Boost The Flavor Of Store-Bought Marinara Without Extra Ingredients

If you have a jar of ready-made marinara but the rest of the cupboards in your kitchen are close to bare, tonight's dinner is not doomed. As surprising as it might sound, leaving store-bought marinara on the stove to cook for more time than you might expect can result in a more flavorful companion to the pasta meal you have in mind.

As beneficial as it might have been to add black olives and fresh herbs to the jarred pasta sauce, write those ingredients down for tomorrow's grocery list, and focus on the situation at hand. Letting pasta sauce simmer slowly on the stovetop will produce a more robust, textured marinara.

As the sauce cooks on the stove, any present sugars will caramelize as the Maillard reaction kicks into gear to yield a fragrant, thick, and delicious pasta accoutrement. Excess water will cook off in your saucepan and the flavors of the tomatoes will rise to the surface, leaving a delicious sauce ready to enjoy over a cooked bowl of noodles. 

Boosting flavors with minimal ingredients

Though moments of extreme hunger can have you heating up jars of marinara sauce to hastily spoon onto pre-cooked spaghetti, patience can yield significant results when it comes to boosting the taste of marinara bought from the store.

As tomatoes cook in the pan, more flavor will be released, even after you've turned off the stovetop burner. The longer you let your sauce rest after cooking, the more flavorsome it will become — and you'll feel like a culinary magician.

The next time you find yourself looking at a jar of pre-made marinara and packaged spaghetti with disappointment, perk up. If you do happen to have olive oil, extra seasonings, or dried spices to add to the mix, great; but if you don't, all hope is not lost for a satisfying and flavorful dish that can hold you over until your next trip to the grocery store. Simply have a bit of patience as you begin to prepare your meal.