While I have the time, I did want to add my reviews of the two sauces I mentioned in my fist post , just so we have an across the board measurement of apples-to-apples comparisons. Just call me OCD... (but not to my face, pleeeeeease)
Emeril's Vodka Pasta Sauce www.emerils.com
(I have no idea where his operation is based and website does not mention it so you're on your own to guess :-)
Sauce was prepared and plated as mentioned in above post.
Sauce looked great in the jar and lead me to buy it in the first place. When poured into the skillet and then heated, the garlic smell was very very pronounced, but flavor of garlic in final tasting was not overpowering, but nice. Overall spice blend was nice, but the complex flavors may not suit younger diners. Consistancy met my standards and overall flavor was superb for the price. I had to add a little pasta water to thin and coat the vermicelli, but i did not see this as a flaw based on the way I cook my meals. YMMV though.
I added ground italian sausage and other things in subsequent meals to finish the jar and it all worked well. Hangs in there with cheese ravioli like a champ. Garlic was strong though, so I can only guess what his kicked up garlic sauce is like. Hmmmm.
Good bang for the buck. So much so that I bought a second jar last week.
Rao's Arribiatta Pasta Sauce www.raos.com
New York City based.
Our local Wild Oats had a closeout and the regular price of $7.99 or $9.99 was reduced significantly to "non-gouging" levels. So....time for "Guniea Pig" mode.
Like everyone here, I said that this stuff better kick butt for the price. And it did--kinda. This is a very good sauce, but only if you can find it on sale. Sauce consistance was very chunky. Tomato flavor was brighter than most, but a pinch of flavor was lost in the canning process and not as bright as a fresh sauce (but based on what I have tasted in my lifetime they're all like that). Since I like mine smooth, or at least smoother, I introduced it to "Mr. Blender" and after a whirl on puree, got it to a slightly chunky state where I like it.
Flavor was fine and spice mixture was good. Only medium hint of oregano. This is a spicy sauce to the point I did not need to add chili flakes. I like hot stuff, so be forwarned those of mild palettes. This is a great sauce with regular pasta or a zingy ravioli, and would make a perfect sauce as a side dish of pasta if having a steak, osso bucco or flavorful seafood and is the way I intend to use it in the future. If you eat it alone with pasta as a meal, pack the rolaids. I also made a 1/2 and 1/2 plate of this over pasta and then fettucini alfredo to balance the heat as the second 1/2. Worked great in balance.
If I can find this stuff on sale, I'll definately keep a jar in my pantry for guests, as I would never go through more than 25oz every few months of this spicy a sauce prohibiting me from making my own. My $.02.
Hope this helps.