The Store-Bought Ingredient You Shouldn't Overlook For Meatball Subs

Meatball subs are profoundly satisfying, but can also be laborious. So much so, that it can make one wonder if they're really worth all the trouble. If you're craving one, you have to weigh your desire against the fact that you'll have to first cook the meatballs as well as whip up a hearty red sauce. But do you really have to go to all that trouble when some store-bought items can help trim down the time? Instead, get a good jarred red sauce from the store that can simmer while you keep your focus on the meatballs.

Before you get ahead of yourself and start thinking of all of the preservatives added in and all of the off-flavors jarred pasta sauces can have, note that we're talking about a good jarred pasta sauce, such as Rao's Homemade, which uses imported Italian olive oil and tomatoes, or Whole Foods' 365 sauces. While you may need to fork over a little more cash, it will be worth it. 

Punch up the sauce

Now, just because we're suggesting that you use a jarred sauce to hurry along the meatball sandwich-making process doesn't mean you can't doctor it a little to put on your own spin. On the simple side, you can intensify the flavor by reducing the sauce a bit. This will be relatively easy, as you should be at minimum warming the sauce for the sandwiches. Just turn the heat up a slight bit for a portion of the simmering time to let it cook down. You can also add in your own aromatics and flavoring agents, like sautéed garlic and onions, chopped fresh oregano, balsamic vinegar, or olive oil. And though not entirely necessary, we do highly recommend simmering the meatballs (after baking or searing them in a pan) in your sauce, which will help the two marry their flavors together.

If you need further help, check out our recipe for mouth-watering meatball subs. They are extra-moist due to the inclusion of a panade in the meatball mix along with deeply-savory parmesan cheese. Though we call for a homemade sauce, it's totally fine to skip those steps and pour out a jar or two of your favorite sauce and continue right along, secure in the knowledge that you're that much closer to taking your first bite.