I was trying to come up with a dressing for my Southwest Pasta Salad and it wasn’t quite working. the dressing needed something but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Salsa would be too spicy and I already had taco seasoning. Then I saw the leftover spaghetti sauce and decided to add some and the result was a truly amazing dressing. I couldn’t think of what to name it or what it reminded me of and then it hit me, the flavor was similiar to a Catalina dressing – sweet and spicy with a tomato undertone.
The leftover spaghetti sauce is the secret ingredient, but who has leftover spaghetti sauce just sitting around? So I came up with a plan. I have started freezing a cup of two of leftover spaghetti sauce in ice-cube trays. Once the cubes are frozen I transfer them to an airtight container. Each ice-cube equals 2 tablespoons. I froze the spaghetti sauce 2 tablespoon, so I can easily halve this recipe if I want to.
Homemade Catalina Dressing
juice and zest of 2 limes (use this tip when limes are on sale)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup leftover spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce or pizza sauce, etc.)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
In a small bowl or cruet, combine all of the ingredients.
This dressing is not as thick as a store-bought Catalina. If you want it to be thicker, place the mixture in a small sauce pan, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and cook over a medium-low flame until the dressing has reached its desired consistency.
Refrigerate it until you are ready to serve the salad. Keep unused portion in a covered container in the refrigerator.