Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews

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jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
2006/04/07 13:16:50
New to the forum but will add what I can.

While I usually make my own Sunday Gravy and Marinara sauce, I have been intrigued by the growth in higher end jar and canned based pasta sauced.
I am planning a jar sauce taste party for some friends for something different (and for the non cooks), but with the complete overload of options and lack of info on the web, I'd thought I'd try here.

Below is a list of available brands and types at my local grocery. Price aside, I am looking for quick comments and or brief notes on any of the sauces below should you have tried them.

I have had the Emeril Vodka and Rao's Arrabiatta and both were quite good. It is just hard to know where to go from here when I only need 4 or 5.

TIA for any and all help.

Jerry

Germanos Arrabiatta
Germanos Pomodoro
Germanos Pomodoro con Basililco
Germanos Peperonatta
Germanos Marinara

Rao’s Vodka Sauce
*Rao’s Arrabiatta Sauce (Hot)
Rao’s Sausage and Mushroom sauce
Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce
Rao’s Homemade Cuore Di Pomodoro
Rao’s Homemade Puttanesca
Rao’s Homemade Roasted Eggplant (Siciliana)
Rao's Southern Italian Pepper and Mushroom Sauce
Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce

*Emeril’s Vodka Sauce
Emeril’s Three Cheese Sauce
Emeril’s Sicilian Gravy Sauce
Emeril’s Mushroom and Onion Sauce
Emeril’s Kicked-Up Tomato Sauce
Emeril’s Roasted Gaaahlic Sauce
Emeril’s Puttanesca Sauce
Emeril’s Roaasted Red Pepper Sauce

Rustichella d'Abruzzo Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce

Antica Italia Vodka Sauce

Dell’Amore Romana
Dell’Amore Portabello
Dell’Amore Putanesca
Dell’Amore Spicy Recipe
Dell’Amore Original Recipe
Dell’Amore Sweet basil & Garlic
Dell’Amore “No vodka” Vodka Sauce

Paesana Vodka Sauce
Paesana Marinara Sauce
Paesana Puttannesca Sauce
Paesana Fra Diavolo Sauce
Paesana Sicilian Gravy Sauce
Paesana Pomodoro Marsala Sauce
Paesana Roasted Garlic Sauce
Paesana All Natural Sauce

UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 13:39:58
For the money and my laziness, I normally stick to Barilla Sauces in a jar... Good price for the quality.. Yet nothing like homemade...
Pigiron
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 14:26:06
I've said this before, but I have never seen a reason to buy jarred marinara, especially these new high end sauces that can run over $10 a jar, when I can have a far superior sauce for a tiny fraction of the cost, with minimal effort. My fast marinara:

-Saute crushed or thinly sliced fresh garlic in good olive oil
-Add canned crushed San Marzanno tomatoes
-add fresh basil if available, dried herbs otherwise, to taste
-simmer 10 minutes

Done. No jarred sauce can come close to it.
Phishmonger
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 14:40:22
I agree with you, Pigiron.. Quick homemade sauce beats those jars any day. Mario Batali's basic tomato sauce comes to mind for most sauce needs. I use it (or whatever variation I feel on any given occasion) for most all my sauce needs.
dreamzpainter
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 14:50:32
Guess I have a lot to learn, I was thinking Hunts or Ragu. I seldom make spahgetti but I keep a couple cans of hunts on hand as an ingrediant in barbaqye sauce, chili etc..slinking away in shame..
efuery
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 15:18:01
I have tried Emeril's roasted gaaahlic sauce and it is quite good. Even my fussy Italian husband thought it was acceptable.

Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 16:05:05
I've had Emeril's Sicilian Gravy, Kicked-Up Tomato, and Puttanesca sauces. The first two I liked. I didn't care for his Puttanesca. I've never seen an Arrabiata with his name. I've had Rao's Arrabiatta sauce and found it lacking -- and at those prices I'll not accept lacking.
Donna Douglass
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 16:06:56
I like Dei Fratelli tomato products a great deal and stock up on them whenever I can. Also the Marinara sauce from Trader Joe's is very good in my opinion. Or, in the absence of these in my pantry, I make my own. But if using either of these canned products, I always doctor them up with extra virgin olive oil, extra garlic, extra fresh basil and oregano (if I have fresh, if not, then dried). I use the tomato paste in a tube that also adds extra pizazz to the sauces.

If making my own, I begin the basic sauce with a can of Dei Fratelli diced tomatoes. Love Dei Fratelli. And no, I don't own stock.

Donna
Greyghost
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 16:53:35
Interesting experiment, but I would think it more interesting if standard midlevel brands were featured as well. Try Classico's Mushrooms and Ripe Olive sauce or Florentine Spinach & Cheese for example. I think they would place quite well against the premium gourmet brands.

I am not quite so confident about the Barilla sauces. I love Barilla pasta, but the sauces l have had leave me cold. I tried the Barilla sauces when they first came out and the ones I tried were ruined by an overwhelming presence of garlic powder. Sorry, Uncle Vic, maybe they have improved over the years, I hope so.

As well as costing much less to conduct, I think the cheap sauce Vs premium sauce experiment would be much more interesting.

Keep us posted and welcome to Roadfood!
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 18:08:35
Keep 'em coming folks.

Greyghost, I agree, but I am trying to actually see if indeed the price of upscale sauce is worth it and what different offerings in taste they have . My own sauce is very good like the folks above, but sometimes I crave a change. I live alone and usually make my own sauce in 64oz batches. Lasts quite a while.
A jar of 32oz stuff last me a few weeks, hence why i cannot go thru it at a great rate without a mass audience.
The money is not the point (avg of $6 a jar say on above types) is only $120 to do 20 jars of above or half the list. A good dinner out for 2 I reckon in comparison. I'd just be up to my butt in sauce for a year at my consumption rate .
I'm just trying to tackle it without going "Postal" on Italian sauce. It won't be pretty--but hey, it will be fun for the rest of you--if I have to go it alone...

Thanks for the help so far! :)
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 21:26:24
quote:
Originally posted by Parses6

I stick to the "whatever is on sale/do I have coupons?" sauces. I even sometimes buy hunts or other canned sauces. But I then spice it up.
A few squirts DelMonte ketchup
A few squirts Hunts ketchup
onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano, chopped garlic,and whatever else you like. Mix all together and cook slowly...always excellent.
Good enough to serve at my restaurant.

Here we go with the 2 kinds of ketchup again.
Sorry, but ketchup in spaghetti sauce just sounds gross
Do you use ketchup in all your cooking?
shen
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 21:36:50
the only jar sauce i use is called Scalfani...the marinara and the spaghetti varieties. you can buy in fairfield county, ct and i will stock up and bring into my manhattan apartment...i REFUSE to pay $12 for raos or patsys...tried once and found both lacking. Scalfani uses all natural and the usual ingredients.
Ps. I second the GROSS to ketchup. maybe for meatloaf, but in sauce?? please, just use chef boyardee than.
acornlover
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/07 21:45:19
quote:
Originally posted by Pigiron

I've said this before, but I have never seen a reason to buy jarred marinara, especially these new high end sauces that can run over $10 a jar, when I can have a far superior sauce for a tiny fraction of the cost, with minimal effort. My fast marinara:

-Saute crushed or thinly sliced fresh garlic in good olive oil
-Add canned crushed San Marzanno tomatoes
-add fresh basil if available, dried herbs otherwise, to taste
-simmer 10 minutes

Done. No jarred sauce can come close to it.

I cannot agree more, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and spices, period, my SILs all put peppers, onions, carrots, sugar, etc, I cannot eat their sauces and finally have my husband is converted too, he gives their sauce away when they drop a jar off here, sugar, yuk
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/09 11:18:41
Well, the taste testing began last night.

I bought 2 different jar sauces, one I had wanted to try for some time, and the second as more of a "who are these guys?" kind of sampling. Both sauces were heated in separate skillets til hot and then fresh hot cooked vermicelli was added and tossed, a'la restaurant prep.

First up was the Pastorelli Four Cheese Pasta Sauce. $3.99
Chicago based. www.pastorelli.com
Consistancy was to my taste, which is slightly chuncky, but primarily smooth. Tomato flavor was fresh, but the spicing of the sauce was subdued, likely to fit the middle of the road midwest palate. (Only a slight hint of oregano, which I like since most mfgrs love to overdo it on the oregano.) I added hot chili flakes to final dish after trying a bite to up the zoom, but this is a good, simple red sauce that I think most folks-including kids- would enjoy. Would be good as a chicken parm or beef braciole sauce as it is thinner than some gormet jar sauces and the additional cooking would not turn it into a paste. I'll try the Pastorelli Arribiattta soon to see if that solves the spice issue

Then we have the second sauce. I chose Paesana Pomodoro Marsala Sauce because I wanted to see where they were going with the wine essence and it looked like a rich sauce in the jar. $5.49
www.paesana.com New York City based.
Sauce was of medium thickness, and had visible pieces of onions and mushrooms with it. The marsala flavor (which they list on the label as real marsala wine) is mildly sweet and very powerful, to the point it overwhelms both the fresh tomato base and the onions and mushrooms. Consistancy was great, but be sure to pair this with a zoomy stuffed ravioli or some type of beef or it will blow away almost anything it is paired with. I do my own marsala sauce all the time, but this Paesana was a little too much for me. In small doses this sauce may work.
Quality was good, but only those who love wine and wine sauces will reap its benefits.
Guess I'll need to try a second Paesana sauce to see of they go overboard on everything. Oh well.

Hope this helps.
Now all I have to do is consume the remains and move on to the next contestants.

Jerry
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/09 11:57:12
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 $2.99
(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 $5.49
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.

Jerry

jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/09 12:58:32
I'll add one quick mid to low end local sauce now that I think of it. I had it at my folks house a few weeks ago and like a good "Nam" flashback, it just launched itself into my mind.

LaRosa's Original Pasta Sauce
www.larosas.com $2.99
Cincinnati, OH based.

This jar sauce is available within a 90 mile or so radius of Cincinnati and via mail order. It's the "hometown" sauce around here, and sometimes so much so that many local folks have to be deprogrammed from it's hypnotic "sirens of the rocks" call.
I grew up on the stuff but no longer buy it. It is a perfectly smooth sauce with no tomato chunks, and is heavily seasoned with oregano and is very sweet. It seems to have a "love it" or "hate it " appeal, but I'm indifferent due to eating so much of it as a child (go figure).
Not gourmet, but good for the mild midwest palette and kids love it. Easterners say it is waaay too sweet and lacks depth. I agree.

It works great over pasta and ravioli, but becomes too thick when used as a baking sauce with manicotti or lasagna. You'll have to thin it for that--trust me.

Cheap enough to have a go or try it at their restaurants. The pizza sauce is even sweeter with less oregano (and I like it actually, at least occasionally) but that can be found over in the pizza forum.
If I have to choose, I'll make my own sauce before eating this, but YMMV.

I'll shuttup now.




John A
Filet Mignon
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/10 09:09:14
I make my own, but if in a hurry I will use Prego tradional.

John
soyday
Junior Burger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/10 09:22:14
I live in South Florida, and in Publix they carry Gia Russa, which runs $4-$5 dollars per jar, but it tastes so fresh and delicious I'm spoiled for everything else. The ingredients say it all: imported Italian plum tomatoes, imported Italian olive oil, fresh onions, fresh garlic, fresh basil, salt, and spices. That's all, and worth every penny in my opinion. I always get raves when I use it, and it tastes like you spent hours at the stove simmering.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/10 09:31:49
Soyday, Gia Russa is Youngstown, OH based, so I'm sure I can get it here in Cincinnati. Looks like I have a new brand to try out. Do you remeber which of the 4 types of sauce they offer was the one you use?
Gia Russa Tomato & Basil Sauce
Gia Russa Alla Vodka Sauce
Gia Russa Hot Sicilian Sauce
Gia Russa Marinara Sauce

Thanks.
efuery
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/10 11:03:55
I second Shen's reccomendation for Sclafani sauces . They are very good - I really like their vodka sauce. Colonna brand meat sauce isn't half bad either IMO.
MandalayVA
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/10 12:10:24
Perhaps I will be sent to Roadfood Hades, but I have been known to use and enjoy Newman's Own Sockerooni spaghetti sauce. I'm a sucker for peppers in tomato sauce, and it has a nice consistency and flavor. Rao's is good too--I'll use it in my crock pot on sausages or pot roast.
curried bluebonnet
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/13 00:51:02
Would prefer to use homeade, but on those sports/Scouts/gone all day nights, sometimes us busy moms have to resort to jarred. I'm with some of the others, whatever's on sale/coupon I might look into. Thought recently we had a Barilla that was really salty--hubby mentioned it and he salts everything--I mean everything! When it is a rushed dinner night and we are trying not to have fast food, jar sauce fits the bill, especially with homeade meatballs(from freezer) and decent pasta. Need to try some of the suggestions--Rao's ect.--have seen them in the store,but am too cheap to get them. I'll have to suck it up for flavors sake and give it a try--thanks for the ideas.
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/13 06:23:51
I just picked up a couple bottles from First & Last Tavern in Hartford. If it only a fraction of how good it is in their restaurants when served over my pasta, I'll be thrilled.
douginvirginia
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/13 09:39:01
Like others I normally make my own, butI like Mario Batali's basic, and some of the Trader Joe's are ok in a pinch. I'd never pay more than $2 - $3.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/13 13:05:53
quote:
Originally posted by douginvirginia

Like others I normally make my own, butI like Mario Batali's basic, and some of the Trader Joe's are ok in a pinch. I'd never pay more than $2 - $3.


And that's exactly why I'm here. I'l pay, so you don't have tooooooooooo...

Will head to the store this weekend for 2 new sauce choices.
I also need to head out to Jungle Jim's (those "in the know", know) and see what they stock.

Forward into the fog on this little thread.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/13 13:13:31
Oh, on a quick note.
If anyone is willing to buy and ship me a can or two of Sclafani sauce as mentioned (since it's been brought up a couple oc times) , I will recipricate by sending back a some cans of Cincinnati style chili (Skyline, Gold Star, Dixie, etc.) so you can taste what the hub-bub is about.
I cannot find Sclafani locally and buying a case is not an option.
Thanks.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/16 23:13:27
Well, I had to head to the local Bigg's to pick up a bottle of Buddy Roadhouse's BBQ sauce, so I thought I'd indulge in another 24oz. of "tomatoey goodness" so you don't have to.

Gia Russa Alla Vodka Sauce
24oz. $6.99
http://www.giarussa.com/GiaRussa/Sauces/SauceDefault.aspx
Ohio distributor, but still unsure of product manufacturer locale

I waffled between the Gia Russa vodka and hot sicilian sauce for a good 10 minutes. That should give you some idea where this tale begins. I chose the vodka sauce mainly because I hope that for the price, a little more TLC goes into it by each sauce maker with the addition of vodka and cream. As many pointed out above, and I agree, for the price, this better be good.
Well, perhaps I have done too much testing lately, or, even more to the point, BECAUSE I have done so much tasting lately, things are starting to taste alike. Thus, I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

In it's room temperature state, the sauce smelled of fresh tomatoes and matched the lightly chunky consistancy I like. After heated and then tossed with pasta as the others, I felt while it did have a creamy consistancy and nice mild spice makeup, the jarring process took away from the freshness factor by a great deal. If tested side-by-side with others above, I would be hard pressed to guess which sauce maker this was from. That, is not a good thing.

While this was something that I would be in no way embarassed to serve to guests as a side dish to a meat course, for the price, it is very underwhelming when compared to Emeril sauces at half the price. I do want to try the Gia Russa spicy sicilian, but my accountant will let me know when that window of opportunity will open. Some above mentioned the quality of Gia Russa, and I do think that the ingredients are superb, I just found this particular sauce to be one that did not meet the $7 per jar "law of economics."
I am starting to believe a lot of the fresh tomato taste is lost in the packing process, so I may do a homemade Vodka sauce (Giada from the food network had one that make work with some mods) as a beta test for a few friends and see how that goes.

BTW, did literally cringe at paying the price above, but....no guts no glory.

Hope this helps.

jjjrfoodie
PCC
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/17 00:00:42
I like Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro Arrabbiata.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/18 22:39:47
Seems the local Bigg's carries
Sclafani Filetto Di Pomodoro Sauce and
Sclafani  All Purpose Tomato Basil Sauce
$5.49 ea.

Looks like this is next on my list sometime this week since a few of you have recommended it.

2 or 3 more jars and I need a break.

Jerry
Tommy B
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/18 23:40:02
Newman's Own "Sausage and Peppers" is simply delicious.

Excellent with Rigatoni, accompanied with italian bread from Calandra's Bakery in Fairfield, NJ...
Twinwillow
Sirloin
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/18 23:40:33
Ok, so your too lazy to spend an hour (start to finish) to lightly fry 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic in olive oil, add some hot flakes, pour a 28 oz. can of a high quality brand of crushed or mashed whole Italian style tomatoes, salt and pepper and some fresh basil at the end?
No sweat! Just buy a jar of "Lidia's" (as in, Bastianich) marinara sauce and no one will know the difference.
If your (better) market doesn't stock it, buy it from her website, "Lidia's Table".
Enjoy!
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/19 15:11:55
quote:
Originally posted by twinwillow


No sweat! Just buy a jar of "Lidia's" (as in, Bastianich) marinara sauce and no one will know the difference.
If your (better) market doesn't stock it, buy it from her website, "Lidia's Table".
Enjoy!


Wow, I have that cookbook but I did not know she was doing her own line of products. I'll look for her sauce locally.
I have many many friends that are afraid to cook and/or do not know how and do not care to learn thus the challenge of does $7 really buy your way to a "equal to home made sauce." So far, the answer is a great big No.
Thanks for the tip.
Twinwillow
Sirloin
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/19 17:30:35
quote:
Originally posted by jjjrfoodie

quote:
Originally posted by twinwillow


No sweat! Just buy a jar of "Lidia's" (as in, Bastianich) marinara sauce and no one will know the difference.
If your (better) market doesn't stock it, buy it from her website, "Lidia's Table".
Enjoy!


Wow, I have that cookbook but I did not know she was doing her own line of products. I'll look for her sauce locally.
I have many many friends that are afraid to cook and/or do not know how and do not care to learn thus the challenge of does $7 really buy your way to a "equal to home made sauce." So far, the answer is a great big No.
Thanks for the tip.

You are very welcome. Her website is, www.lidiasitaly.com
She sells 3 jars of sauce for $17.99 plus shipping. I don't know where you live but here in Dallas (and Austin) they are available at the, "Central Market" stores.
I never miss her show on my local PBS channel.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/19 21:33:01
I'll take a look around locally to find some of her sauce.
BTW, if you click on the poster's underlined name to the left in any thread , most list where they are from, including myself!
It helps when discussing regional cusine.
Twinwillow
Sirloin
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/04/20 00:03:11
quote:
Originally posted by jjjrfoodie

I'll take a look around locally to find some of her sauce.
BTW, if you click on the poster's underlined name to the left in any thread , most list where they are from, including myself!
It helps when discussing regional cusine.

Thanks. I did not know that.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/05/01 12:58:14
Sauce up for this week is:
Sclafani Tomato Basil Sauce

I'm dying to see what you "eastcoasters" are talking about regarding this sauce...
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/05/03 23:47:37
Well, as promised, I picked up a jar of Sclafani’s sauce as many of you had raved about and had two samplings, one yesterday for dinner and one tonite.

Sclafani Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
Sclafani Distributors, Norwalk, CT
$5.99
32oz.jar
http://www.sclafanifoods.com

While the price seemed high, keep in mind most jars only pack 24 to 26oz of sauce, so you are getting 1/4 more sauce , so think of it as a 24oz jar at $4.49. At that price, it is indeed compelling.
Sauce right out of the jar was bright and very fresh tasting. Consistency was slightly course, but with little or no large pieces of tomatoes, as if it had been put through a food mill., but not a food processor. I, for one, like this consistency for everything but a marinara or sausage and peppers sauce, so I give it high marks for texture.

Both cold and heated, this sauce is the freshest tasting I have had so far. A little bit of discolored sauce on the lid and jar neck made me think I had a bad jar, but my guess is that this sauce is not packed to the high heat levels that others are and hence it’s ability to stay so lively. If there was a down-side, I’d say that that this sauce was too lightly spiced. I could taste the romas as well as the tomato paste, garlic and fresh basil, it’s just that there was very little commitment to any spicing at all (and very little oregano as well—thank heavens for me.) Not a deal-breaker, and in fact, let it unleash your creative side. (But one would like to think the chef and creators would have al least went down a path to some flavor destination…)

After I made one meal of plain sauce and pasta , and tonite’s meal I added ground sausage, roasted garlic cloves and red pepper flakes, my assessment is this: this is a great sauce that assumes a role as a blank canvas. Plain, it is great (albeit pricey) for kid tastes. Add some spices of your choosing and some meat, basil or fresh herbs or condiments such as olives and it becomes your “own” sauce. I would bet a dime to a dollar that any guests you had over would say you made it from scratch and I'm not sure I would say that about many jar sauces I have had. As a baking sauce for lasagna or manicotti, it would be perfect.

If I cannot make my own sauce in a pinch and need a pantry item for a simple all purpose sauce, this is well worth keeping around... (but I dunno, that 6-pack of Shiner Bock is tempting at $5.99 as well)

Hope this helps.

jjjrfoodie.

As a side note, I am still eating up the Gia Russa Vodka Sauce (see, this is not all fun and games), but I added a scant bit of cooked leftover pancetta as well as a splash of regular milk and it added flavor as well as helped to thin out the sauce which seems to be a very common problem of the expensive jar type sauces. I'm trying to keep fat and calories down with out-of-the-jar sauce portions, and thinning them a bit and adding healthy additions seems to be working for me.

My $. 02.

Jerry

"Am I smart? Heck, I'm like the brightest tool in the shed."


jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/05/20 15:51:05
Well, after a little break, the reviews are back. (I will note I spent a little time at Jungle Jim’s parusing the sauces last week and they all started to look the same to me. At 6 bucks a jar this is not a good thing, hence I passed until I felt more motivated, like, um, yesterday)

This week’s jar sauce is:

Emeril’s Roasted Gaahlic
$2.50 for 24 oz (hey, it was on sale, whatta canna I saya.)
http://www.emerilstore.com/departments.asp?dept=1155

I ran my course with the high end brands for a while and thought I’d take a break with something that might surprise me.

I caught Emeril’s sauces on sale and I’d thought I’d pick one up that I had not had before. The Roasted Gaahlic looked great in the jar, and the label indicated it was lower in fat than the Emeril’s Vodka Sauce I had reviewed earlier, so it’s good for the waistline to boot.

Out of the jar, the sauce actually tasted and smelled fresher then the Vodka Sauce, perhaps because there was no cream added to the base. After heating and adding to the pasta as described in earlier posts, I found the sauce quite good and actually a bit spicy (and very low on the sweet scale which is good) . I took a look at the label again to find that in this blend, chili puree has been added to add a little heat. Think of it as a garlicly red sauce with an aribiatta chaser, as it is just enough heat to wake up the tongue, but not enough to cause discomfort. Add some red pepper flakes though, and you have a par-tay.

The sauce was mostly smooth, but on occasion, there were large chunks of fresh tomato that rounded out the base . While I’m normally not a fan of this, it actually was seldom enough that I enjoyed it. Any more of the large tomato bits and I’d have been prone to puree the jar again, but it was fine for my taste as is.

With pasta added, the sauce only needed to be thinned slightly with pasta water. If you added milk or cream instead of the water and a little vodka, this would make a nice spicy vodka sauce. While of course the garlic was pronounced and sizeable chunks of it were in almost every bite, the flavor of the garlic did not overwhem. But you should go in liking garlic though if you plan on using this sauce.

Like the other sauces in Emeril’s line, this was very good and worth its value. Add some sausage, meatballs, or items of choice and this is a tasty meal. Because it is slightly spicy you might want to watch out for kids or tender palates, but if you are up for garlic and spice at a reasonable cost, do yourself a favor and pick up a jar.

Enjoy.

jjjrfoodie

BTW, I’m happy to continue on this trek as long as this continues to be beneficial for everyone. LMK.
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/05/24 17:46:52
quote:
Originally posted by shen

the only jar sauce i use is called Scalfani...the marinara and the spaghetti varieties. you can buy in fairfield county, ct and i will stock up and bring into my manhattan apartment


I used to like Aunt Nellie's Spaghetti Sauce with Peppers and Mushrooms. I haven't seen it since I moved from Maryland, I don't
know if they even make it any more. Like Ile de France baguettes.
The Progresso sauce in the sixteen ounce jars (not canned) isn't too bad if you don't have time to make your own. It's expensive for
mainstream sauce, but not as high as Rao's. Thomas sauce is pretty good too.

quote:
I second the GROSS to ketchup. maybe for meatloaf, but in sauce?? please, just use chef boyardee than.


I had lasagna from a restaurant near my house (not an Italian place, more of a family restaurant with high enough prices to keep families out) and it tasted exactly like Chef Boyardee. It was strangely comforting, like Proust's madelleines. Since I don't think they sell
industrial sized cans of CB, what is in that sauce that makes it taste the same?

jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/05/24 20:36:57
Well, it's time for the next sauce this weekend.
I am trying to find Mid's Italian Sausage with Peppers Pasta Sauce but have only seen a few of their other types in our stores.
www.mids.cc I'll keep looking. (Any of you folks try any of this line?)

A few local and midwest brands are out and about and look tasty, but that's not fun for you other 49 state folks. I'll see what I find and let you know by Friday or Saturday.

jjjrfoodie
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/06/02 19:20:27
Could not find what I wanted, so I settled on Mama Capri's Arribatta. Says there is proscuitto in the sauce on the label. Hmmm . It'll be dinner tonite, so you'll know when I know.

I also picked up a jar of Emeril's Kicked Up Tomato Sauce for the next tasting round. The KUTS is the only sauce to date on the "taste" list that adds High Fructose Corn Syrup to the sauce in the ingredients (see, I do sweat the small $hit for all you folks). It should be interesting...
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/06/04 12:13:32
Thought I’d pick up a jar of sauce over Memorial Day weekend to test out over the course of this week.

This week’s jar sauce is:

Mama Capri Arabiatta
$5.09 for 26 oz
Made in Des Plaines , IL
www.mamacapri.com (is listed on the jar, but the site is non-existent.)


I’ve been looking past the Mama Capri brands since beginning this tasting process only because after searching and searching on the internet, there is nary a review, comment or even so much as a source for the sauce, except, of course, for my local Biggs, (because they seem to stock everything short of a Lucas generator for a 1973 MGB GT. Really ;-p )

Before I get to the product itself, I noticed while browsing the Mama Capri selection, that different pasta sauces in this line are made in different places. Some are out of Illinois, and some are out of Missouri. Add this to the fact they list a website on the label with no homepage available when tried, and I think I see why this brand has some business and geographical challenges.

The Mama Capri Arabiatta lists cured procuitto among its ingredients, so c’mon how bad can this be? Well, while the jar appeared bright to the sight, when opened, I knew that the hopes of a good meal were slowly vanishing. There was almost no tomato aroma from the opened jar, and a quick taste of the room temperature sauce left me very uninspired. A slow kick of heat at the end ensured me that it was of the arabiatta variety but this was by far the flattest sauce I have tried to date. Spicing aside from the chili flakes was almost nonexistent.

I heated the sauce in the manner listed in my first review and tossed with hot pasta hoping the pan heat would bring out some flavor. Again, I was disappointed. The consistency of the sauce was that of a tomato puree, being slightly textured but not smooth, and with no large tomato pieces. I was fine with the texture, it’s just there was no brightness to this sauce. None. Nada. The heating process brought out the spice heat as expected, but it also masked any proscuitto flavor to be found.

Considering this was over $5.00 a jar for the sauce, I’d stick with the Emeril’s at half the price and never look back. Or even better, make your own. I knew I’d find an inferior contestant eventually, I’m just surprised it took this long.

Now…what the heck do I do to make the other 20oz of sauce not go to waste, Hmmm.

Hope this helps.

jjjrfoodie


Next up: Emeril's Kicked-up Tomato sauce
AndreaB
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/06/07 09:47:10
Re the jarred pasta sauces, we usually stick with Barilla and 5 Brothers. Classico has never been a favorite, nor the Paul Newman. Truth be told, we're probably better off with a simple Kroger's Marinara and spicing it up ourselves.

Andrea
Scorereader
Sirloin
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/06/07 10:45:00
I never have time to make my own sauces. I generally buy Wegmans' premium sauce line (Italian Classics. My favorite is the Puttanesca sauce. It's better than Emerils.
And the Fra Diavola sauce is killer!


Edited: I thought Five Brothers made Wegman's Brand Sauces, but I may have been incorrect. Not to mention that there are flavors of Wegman's sauces that Five Brothers doesn't manufacture under their own label, furthering my supposition that I may have been misled by the person who told me. Notwithstanding, the Wegman's Italian Classics line is excellent.

Rick F.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/06/07 11:40:26
Years ago we caught on to the idea of keeping a jar or two of prepared sauces in the pantry in case of emergency (read "unexpected in-law visits" ), then doctoring to suit. For me that usually meant fresh basil, mushrooms, maybe a little anise, garlic, some Romano as a thickener if needed, and always meat of some sort.

We probably still have a jar somewhere, but I can make my own almost as fast as I can doctor up the prepared stuff.

BUT having said that, I have since discovered sauces. (They also make the best cocktail onions I've ever had. Grampy, are you listening?) They're hard to find around here, so I'm trying them one at a time. Their Puttanesca was an eye-opener! I added nothing, changed nothing, and pronounced without doubt the best store-bought sauce I'd ever had.

Incidentally, jjjrfoodie, thanks for thinking of this thread. I'm learning lots--don't let it die!!
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/06/07 20:58:53
Rick F., I think I saw Mezzetta"s Sauce at Jungle Jim's locally. I'll check next week. Also, glad you can use the info posted so far.

I still have Patsy's sauce at $8.99 (YIKES!) a jar to test yet as well a few others including Emeril's KUTS stuff and some locals. Think I need a break next week for my own batch of fresh sauce. My fresh basil is coming in and it needs some lovin' and harvesting.
This jar stuff is rough somedays though. Had some leftovers of the Mama Capri sauce for lunch today over bowtie pasta and added fresh italian sausage. Still bland. Spicy yes, but oh so blah. I'll look at it as a "tough love" kinda thing I guess.
Mangia!

jjjrfoodie


EDIT: RickF., my local Bigg's carries the Mezzetta"s sauce in various forms to think of it. I always called it and thought of it as Napa Valley Bistro Sauce. Yep, I only read the BIG graphics when shopping...it's a fatal flaw of mine among many, many, many , many others. I'll buy the Puttanesca sauce for a try. A few others here have commented on it. Many thanks.

I'll shuddup now.

EDIT 2
Well, the craving for my own sauce got the better of me last weekend. I'll get back to Emeril's KUTS after the break (and then maybe a taste of the Bertolli frozen meals mentioned in another thread). This jar stuff is adequate, but man, home-made meatballs and fresh sauce with hand picked basil cannot be beat. For the same price as a single 24oz jar I made prolly 64oz of sauce with meatballs and sausage. You folks out there can do it to. Trust me.



jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/06/20 17:01:10
Sorry folks for the lack of a review lately. Too much summer fun and evenings out have kept me from cooking and eating at home much and when I do I've been grilling.

I did try to eat more of the remaining Mama Capri Arabiatta Sauce (from the last review) over pasta only to have a few bites and pitch it out along the remaining sauce. Yes, it was that dreadful. Not spoiled, just not tasty at all.

I'll get to Emeri'ls KUTS sauce this weekend or next week.

On a "sauce note "I did pick up a can of Dei Fratelli's Pizza Sauce last week. It was $1.09 for a 15oz can at Meijer's as I felt like making pizzas at home for a change.

The sauce was quite good. Not quite restaurant or good pizzeria style, but far better then the Chef Boy R Dee and Kroger Brands that are the only ones I see available. Not too sweet but heavy on the oregano, which is typical.
I had crap luck with both the Trader Joe's and Pillsbury pizza crusts though that I'd thought I'd play with. I took the TJ dough back it was so bad. Roll it out and 3 minutes later it was back in a ball again. Kinda spooky if you ask me. My guess is that it was over-processed or allowed to get too warm before I bought it and lost it's elastic capability.

I'm going the fresh french bread route next time I make pizza and see how that works. I'll figure it out sooner or later.

jjjrfoodie


EDIT 7/15/06: I did the french bread pizza's this week. Worked out brilliant with the Dei Fratelli sauce. 99 cent loaf of fresh baked french bread yielded 6 pizzas. Cut bread up in lengths as appropriate and then slice each in half longways. Toast the sectioned bread piece(s) lightly til just before barely light brown to get the surface moisture out and then let cool. Add butter (a Stoffers thing but not necessary), then sauce and then toppings. Top with combo of mozzarella and Provalone cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or til brown

Add parm and red chili flakes when done (my choice). Think Stoffer's, but with unlitied options.

If the red box has your favorite type, the hassle may not be worth it. With this though, you can "bring on the toppings" in any form.

Good luck.
(Pic is of pepperoni, black olives and onions. I had leftover pep. so I threw it on top. BTW I've also done a white pizza with the same results of gooey goodness.)


shortchef
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/06/27 11:20:38
Out here in Steelers territory we have the Mid's sauces everywhere. I wasn't impressed with the marinara, finding it a bit too sweet. There is an Italian grocery here and they sell their own sauce ("Federico's") which I use for just about everything. It's tart and well seasoned; all I add is a splash of red wine. Mid's also sells a pizza sauce, though, and it's not bad.Can't bring myelf to pay the much for a jar of Patsy's or even Rao's. Lidia's is available here but also really expensive.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/07/04 10:34:05
Thought I’d try another sauce out before the 4th of July , as grilling and social functions will have me out and about all next week.
Today’s sauce:


Emeril's Kicked Up Tomato Sauce
www.emerils.com
$2.99 for 26 oz.

A few of you mentioned you have tried this sauce in the beginning of this thread, so I thought I’d give it a try. That, and I need to make a run to Jungle Jim’s for a few new samplers, as my local stores are thin on untried sauces this week.

Because I was feeling adventurous, I thought I’d cook the sauce in 2 separate techniques for this time. One in spaghetti as is the norm, and the second in a baked manicotti prep , for one of course.

Out of the jar, the sauce tasted fresh. Not as fresh as a few of the others I have tried, but it lacked the processed aroma and taste I have normally run across. Although the name says :Kicked Up”, this sauce was mild with just a hint of heat, unlike his Roasted Gaahlic sauce which had some fire in it. Seems this sauce has a hot pepper puree added to it just like the Gaahlic, but the KUTS sauce has a very pronounced roasted red pepper flavor that I have not tasted in a sauce before. Add a little heat like he does and you have a unique but very palatable sauce. The consistancy was fine with sizeable tomato pieces and chopped garlic, but a few too many large tomato chunks forced me to stick it in the blender and puree it down to smooth sauce standards for future servings after I made the test meal. But that’s just me and my preferences.

When warmed, the red pepper flavor was nicely pronounced, but this sauce, like a few others I have had, was more of a blank canvas then anything. For the manicotti, I added fresh basil and Italian sausage to the sauce before baking. My guess is that chicken, meatballs or just about anything would work here. I did have to thin the sauce with water , especially the sauce used for baking quite a bit to ensure that it would not cook out to be too dry, but that is typical of any sauce I have used from a jar.

All in all, everything turned out great. At $2.99 or so, Emeril’s sauces continue to be a value buy for the quality you get. Unlike the last sauce that got “recycled” prior to finishing, this one will be used, no doubt about it. I do need to get back to the higher end stuff when I find it so we’ll be back on tack here in a little while. In the meantime, sauce is sauce, so I hope this helps those looking for a little change in the kitchen.

jjjrfoodie


EDIT: I did forget to mention that this was the first sauce of those listed above that has high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient. I was expecting the sauce to be sickenly sweet, but to the contrary, it could not be tasted and the sweet level was far below other sauces in the lower cost range. Sorry I left that tidbit out.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/07/07 12:04:04
Low and behold when it rains pasta sauce samplings it pours. Or so it seems.

A little hiccup with a family get together had me scrambling Monday. I delivered the pasta, garlic bread and homemade meatballs for a function and had an older sibling pick up a couple jars of sauce. A “crap shoot” you say? Yes, but I eat most anything (except the Mama Capri stuff) so no guts, no glory.
What’d she come home with?

Newman’s Own Sockarooni Sauce
$2.49 for 26oz. (Sam’s Club Price)
http://www.newmansown.com/product_list.cfm?cat_id=3

With no time to do the standard tasting, it was pretty much a brown 24 meatballs, add 2 jars of sauce and heat up kinda day.

While I have had the Neuman’s Own Fra Diavaolo sauce many years ago, I was not sure what to expect on this one.
I must say that for those of you that like lots of “stuff “ in your sauce, this is your kind of meal. I personally am not a big fan of green peppers and there are a load of them in this sauce, along with mushrooms, onions along with sizeable chunks of tomatoes. The flavor of the sauce was very mild and acceptable and probably matches or betters the flavor of most bargain sauces. It did get a tad heavy when matched with thin spaghetti as there was not quite enough smooth sauce in the jar to provide ample coverage for the 2lbs of pasta we cooked. Unfortunately, due to the big vegetable bits, the blender was not an option.
Both the kids and adults loved it , especially when paired with the fresh meatballs.
The sauce did require salt and pepper and could probably use the usual additions to make it your own, but all in all it was quite acceptable. Just make sure your guests/family are down with green peppers and mushrooms first.

Hope this helps.

jjjrfoodie
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/07/13 23:25:42
I'm wrapping up the last of Emeril's KUTS from the last tasting, and will be scouting for a new jar of something this weekend.

If anyone has something untried but needs a guniea pig, let me know. My basil plants are now at harvesting size, so I have a cover-up for all but the crappiest sauces (ummmm, can you say Mama Capri ) that will make this tasting continuation bearable thru the summer. I hope.

I'm still having fun though. Hope you all are too.

Wallyum
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/07/15 17:31:39
quote:
Originally posted by jjjrfoodie

I'm wrapping up the last of Emeril's KUTS from the last tasting, and will be scouting for a new jar of something this weekend.

If anyone has something untried but needs a guniea pig, let me know. My basil plants are now at harvesting size, so I have a cover-up for all but the crappiest sauces (ummmm, can you say Mama Capri ) that will make this tasting continuation bearable thru the summer. I hope.

I'm still having fun though. Hope you all are too.




Yeah, I'm glad I slipped into this thread. We were trying different sauces for a while, but recently settled on LaRosa's for most of our pasta needs, mostly because of the local name. I tried some of the high end sauces a few years back and was pretty unimpressed, but I'm going to check the Skyway Bigg's and Anderson Hills Kroger's to see what's new there. Both places have better than average selections.
shortchef
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/07/17 21:02:09
Yeah, Kroger's sure does. I'm impressed with the selection here in Steubenville, OH. Then again, we have lots of good Italian food. Glad we moved here...
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/07/24 13:29:13
On deck for tonight is Patsy's Fra Daivolo sauce out of New York City.
$8.89 a jar. I pucker just thinking about the price.
It better be good. Damn good. [code][/code]
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/07/27 16:50:18
It’s been a while since the last review, so I thought I ‘d tackle the “mother of all sauces” in the cost category…

Patsy’s Fra Diavolo
$8.89 for 24oz.
http://patsys-products.stores.yahoo.net/aboutoursauce.html


I hoped and prayed and prayed some more (you get my point) that this tasting would make it “all worth while” as far as buying sauce from the “pasta aisle” at the mega-mart. So I dug deep into my pocket and shelled out some serious coin for the most costly jarred sauce going.

Final taste assessment for the near $9.00 spent: Acceptable, yes. Earthshaking , no.
The whole point of this journey, (be it either linear, or strangely, my own little Sisyphian adventure) was to see if the real sauce you conjure in the kitchen stood up to the outlay of cash to make up the difference and this one proved money does not buy you taste.

The Patsy sauces looked great in the jar and, for a change, I choose the fra diavolo sauce guessing, based upon the ingredients listed, that it is the marina sauce with added chili flakes.
Out of the jar, the sauce consistency was very smooth, with small bits of tomatoes and noteable chunks of garlic. Cold, the sauce was not as fresh tasting as others I have had, and there was a strong taste of tomato paste that overwhelmed all of the spices. When heated and served with pasta, the tomato paste flavor was even more apparent, and there was an odd “burnt garlic” flavor in the background. Now this is not the first time I have run across this in the tastings, and I can only guess that the jarring process or pre-cooking process heats the garlic past its useable point and while not bitter, certainly adds an unwelcome bite to the sauce. I did have to add quite a bit of pasta water to thin the base sauce out, although the final consistency was quite nice. As for spice level, there was just a hint of heat as expected, but far less the Emeril sauces. Orageno was notably but not overpowering, and anything beside that was swallowed up by the tomato paste and garlic flavors.

All in all, I hope that the sauce served at Patsy’s Restaurants in no way resembles what comes out of the Patsy’s jars. While this jar sauce is indeed edible, it in no way represents a product worthy of a $8.00 and up outlay of your hard earned dollar and many of the mid to low end sauces have this product beat hands down.

Next time I am in New York for an extended period of time, I will have to get over to Patsy’s and try the sauce first hand. Until then, I ‘m going to put this one in the “lesson learned” category and say more money does not buy you a better product. You all are welcome to prove me wrong of course.

Hope this helps.

jjjrfoodie

jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/07/30 00:54:50
Still wrapping up the rest of the "Richie Rich" style Patsy's sauce with the bitter garlic overtones, but found a killer deal on Emeril's 3 cheese sauce (Parmasean, Romano and Ricotta are the tres quesos if you care to know) so it is up next.

As I was gifted 24oz of fresh ricotta today, I'll be stuffing 70 or so cheese rav's till the cows come home tomorrow (with some basil and spinach in the mix too). Should be a nice addition to the freezer arsenal, but after the 3 cheese sauce, it may be time for siesta.

jjjrfoodie


“I've never seen a woman love fat the way Paula Dean loves it. She eats sticks of butter like other people eat Kit-Kats...”
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/08/09 09:45:59
The recent heat wave and a busy social calendar has kept me out of the kitchen lately, but I was able to try a new Emeril sauce tonight just to change up from my grill-out rut…

This week’s jar sauce is:

Emeril’s 3 Cheese Pasta Sauce
$2.49 for 26 oz
http://www.emerilstore.com/departments.asp?dept=1155


I realize that I have been dipping into the “mid-price” sauces lately, and I in no way plan to skirt the pricey sauce offerings and “go low” until my high end options are exhausted so keep that in mind. That said, I needed a break from the very disappointing Patsy’s sauce and Emeril’s brand sauce has so far fallen within a realm of acceptability no matter the variation. Would tonight hold true as well? Let’s find out.

Out of the jar and at room temperature, the sauce was very tomato paste heavy, but that often changes during heating. The three cheeses were immediately noticeable, with romano taking the lead over the ricotta and parmesan. A slight hint of oregano was detectable, but the rest of the spicing was very very muted.

Once heated and mixed with pasta, the sweetness of the sauce came out. Not too sweet mind you, but this is the sweetest sauce in Emeril’s line-up so far. I should add that up until this little adventure, I made my own sauce when I felt the urge for Italian, and do not add sugar,to my sauce (but do add sweet Lambrusco wine.) Call me a non-sweet sauce kinda guy and please see my LaRosa’s sauce review as back-up. Why I bring this point up is that this 3 cheese sauce has both corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup in the list of ingredients. As my experience with low price jar sauces is limited, I would guess that this is aimed at younger eaters or those that buy inexpensive sauce as it seems the lower price sauces sometimes use sugar to compensate for quality ingredients or as fillers. Keep in mind this is not a fact, but just a hunch based upon the many many jar labels I have read lately.

Overall, the sauce was quite tasty. After my initial tasting bites for the review, I added chili flakes and fresh basil to bring it into my flavor and heat realm, but all in all, the sauce is quite good. It did require a little thinning with pasta water, but this is also the smoothest sauce (read very few tomato chunks) of Emeril’s offerings so far. Very interesting indeed as no indication on the label as to why this sauce should vary from the rest.

I also tried the sauce over one of my homemade raviolis from the weekend that I made in a huge batch with free ricotta given to me to use up. While tasty for the most part, I cannot find a local sheet pasta supplier lately and gave away my pasta machine so I used store bought wonton wrappers. The wrappers tend to be very thin so I discovered, so you have to watch the cook time when boiling (and I started from frozen pieces I made .)
Final result was a yummy filling and completely edible pasta, but it was not up to Little Italy standards if you want an honest opinion. I am a tough critic on my own cooking though.

In a nutshell, if you have 3 bucks to spare, Emeril’s 3 cheese sauce is worth a try. Very middle-of-the-road, but very acceptable as-is or gussied up in any way you choose. Go for it.

Hope this helps.

jjjrfoodie
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/08/09 15:22:12
Here's a question i have always wondered about other opinions:

How long can you store your homemade pasta sauce without freezing it. Along the same lines, what is the best container for storage. I have always used glass jars.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/08/09 23:32:12
quote:
Originally posted by Coastal Southern

Here's a question i have always wondered about other opinions:

How long can you store your homemade pasta sauce without freezing it. Along the same lines, what is the best container for storage. I have always used glass jars.


CS, when I make my own sauce, I usually make a batch of about 64 oz and go though it in about 3 to 4 weeks by myself without having to freeze it. Now this if for tomato based sauce.
I store the sauce I have made in a stainless Revereware bowl in the back of the fridge with a lid. Never had a problem with spoilage unless it's july or august and the heat gets to it hence why I use stainless. (The more garlic and/or chili flakes you add to the sauce the longer the shelf life.)

If I batch it, I shove it in old chinese soup take away (16oz or 32oz) thick sided round containers or Glad type containers and drop it in the freezer. Should keep 6 mos. or more that way. Let thaw on counter or in fridge and you are good to go.
Pesto I use small mason jars and cream sauces I make fresh only.

Good luck.

jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
RE: Jar Pasta Sauces(High End)-Begin the reviews 2006/08/22 12:52:19
Work and travel has kept me pretty busy lately, so no time to review sauces.
I did wrap up the last of the Emeril's 3 (or was it 4?) cheese tomato sauce last nite, and just so happened upon the Buitoni refridgerated case in the pasta aisle. I thionk I'm going with the Vodka or Marinara sauce they offer. About 3 bucks for 15oz. Good part is that I can go thru it fast enough it won't go bad in this heat.

BTW, if any of you Cincinnati folks need fresh basil, I am up to my butt in it and am happy to deliver a kroger bag full if you're near me as I am out and about quite a bit. LMK. (Oh, I am in the Oakley/Pleasant Ridge area)

jjjrfoodie
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