The Seasoning Mistake You're Making With Pasta Sauce

- It's a classic American staple: spaghetti with tomato sauce. 

Perhaps you've stood in the grocery aisle, in awe at the variety of jarred pasta sauces (or maybe you've read our sauce brand rankings). 

With all the good options out there, why attempt to make your own? Apart from the clout you'll gain with friends and family when you say, "I made it myself," is doing it yourself actually worth it? According to Bon Appetit's "Fake It or Make It" column, a panel of taste-testers came together to answer that very question. 

The cost was fairly equal (although they compared a homemade sauce to Barilla, which precludes Rao's loyalists), but the panelists had mixed reviews whether to fake it (out of the jar) or make it. 

If you choose not to fake it, be sure to use our tips to make the best homemade pasta sauce. We believe in your culinary skills to impress the panelists in your life. 

Look on the internet for "pasta sauce recipe," and it's easy to fall into an endless scrolling rabbit hole. So what is the key to making the best homemade pasta sauce?

Mom makes it best

From a taste profile perspective, there are a few things to consider when making a traditional "Mom's spaghetti" tomato sauce: the acidity of the tomatoes, savory profile of the protein, and the texture of the sauce, according to the Chef Apprentice School of the Arts. 

Rather than pulling out a store-bought "Italian spice" mixture (usually a blend of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram), Casa says that the combination of fresh garlic, browned onions, fresh bell peppers, dried oregano, and dried basil actually creates the most traditional-tasting pasta sauce. 

If you do choose the fresh basil route, you'll want to pair it with fresh oregano, too. Just make sure to add plenty more fresh herbs than you would dried, since it's the drying process that packs the flavor punch. 

We would be remiss not to mention a pasta sauce recipe staple in American kitchens: Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce recipe as seen in The New York Times (but published in her beloved cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking). 

The simplicity of her recipe of tomatoes, butter, onion, and salt makes the perfect acid, fat, salt, heat partner to your spaghetti.

 Whatever route you choose to go, once you have the basics for your homemade tomato sauce down, be sure to check out some other tomato sauce recipes to decide which is your favorite. 

The possibilities are endless! Classic, spicy, briny, creamy, and smoky. Whatever you choose, a good tomato sauce will not disappoint. Buon appetito! 

writter by: MAYA ONO


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