Product: Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro Homemade Style Marinara – $4.49+
We all know that I am no stranger to making my own marinara sauce for my pasta dishes. But when a deal hits…and when there just isn’t enough time and tomatoes in the world or kitchen…sometimes purchasing one from the store isn’t such a bad thing. Especially when it is made with real ingredients and promises home-style flavor.
That’s how I stumbled across Mezetta Homemade Style Marinara, part of the Napa Valley Bistro line. I was walking the aisles of my local grocery store, and a there were jars of this marinara sauce on Manager’s Special. I couldn’t pass up the discounted price, and as it is labeled gluten-free, and all ingredients were recognizable…I figured I would give it a try.
But I had to have a dish to prepare for it. And after returning from a long vacation away from home and not having all the fresh produce from my CSA bins to create meals with, I turned to my pantry, freezer, and fridge. I had some gluten-free gnocchi in the fridge, so I figured…why not pair it with this marinara. What was the worst that could happen?
The answer…nothing. No bad could come from this at all.
I got the gnocchi working in the boiling water and while they cooked, I heated up two servings (one for me and one for my roomie) in a saucepan on the stove. I loved the way this marinara sauce looked. It wasn’t too thick and you could see that sheen of olive oil as it was added to the pan. Love that healthy fat. It had little chunks of tomato throughout it and it smelled so amazing as it came to a gentle simmer on the stove. When the gnocchi was done and drained, I tossed it right into the sauce and coated each and every little pasta dumpling with the sauce. I noticed then that for gnocchi, I had made too much sauce. So the next time I made the gnocchi…I halved the sauce…and it still felt like too much.
That being said…WOW!! What great flavor. The tomatoes are the absolute star. This sauce is seasoned to perfection, has the perfect texture, isn’t too rich or too runny…it’s just right. Perfect. And I was actually surprised. Because, when I see jars of something on Manager’s Special I have to wonder what may be the reason for the dramatic price cut-back. And I had two jars of it. Now I think…YES!! I HAVE TWO JARS OF THIS!! It is jarred pasta sauce at it’s homemade finest. It tastes like homemade, which is the point. But…it is just culinary perfection in a jar. I was beyond impressed. The reason for this fantastic flavor? Mezzetta Homemade Style Marinara is made in the traditional Italian way, with wine to enhance the taste and richness. It is slow cooked in small batches with only natural ingredients. And, honestly, that can make all the difference in the world. And it did in this case.
So, let’s talk about the ingredients for a moment. This pasta sauce is simply composed of imported Italian plum tomatoes from the San Marzano region, imported olive oil, fresh onions, sea salt, fresh garlic, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wine, fresh basil, black pepper, oregano. The label itself declares that this product is gluten-free. I can look at the ingredients and see that, but it’s nice to have confirmation. I am more likely to buy a product that is labeled than one that is not.
Nutritionally speaking, a serving of Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro Homemade Style Marinara is 1/2 cup. In this serving you will receive 90 calories and 5.5 grams of fat. There are 490 mg sodium and 3 grams of sugar in each serving as well. This sauce is cholesterol free. And one serving also dishes up 1 gram of fiber and 1 gram of protein.
Top off your favorite Italian dish with this amazing sauce. Trust me, the flavor profile does wonderful things to whatever it is added to. True Italian flavor right on your local grocery store shelf. Seek it out…and give it a taste. Trust me…you’ll love it.