Hosting pizza night is a great way to bond with friends or family. With a few tips, you can pull off high-quality pizza-making right at home. But sometimes when we're in a rush, we need to take shortcuts on certain ingredients. But not to worry. If you've found yourself grabbing a jar of store-bought pizza sauce on the way home from work, there are plenty of ways to kick that generic sauce up a notch. One is to start with using the bold flavors of red wine.
Next time you're looking for a deeper flavor profile from your store-bought pizza sauce, add a splash of red wine. Choose one that is only slightly sweet, balanced by a tannic, dry finish, which will pair nicely with tomatoes' combination of acidity and sweetness. And if you let it simmer in the sauce for a while, the flavors will meld and develop, and you'll (almost) feel like you're dining al fresco on a vineyard patio.
Enhance Your Pizza Sauce With Red Wine
As we learned with penne alla vodka, alcohol helps enhance the flavors of tomatoes in pasta sauce. This will work the same way with jarred pizza sauce. And while you can just add a splash of red wine and simmer the sauce, another option is to reduce the red wine on the stove before adding it to the pizza sauce. This concentrates the flavor in advance. Either option will help you elevate the store-bought sauce -- about ¼ cup will do in either application.
Most red wines have complex aromas and flavors. A big, bold red wine might have hints of coffee or mocha, while a juicy, brighter red wine might have cherry notes. If you're not too experienced with using red wine in your cooking, for pizza sauce, you likely can't go wrong with a Chianti. Chianti is made with Sangiovese grapes, which are native to Tuscany, so it makes sense to use it in an Italian dish.
Other Ways To Upgrade Store-Bought Pizza Sauce
While red wine is an excellent place to start, it's not necessarily a cure-all if your pizza sauce is seriously lacking in flavor. If the sauce still needs help, you can sauté chopped garlic, onions, or shallots in a pan with a little olive oil, then add the tomato sauce and let it simmer. If you already have a stash of roasted garlic on hand, throw that in for some sweet, complex flavors.
Fresh herbs go a long way here, too. Most jarred sauces have dried herbs, but adding a little fresh basil, parsley or oregano is a great way to add a burst of flavor. Be careful about adding salt, though, as most store-bought sauces are already quite high in sodium. With these tips, it's no worry to grab store-bought pizza sauce from the pantry when you're rushed for time on your next pizza night.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.