HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Urgent: Jarred Spaghetti Sauce

Have an open jar of Paul Newman's in my fridge for quite a while now (could be almost two months?). Looks and smells okay but I wonder if there's a shelf life, and what it is. No 800 number on the jar to ask them, so I'm asking experienced Chowhounds instead! Don't want to poison today's guests ---

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You're considering serving old jarred sauce to guests? I suggest you saute some garlic in a little olive oil and throw in a can or two of tomatoes, a handful of parm or romano cheese, a tsp of sugar, s&p and a little fresh basil? It's way too easy to make your own sauce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lynnlato

      I think jarred sauces are suppose to be used within one week of opening.... I wouldn't eat it, if I were you!

      1. re: lynnlato

        Please don't serve 2 month old opened sauce to guests.

      2. I called one of the jarred sauce manufacturers 800# awhile ago. They told me to keep it no more then a week in the fridge. Toss it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: michele cindy

          Please don't serve it to ANYONE if you think it might be 2 MONTHS old.

        2. I definitely learned the hard way that tomato products can be very dangerous if consumed after being open more than a brief time (days).

          1. The thought that you might serve that to guests is, well, frightening.

            1. go for it! if it's bad it's going to show it's bad- fuzz, smell, etc.. just heat it to past 170 deg and then taste it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: e_bone

                Heating it won't necessarily kill spores and toxins given of by bacteria. They can be very heat-resistant.

              2. I posted thank yous to everyone, but somehow they didn't take --- So thanks, lifesavers.
                BTW, they aren't GUEST guests, friends coming over to cook Caramel Matzo Crunch together and then grab a quick bowl of perciatelli. (I love Paul Newman sauce and happily serve it.) But Lynn's suggestion got to me --- maybe cuz I had some fresh basil about to go to waste, and anyway, she makes it sound so easy. So I just did it, didn't know whether to throw the cheese in right away (I usually wait to sprinkle it on at the table), which thickened it gorgeously, done in ten minutes, and DELICIOUS. So special thanks to lynnlato ---

                1 Reply
                1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                  Yea! I'm so happy you tried it - and liked it! FYI, I always put a 1/4 cup in the sauce when I cook it (always Locatelli Romano but you can use parm too) and I usually will saute a chopped onion and start w/ that and the garlic b/f adding the tomatoes. But just wanted to convey that it's so easy to do yourself - as you now know! Bravo BT.

                2. Sure was a risky move. Hopefully no one gets sick.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    I believe that the OP was describing a freshly homemade sauce that she served based on Lynnlato's suggestion/recipe.

                    Sounds delicious -- thanks for reporting back!

                    1. re: GretchenS

                      Sorry, misread!!! Likewise, sounds good!

                  2. We were invited to dinner at a "friends" house last month. They served a pasta made with jarred alfredo sauce and some teeny, tiny shrimp thrown in. Also, some tiny bits of chicken that were more like chewing gum.

                    Anyway, the point of this story was..... I reached for the canned parmesean on the table and noticed the expiration date. June 1, 2004. I said " are you trying to kill us or what".


                    1. We never seem to use a whole jar of sauce. I now get in the habit of freezing the unused portion for the future. But what happens is I forget about these tiny containers and end up opening new jars, an endless cycle.

                      1. First off the bat....Why in the world would you even consider serving something that you have had in the refrigerator for two months???? A guest (and the family, too) deserve the freshest, best and tastiest table offerings in the way of food and refreshments that you can provide!

                        Whenever I expect a guest for dinner, I cook everything especially for that guest!

                        1. i've stopped buying jarred sauce -- even to doctor up. now, i use a large can of whole peeled tomatoes, hand squished, thrown into olive oil in which i've sliced and slightly cooked garlic, then add fresh basil, oregano, and mrs. dash salt-free italian seasoning. maybe some crushed fennel seeds. so delicious, and really as easy as a jar! meat is optional, but i typically add some browned italian sausage....

                          there was recently a thread on this simplicity: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/512413

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: alkapal

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5148... This thread has much more info.
                            Making your own sauce with just any can of tomatoes is like buying Ragu! Most companies cann anything, ripe or otherwise. The above thread gives you options, good options. If you do make your own from "canned" try 6 in 1 Ground Tomatoes. You will be amazed how much using Ripe tomatoes does to the sauce and they are Calif. tomatoes.