Product: Rao’s Homemade Tomato Marinara with Basil Sauce – $8.99+
Oh yeah…Rao’s pasta sauce is expensive. VERY expensive.
So, what am I doing buying it? Well…it was on sale for half off…meaning I only paid about $5.00 for a 24 ounce jar. That’s not too shabby, right? *looks around innocently*
The fact of the matter is, no matter what food magazine or awards you might be looking through, when it comes to jarred pasta sauces, Rao’s always comes out on top. And I have been dying to try some of their sauce for…ever. No…really. Forever.
When a sale hit a local natural food store I shop at, I couldn’t help but snatch up one of the more basic sauces. Start basic…and if they nail that…then go bigger. That’s how I like to look at it. So, it came down between the regular marinara sauce or the tomato basil sauce. And…being the flavor fiend that I am, I decided to throw the whole basil aspect into the pot and see how that works. So, at half the cost, I purchased my first jar of Rao’s pasta sauce – Rao’s Homemade Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce with Basil.
And, with the urge to make stuffed shells and the gluten-free pasta shells and filling to do it with…it was as though the fates aligned to make this a reality. This sauce didn’t sit in my pantry for long at all. I was definitely eager to give it a taste. Last night, after a long day at the office, I went ahead with plans to make my gluten-free and vegan stuffed shells. I cooked up the noodles, stuffed them with my own variety of a filling, and then laid them in a thin layer of sauce before topping them off with the remainder of the jar.
From the moment I popped the lid and took a small taste…I knew there was going to be something magic about this sauce. No doubt about it. From just one little swipe at the top of the lid, I could sense the flavor explosion this sauce was going to lend to my dish. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Fact of the matter was, however, I needed to get my stuffed shells in the oven to cook and then I would really see how the sauce was, on its own and with the pasta and stuffing. So, into the oven it went…and for 30 minutes…I sat in wild anticipation.
Okay…really I did yoga…but I thought a lot about the casserole cooking up in my oven. Thirty minutes later, I was rolling up my yoga mat and pulling my pasta out of the oven. It smelled divine. My roommate even said that if it tasted as good as it smelled…we were lucky girls tonight.
Luck had nothing to do with it. A really amazing pasta sauce did, however.
Let’s start with the nitty-gritty. Rao’s Homemade Tomato Marinara Sauce with Basil is definitely a low calorie option for topping off pasta. A serving is 1/2 cup, and a jar will serve 6 people. In this serving, you will only set yourself back 60 calories…so if you are a sauce fiend, you won’t feel too bad about indulging a little. A serving contains 5 grams of fat, mostly from the olive oil (a healthy fat) as well. In addition, it is low in sodium (only 340 mg) and contains no cholesterol.
Enough of that technical stuff though…
Rao’s Homemade Tomato Marinara with Basil Sauce tastes like I just cooked it up that same night and poured it over the pasta. It really does taste the fresh. The ingredients are cooked and quickly jarred by Rao’s…so they retain all their flavor and don’t sacrifice quality as well. I mean, this sauce is all natural, containing tomatoes, Italian olive oil, onion, garlic and basil. Simple, clean flavors..that just explode with each taste. Most jarred pasta sauces taste like jarred pasta sauce. Not this one. It honestly tasted like I just made it…except better than my homemade sauce. It was light, chunky, and just simply amazing. All those food awards and reader surveys can’t be wrong and they weren’t. Fresh tomatoes and fresh basil…it tastes like it’s fresh from farm to table. I was beyond impressed.
Yeah…I know…I balk at the price of this pasta sauce too, but after tasting it…I would be reluctant to go back to any other jarred sauce out there. This one was beyond impressive. And now I hope to try the other flavors in the massive Rao’s sauce lineup. If you can find a jar that you can work into your budget, I encourage you to do so…immediately. Trust me…the taste alone is worth every dollar.