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Cooking Perfect Pasta Sauces

Pasta sauces come in many forms and flavors, from light to rich, creamy to tangy, and everything in between. Before you add a sauce to your pasta, check out these tips for making foolproof sauces:

  • Figure about 1/2 cup of sauce per person.

  • Stir sauces often to prevent sticking.

  • A tablespoon of olive oil adds flavor and a rich texture to tomato-based sauces.

  • Sauces are a great place to hide puréed vegetables. The kids will never know!

  • For added sweetness, try a grated carrot instead of sugar.

  • To reduce the acidity (sauce is too tart or sour), stir in a small pinch of baking soda.

To jazz up a canned or jarred pasta sauce, add one or two of the following:

  • Sliced green or black olives

  • Sautéed chopped shallots

  • A drained can of tuna

  • 1 cup of white beans

  • 4 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon

  • Sliced smoked sausage

  • 1/2 pound of small cooked shrimp

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • A drained can of mushroom pieces

  • A splash of red wine