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to never go back to making my own sauce, or ask you how..?

(134 Posts)
chasingtherainbow Tue 11-Nov-14 08:42:00

I've always cooked as much as possible from scratch (this is not a debate as to what qualifies as from scratch!)

So whenever I make spag bowl, I make my own sauce. It's always tasted good and we enjoy it.

However I've been poorly and dh did the food shopping. I requested some cheats to make life more manageable right now. He bought a waitrose tomato based sauce to use instead of making our own, and I have to admit it tasted way better blush now I don't want to go back! Even though I know my version is much healthier.

How do I make my sauce taste as good! Or wibu to continue to use this sauce from the fresh/chilled aisle and never tell anyone I can't help but think I'm going to be disappointed next time i make my boring in comparison own.

When I make my own I use: garlic Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, chopped basil leaves, peppers and onions, 2 crushed garlic cloves and Passata

where am I going wrong?

Autumn82 Tue 11-Nov-14 08:43:51

Red wine, celery and cubes of pancetta

mkmjimmy Tue 11-Nov-14 08:44:00

Sugar. Teaspoon of sugar.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Nov-14 08:47:22

It would need a little sugar as it can sometimes be quite sour.

I usually have grated carrot and celery in mine. And plenty of seasoning.

But if you want to use a jar go for it. It's not as if you will be living solely on it.

chemenger Tue 11-Nov-14 08:47:23

I despise celery raw but it does improve tomato sauce, sugar also makes a huge difference. I think the main thing is length of cooking, it needs to reduce a bit to deepen the flavour. Possibly also making it ahead and reheating improves the flavour - like stews and curries?

chasingtherainbow Tue 11-Nov-14 08:52:11

Ohh really? Any particular type of sugar?maybe you are right about length of cooking too.

I'm not sure about celery though. I can only handle it in soups, although I can see that it might help. Maybe I should give it a whirl!

Monka Tue 11-Nov-14 08:53:59

I make my own pasta sauce as well. I always add a bit of agave syrup to my tomato sauce as otherwise it can be bitter.

Behoove Tue 11-Nov-14 08:54:57

I like the Waitrose one too. And tbh I think my family prefer it to anything I have concocted. It's the first thing on my list every week.

ProfYaffle Tue 11-Nov-14 08:58:14

celery salt is a good shortcut to getting the celery flavour.

canweseethebunnies Tue 11-Nov-14 08:58:38

yy to teaspoon of sugar.

HicDraconis Tue 11-Nov-14 08:59:11

Cook yours for a very long time.

I do mine in a slow cooker or a large casserole dish on gas 2 overnight - I use tomatoes, red onions, garlic, celery and courgettes with a good dash of smoked garlic salt. It cooks for 8-12h, then I blend it, add lots of basil, a glug of olive oil & reduce for another hour or two. If I have spare veges in I add them all - doesn't matter what, it's all going to be blended so the kids never know smile

A large casserole dish full makes around 5 600ml tubs of sauce for the freezer.

Gatekeeper Tue 11-Nov-14 09:00:07

balsamic vinegar is aslo good to add

chasingtherainbow Tue 11-Nov-14 09:00:30

Behoove, I have to admit I was a bit all "this won't possibly taste as good as anything I can make" ..... Then was a bitblush when I realised how tasty it really was. .

I'm officially on a mission to make the best spag bowl ever now. Will make note of all these suggestions.

Jolleigh Tue 11-Nov-14 09:01:31

I use balsamic vinegar rather than sugar...the result is beautiful but add a small amount at a time and keep tasting...too much completely ruins it!

If I have it in, I use either smoked bacon or chorizo when I'm sweating my onions. And I take half my mushrooms and cut them really fine so they virtually melt into the sauce.

But I don't use sweaty peppers because I don't like them smile.

chasingtherainbow Tue 11-Nov-14 09:01:57

hic when do you add your mince?

Gatekeeper YY I forgot about balsamic vinegar. I do pop that in too.

R4roger Tue 11-Nov-14 09:03:43

grated carrot, streaky bacon, celery, tom puree

livelablove Tue 11-Nov-14 09:06:37

The Waitrose one looks quite healthy and doesn't contain any artificial ingredients. You could certainly keep getting it for quick easy meals. But I understand why you want to make a homemade one that is better!

Iggly Tue 11-Nov-14 09:09:07

What is in the waitrose one? or is that too obvious a question

Pointlessfan Tue 11-Nov-14 09:10:08

I add a teaspoon of Marmite for a bit of extra flavour.

drigon Tue 11-Nov-14 09:10:39

My favourite tomato- based sauce is carrots,onions,garlic and a bit of smoked bacon whizzed in processor. Fry in olive oil , add basil, Tabasco, s. and p( plenty).Then add a large crushed passatta and half a jar of water.cook for an hour or so. Add parmesan and a knob of butter. I also add mixed beans and turkey and sausage meatballs. Can be cooked in oven. This is a sweet and lovely sauce, based on Jamie Oliver's one I saw on his Money Saving Meals prog. I think he also adds butternut squash.

Pointlessfan Tue 11-Nov-14 09:11:02

Pressed post too soon! I also add freshly grated nutmeg and tomato puree.

R4roger Tue 11-Nov-14 09:12:34

lately i have been adding a smidgen of chilli powder and sometimes cocoa powder, i always put cocoa powder in chilli con carne

Stupidhead Tue 11-Nov-14 09:15:30

Celery salt! I luffs it. Also white wine instead of red, dash of Tabasco towards the end - not enough to make it hot - and a stir in of Parmesan.

Mammanat222 Tue 11-Nov-14 09:20:13

I use the Gino D'acampo recipe

After years of trying to perfect Bolognese, this is the best I've found.

Behoove Tue 11-Nov-14 09:20:16

this one Iggly

If I have time and am feeling creative, I'll add stuff to it, but tbh it's great as it is, cooked for a long time with the meat.

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