Mine is the fairly recent discovery of Mezzetta Marinara, as well as their Parmesan blend. I have always preferred their peppers/pepperoncini and didn’t even know they did pasta sauces. Plus, it is way cheaper than Rao’s!
In a pinch, I also find Safeway’s “Select” marinara pretty good (as I do most of the “Select” house brand items).
If I’m not making my own or rec’ing a container from family, absolutely we buy Rao’s over any other brand. On sale, I buy a few extra. It’s the only jarred red sauce I like and I ignored it for quite awhile thinking it was NYC hype. We especially like their vodka sauce but the line is delicious. IMVHO.
Usually. Onions, mushrooms, peppers, all in olive oil before adding the sauce. IMHO my results have been pretty good with my homemade pasta.
Yeah I could do San Marzano’s with onion, garlic, parsley, and more… but if I am doing a serving or two, that seems a little crazy/wasteful given how good some of the jarred products are (hence my asking the question).
I’m half Italian and it’s the dominant food force…so, making “gravy” of any kind has been a given my entire life. WhenI was on the rode f/t, jarred sauce was a huge turnoff because my earliest working days consisted of a pretty lousy diet. Once I made real money, I got snobby about food. Semi retired today, I’m learning how to feed myself properly and alot more from scratch even with a small household. Sauce freezes rather well too.
But I’ll make a point of trying your suggested brand since I have not.
Yup. Tomatoes suck up here for most of the year, so I use canned for my best sauce. But good jarred starts with that same ingredient, and involves a little less work/time to get to the end result. While not the same as doing everything else from scratch, I can come pretty close with just a handful of fresh ingredients.
I have a strange obsession of trying jarred pasta sauces.
These are my favorite marinaras:
Botticelli Marinara (the only variety I’ve liked from this brand)
Mia’s Kitchen Bistro Marinara
Spinelli’s Classic Marinara
Mezzetta Italian Plum Tomato Delicate Marinara (Mezzetta is pretty good in general, but I liked this one best of theirs)
Vero Gusto Sicilian Herb (Vero Gusto is fairly new line of sauces from Barilla. I liked this one the best of what I’ve had of those)
I grew up in the midwest, 6 kids for my parents to feed, but the only “pasta” I remember eating at home is when Dad would stretch chili with macaroni because my 5 brothers had hollow legs. We had macaroni salad in the summer. I don’t recall eating macaroni and cheese. My parents grew a large garden and preserved a lot of it to feed us over the winter. So my experience with tomatoes wasn’t anywhere near marinara. Although I remember my Dad canning homemade ketchup one year from our garden tomatoes. None of us would eat it - we just wanted normal ketchup lol.
I do invest time now making Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese sauce on rare occasions and did for awhile make fresh pasta, as well. I was intrigued by the process of it when I was about 25 years younger. But now, I’m satisfied to find quality sauces like Rao’s. I also love their spaghetti.
Some 30 years ago when Rao’s first started to sell their sauces, I used to order by the case. Since I’ve come up with a pretty close clone, if not usually better fast sauce. At Rao’s one night, I asked about where they sourced their tomatoes. Was told “around the corner, in the can”. Good advice. I do keep Rao’s in our pantry. But also rely on Hazan’s simple tomato sauce that requires only a can of good tomatoes, an onion and butter. Fast, simple, real.
This may give some of you a chuckle or 2: my last name is Mezzetta!!! Supposedly husbands family are distant cousins of “the” Mezzettas of pickle/pepper/olive/sauce fame. That said, I love the Rao marinara! Will have to try the Mezzetta product…
Did some label reading and Mezzetta Marinara is higher in sodium and sugars vs. Rao’s. I don’t put either in homemade sauce. One of the reasons I tried Rao’s was the low sugar. The only reason to add salt in homemade sauce is if the tomatoes lack flavor. While I don’t have a sodium or sugar issue related to health, I do watch for ingredients I would rather do without. The jar locally for me is $4.99. Heated a bit up and dipped it in garlic bread. Tasty but I’m Rao’s loyal.