Olive Brine Is The Perfect Way To Jazz Up Store-Bought Pasta Sauce

Sometimes it's the simplest, most unexpected ingredients that can elevate a dish from ordinary to something memorable. Case in point: olive brine. Often overlooked but packed with savory potential, olive brine can be a game-changer when added to pasta sauce. With just one extra step, this flavorful secret ingredient can turn a regular pasta dish into a Mediterranean masterpiece.

Olive brine, the liquid that accompanies your beloved jar of olives, carries a salty and tangy flavor profile. It's a symphony of saltiness with a hint of olive goodness, offering a unique, nutty dimension that enhances the taste of your pasta sauce. When incorporated thoughtfully, it can add depth and complexity to your meal — even if it isn't a star ingredient. Fortunately, adding olive brine along with other ingredients to amp up your pasta is quick and easy. With a few tips, you can upgrade any pre-made pasta sauce for an overall better homemade dish, faster.

How to incorporate olive brine

To get started, prepare your favorite pasta sauce. Whether it's a classic marinara, a creamy Alfredo, or a zesty arrabbiata, olive brine can complement a wide range of flavors. Once your sauce is simmering and nearly ready, take a moment to taste it. This will help you gauge the sauce's existing saltiness and acidity. Next, add a small amount of olive brine, typically around one to two tablespoons at a time, to your sauce. Stir well and taste after each addition. This way, you can control the intensity of the olive flavor and ensure it doesn't overwhelm the other elements. 

Keep in mind that olive brine not only adds saltiness but also acidity. If your sauce needs a touch of brightness, olive brine is the ideal solution. Allow your sauce to simmer for a few minutes after adding the olive brine to help meld the flavors together. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating olive brine-infused pasta dishes. Pasta Puttanesca is a classic choice with a sauce bursting with olives, capers, and tomatoes. Another option is to add olive brine to a creamy Alfredo sauce for a delightful contrast of richness and saltiness. Finally, consider incorporating olive brine into your homemade pesto sauce for a vibrant, herbaceous, and briny twist.