Having grown up with a mom whose acclaimed pasta sauce set a bar, we never liked supermarket sauces, even in our less-picky, less flush college days.
As we grew into long work days and a paycheck, we treated ourselves to Sauces ’n Love, its shelf-stable Scarpetta line, and other high-end brands.
All have the same thing in common: top-of-the-line tomatoes, which means that no sugar needs to be added to sweeten dull tomatoes (the corollary problem being that the typical popular brand adds more than a pinch of sugar).
When we don’t have time to make their own—or when tomatoes are not in season, which is most of the year—we often pick up a bottle of Riserva from Classico, a brand owned by Heinz.
The Classico brand’s pasta and pizza sauces, pesto and bruschetta are familiar to many consumers.
The Riserva line’s vine-ripened tomatoes mean that there’s no sugar added. That’s our kind of sauce (and given all the hidden sugar in purchased foods, it’s not easy to find popularly-priced sugar-free tomato sauces).
A 24-ounce jar is $4.72 with free shipping at Walmart (for orders of $50 or more—you don’t even have to schlep it!).
(We were quite surprised at some unhappy Amazon reviews, e.g. “Heinz should stick to ketchup.” At this price, we can’t find anything better—rich tomato flavor, thick and chunky).
So, what’s for dinner:
For a creamy sauce, just mix Greek yogurt, ricotta or sour cream into the tomato sauce. Don’t boil or the dairy may curdle, unless it’s crème fraîche.)
We’re hungry already!
TIP FOR THE VEGETABLE RESISTANT
Cook veggies to al dente and place in a heat-proof dish. Cover with pasta sauce and mozzarella and heat in the oven, under the broiler or in the microwave until the cheese is melted.
Garnish with any fresh herbs at hand, or a sprinkle of oregano or thyme. For the truly veggie-averse, serve with grated parmesan.
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