimenting with different pasta shapes can be a fun way to enhance your jarred vodka sauce. For example, penne alla vodka is a classic dish that features tube-shaped pasta that can hold onto the sauce and provide a satisfying bite. However, you could also try using other shapes like fusilli, rigatoni, or farfalle to mix things up. Each shape will give a different texture and mouthfeel to the dish. Additionally, some shapes like spaghetti or linguine can be great for lighter sauces that won’t overpower the delicate flavor of the pasta. Ultimately, the choice of pasta shape will depend on your personal preference and the type of sauce you’re using. Don’t be afraid to try out new shapes and see how they work with your jarred vodka sauce.