I love a homemade, authentic marinara, but sometimes I just want to get dinner on the table fast without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. My version of an elevated store-bought pasta sauce is a fabulous (and quick!) way to add an extra kick to a jar of marinara. The best part is that you probably already have most of what you need in your pantry! Make sure you start with a good bottle of red wine – you can drink the rest with dinner! Tossing in some fresh basil at the end gives the sauce a burst of flavor (the heat hitting the basil opens up a whole new world of aromas) and adds a special touch that makes it look and taste like it has been slowly simmering away on the stove all afternoon!
Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced
Red Pepper Flakes – ½ teaspoon
Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon
Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked
Red Wine – ⅓ cup, favorite Italian variety
Marinara Sauce – (1) eighteen-ounce jar, favorite store-bought brand
Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted
Basil – ⅓ cup, roughly chopped, fresh
In a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds, making sure not to burn the garlic.
Add the red wine and allow it to reduce by half, about 1-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, add the marinara sauce and heat until just under the simmering point.
Right before serving, stir in the butter and basil. Serve over your favorite pasta.
Tip: If you want to be extra “naughty”, add a splash of heavy cream at the end to give this revamped sauce a slightly creamier texture. I’ve never known cream to make anything taste worse!