A pasta night is never a bad idea -- but, unless you're cooking for a large group, you'll likely wind up with some leftovers. Rao's Alfredo sauce, for example, often comes in 15-ounce jars, which equate to about seven servings of pasta. If you're cooking for only yourself, you'll therefore want to store -- and save -- whatever sauce remains. The window for using that excess sauce, however, isn't particularly wide. For opened jars of Alfredo, you don't have more than a few days.
Specifically, three to four days is the most common guideline for an open jar's longevity. The rule pertains not only to Alfredo but also to other cream-based sauces, whether a spinach and balsamic cream sauce or one with tomatoes and chipotle. The rationale behind the timeline isn't necessarily because the sauce is likely to develop mold during those four days. Rather, the issue is one of bacteria -- which you're not able to see. Sometimes, however, you may notice a strange smell or a change of texture. It's always best to be on the safe side, and toss the jar before the four days are up.
Yet a short fridge life doesn't necessarily mean a missed opportunity. Rather than let Alfredo sauce go to waste, you can find creative ways to cook with it. After all, pasta is just the start of the sauce's potential.
Read more: 15 Popular Pasta Sauce Brands Ranked
Use Opened Alfredo Sauce In New Ways
With only four days to use an opened jar of Alfredo sauce, it's time to start cooking. Luckily, the sauce can improve all kinds of recipes -- and no, they're not all fettuccine Alfredo.
Granted, noodles and Alfredo are a great place to start, though chicken and vegetables likewise pair well with the creamy dairy sauce. You can also use your excess sauce to make a creamy casserole or a delicious pasta primavera. If you'd rather swap out pasta for pizza, you can even try an Alfredo-based pizza sauce, simply pouring it over your pizza before cooking for an extra creamy cheesy topping. For an entirely different kind of use, you can also incorporate Alfredo into a dipping sauce, dressing base, or marinade for your favorite meats and vegetables.
Alfredo's shelf life, however, doesn't apply to all kinds of sauces. Sauces without cream -- like classic tomato sauce -- tend to last longer in the fridge. Five to six days is a safe bet for marinara, though you'll want to store any opened jars carefully. Your fridge should be no warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. With a little caution and attention to detail, you'll keep your sauce just long enough for your favorite recipes.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.