Use Rich Tomato Paste To Liven Up Store-Bought Marinara Sauce

Often, on busy evenings, you may find yourself whipping up some sort of quick pasta dish. To make the meal even easier, you also probably resort to a store-bought jar of marinara sauce. There's certainly nothing wrong with jarred sauces — especially if you go with a highly ranked pasta sauce brand — but it's not hard to admit that a made-from-scratch version would be better. Luckily, there are ways to upgrade jarred sauces — including adding tomato paste.

By adding rich tomato paste, you'll instantly up the ante on the tomato flavor, making it stronger and much more concentrated; just a spoonful or two will make a major difference. All you have to do is add the desired amount while the sauce is simmering on the stovetop. Or, you can add a few scoops right into the jar. To take it to the next step up, you can saute the tomato paste in olive oil on the stove before adding it to the sauce, which this will bring out an even deeper, richer flavor.

Other ingredients to upgrade store-bought marinara sauce

Tomato paste is a quick and easy addition, but there are also other ingredients that you can keep in mind to give the sauce a further upgrade. With each of these additions, you'll want to add them as you saute the pasta sauce. One ingredient that will make a big difference is freshly minced garlic. Adding a bit of garlic will help to awaken the flavors of the sauce — especially if used alongside tomato paste.

Other additions that will bring more complexity include red pepper flakes, herbs, or even just salt. Another ingredient that is often associated with pasta that will work wonders here is parmesan. Adding a bit of parmesan while the sauce is simmering will make it saltier and more savory. Or, you could opt for something like goat cheese, which will also make the sauce a bit creamier. Speaking of creamy, heavy cream is another effective addition.