You’ve heard the cliché, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, that’s how I came up with my first ‘no pasta’ use of pasta sauce.
Before this brainstorm, I pretty much just used pasta sauce on pasta. Not very inspired! But once I got into this idea, there are no longer any partially used jars lingering in the fridge that have family members Googling, “how long does an opened jar of pasta sauce last?”
My inspiration resulted in the first one for a dip, but I like these ideas so much that now I deliberately open a jar just to make one of these dishes.
- Quick chip dip: Mix cold pasta sauce into an equal amount of sour cream. Add spices to taste. Another dip idea if you like it spicy is to mix your cold pasta sauce with a few tablespoons of horseradish and some cubed avocado.
- Fast “pizza”: Spoon a small amount of pasta sauce on a slice of whole wheat bread and top with mozzarella cheese and some dried oregano and bake at 350 till the cheese is melted.
- Salad dressing: Mix cold pasta sauce with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar, add parsley, spices, Parmesan cheese, or finely chopped onions, and shake well.
- Stuffed peppers: This is my favorite! Mix some cooked brown rice with a few tablespoons of pasta sauce – don’t make a “soupy” mixture, but just enough to hold the rice together. Then add your favorite spices and extras, such as chopped celery, onions and parsley. Cut the “crown” or top off of a large green or red pepper, wash it and take out all the seeds. Stuff the pepper with your rice mixture. Bake at 350 until the peppers are soft (you can check with a fork or toothpick) for approximately 35 to 40 minutes.
- Shrimp sauce: Mix some horseradish to taste together with cold pasta sauce.
- Cooking sauce: Add pasta sauce over fish and use as a poaching sauce, or bake in oven.
- Italian baked potatoes: Take cooked baked potatoes and cut them open, squish the sides a bit and spoon in and mix up two tablespoons or so of pasta sauce, add some veggies if you like, such as steamed broccoli, and then sprinkle with grated cheese. Put back in the oven till the cheese is melted.
All it takes is a little culinary imagination, and you’ll soon discover that the uses for a good pasta sauce go way beyond pasta!