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Briny Ingredients Are The Easy Way To Amp Up Jarred Tomato Sauce

jar of tomato sauce with cherry tomatoes
jar of tomato sauce with cherry tomatoes - Gojak/Getty Images

Jarred tomato sauce is handy when you want to make a quick pasta dinner. It's a way faster solution than if you tried to make the sauce from scratch. But you don't have to choose between speed and taste since there are some simple ways you can jazz up the flavor of your sauce. All it takes is a trip to your pantry.

Briny ingredients bring a few different taste elements to a dish. Adding something like capers or olives to a sauce gives it both a salt boost as well as leveling up the acidity. And as a result, your jarred sauce has a more complex flavor. Think about a traditional puttanesca sauce and how capers and olives bring brightness and zestiness to this popular pasta dish. And this is just the beginning. There are many other briny options you can incorporate into your sauce that will pack a flavorful punch.

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Olives And Capers Add Flavor To A Jar Of Tomato Sauce

Overhead of a bowl of green and kalamata olives with rosemary
Overhead of a bowl of green and kalamata olives with rosemary - Marko Jan/Getty Images

Although they are small in size, capers really bring a wonderful briny flavor to any dish. They are the buds of a flower from the Capparis spinosa, plant, which is often just called a caper bush. The buds are picked young and often pickled in brine. They give a distinct tartness to a dish in addition to bringing some tanginess and acidity. The unique flavor of capers may explain why they are the star ingredient of some tomato sauces.

There are an array of different types of olives that you can use to make your sauce tastier. Kalamata olives, which are often featured in puttanesca sauce, are prized for their meaty texture and fruity yet smoky taste. This black-and-purple-hued olive grows only in Greece and is usually brined for about a year. Another popular olive is the Castelvetrano olive -– these light green gems have a more delicate taste than the Kalamata. It's a great choice for adding a subtle hint of briny goodness to your sauce.

Pickled Vegetables Enhance Jarred Tomato Sauces

three jars of pickled banana peppers on a countertop
three jars of pickled banana peppers on a countertop - Rich Carson/Shutterstock

Don't forget that marinated or pickled vegetables are another great way to enhance the taste of your jarred sauce. A better flavor may be just one jar of giardiniera away. Giardiniera is a wondrous mix of peppers, cauliflower, carrots, and other vegetables, giving you lots of options to choose from. Take ¼ cup of the giardiniera and finely chop it before adding it to the sauce.

You could also focus your efforts on bringing one new taste to your sauce. Marinated artichoke hearts, for instance, are usually packed in a mixture of oil and vinegar along with some spices. Incorporating them into your sauce would bring both acid and more seasoning to the dish.

Pickled peppers are a good way to add heat and acid to any sauce. A natural choice here would be a Calabrian chili since it is a pepper that originates from southern Italy. Take care with these small but fiery peppers because they do provide a great deal of heat. So start with a small amount of diced Calabrian chilies and allow them to simmer in the sauce for a while. Pickled cherry peppers would work well in a sauce, too. Pickled jalapeño could be another good option here, if a little unconventional. Again, start with a small amount of chopped-up pepper, and add more to the sauce later if needed. Those looking for a less intense heat should try banana peppers.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.