On an evening when I just want to make a quick and easy dinner that looks and tastes stupendous with minimal effort, pasta with store-bought marinara sauce is one of the dishes I turn to. Store-bought marinara sauce no matter what the brand tastes rather bland in my opinion. Very often I like to jazz up store-bought marinara sauce with extra vegetables. Seriously, these little additions elevate an ordinary marinara sauce into something gourmet. The only effort in making this tastey dinner is cutting the veggies that go in it. Other than that, it is a quick 30-minute meal that tastes like you spent hours over the stove.
In this version I jazzed up my store-bought marinara sauce with bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini, but any variety of vegetables will do. Just make sure to cut the veggies into small pieces, as having the veggies cut nice and small makes them cook faster and flavors the sauce even better. And lets not forget garlic, lots of it is what is required to make this store-bought marinara sauce taste outstanding. Now for the recipe.
Spaghetti with Jazzed Up Store-bought Marinara Sauce
- 2 jars store-bought marinara sauce
- 6 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 large onion finely cut
- 1 zucchini finely cut
- 1 large bell pepper finely cut
- 1 Japanese eggplant finely cut
- More veggie choices – try adding mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, and carrots, as much as you want.
- 1 lb spaghetti pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp oregano
- Bring water to a boil and start the process to cook the spaghetti. Cook pasta according to package directions then drain and set aside.
- In the meantime in a large pot heat olive oil. Fry the garlic until the aroma is released and then add chili flakes and onions and pan fry for 3-4 minutes until the onions are tender.
- Next add the zucchini, eggplant and pepper. Add a pinch of salt. Mix all the veggies and cook for 10 minutes until they are tender.
- Next add the jars of marinara sauce and oregano and bring the sauce to a low boil and cook for about 7-10 minutes until sauce is hot and bubbly. Jazzed up marinara sauce is ready. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
- The best way to make sure the delicious marinara sauce coats all the pasta evenly is to toss the pasta with all the marinara sauce in a large bowl. Then serve in individual bowls.
- Serve pasta immediately with garnish of Parmesan cheese.
Cook’s Notes: If you have leftovers, we found the pasta to taste even better the next day! So go ahead and have a second helping the next day for a quick feel-good lunch or dinner.