Hoboken Farms: Small Town Sauce, Big Town Flavor

Hoboken Farms Big Basil tomato basil sauce

Store-bought sauce can be a pretty contentious subject for fans of sauces with that just-made fresh flavor. I was one of those snobs, always stressing to squish San Marzano tomatoes in the can as a pot of salted water cooked pasta. I’d pull out the woody stems and toss the broken down tomato meat with fresh smashed garlic cloves sizzling in olive oil. That simmering concoction would meld as it cooked, was seasoned with salt and pepper and finished with torn fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of EVOO.

My work-life balance wasn’t in sync enough for homemade sauces to be on the menu and I always kept a few jarred options to resort to when the kids were lobbying for lasagna, pasta and a protein or chicken parm. I’d get complaints when I hadn’t sufficiently labored at the stove and produced a luxurious sauce that had flavor rich with the taste and aroma of freshly made tomato and basil sauce with the wonderful texture of those hand-swished tomato chunks. 

Hoboken Farms sauce comes in three varieties (L to R): Big Red, Big Boss and Big Basil

When the folks at Hoboken Farms asked me to sample their three sauces–Big Red, their marinara sauce; Big Boss, their vodka sauce; and Big Basil, their tomato basil sauce– I agreed without expecting much. I had read the reviews and readied myself to see what all the fuss was about. 

I popped off the lid of the Big Basil sauce and took stock: wonderfully fresh aroma; great texture thanks to meaty tomato chunks; beautifully seasoned and full of fresh taste. These sauces are the real deal. They have the taste you’d expect from a chef that perfected marina, tomato basil and vodka sauces by simply relying on excellent quality ingredients prepared classically with minimal fuss.

Big Basil sauce served over Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Penne

Here’s how I enjoyed Big Basil over Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Penne: talk about elevating the natural flavor of pasta! Hoboken Farms defies you to sauce your pasta  modestly the way you’d be served them in Italy. I flunked, happily and greedily over-saucing and enjoying every spoonful. 

Other ways I’d serve Hoboken Farms Big Basil or Big Red sauces:

– Spooned over a layer of pesto atop a grilled slice of sourdough or ciabatta

– Layered with plain Greek yogurt for a savory parfait that’s topped with minced celery and parsley for crunch 

– Spooned over zucchini noodles or baked potato

– Blended with summer veggies like squash and kale for a refreshing smoothie or chilled soup

– Stir a cup or more into bean or vegetable soup

– Baked on top of seasoned chicken cutlets or fillets of fish like char

You are only limited by your creativity with Hoboken Farms, a pantry essential for uncompromising sauce enthusiasts. 

Contributions made by Samantha (Sam) Donsky

Gluten-Free Italian Dinners Offered at La Riviera Trattoria, Clifton

I received the below invitation from La Riviera Trattoria’s owner, Maria. The last dinner I attended was excellent in terms of quality, quantity and value.  The program is set up with communal tables adding a festive ambiance. Follow the instructions as per below if you are interested in attending and don’t wait. These dinner parties fill up FAST and they are absolutely worth every penny. See you there!


Because of the high volume of people, I can accept a maximum of 55 people each night. PLEASE CHOOSE ONE DATE AND LET ME KNOW YOUR ALLERGIES WHEN YOU BOOK IT. You must reserve first via email and then mail the check to: LA RIVIERA TRATTORIA.  


1st Course (Family style):

Fried Calamari

Stuffed Baby Artichokes

Clams Oreganata



2nd Course (Family Style):

Penne Vodka

3rd Course (Individual):


4th Course (Family style):

Veal Parmigiana

Chicken Milanese

French Fries

Eggplant Siciliana no mozzarella

Basa with baby shrimp in a scampi sauce

5th Course



It will be $50 per person including everything above, sodas, gratuity, and tax.  All liquor will be cash bar. Remember to save up for the products I will be selling. 

Thank you and look forward to our Party!!!!


La Riviera Trattoria

421 Piaget Avenue

Clifton, NJ 07011




Sous Chef Antonio and Sister Maria Carlino, Crafting Italian Traditional Cuisine With Gluten-Free Ingredients at La Riviera Trattoria
Sous Chef Antonio and Sister Maria Carlino, Crafting Italian Traditional Cuisine With Gluten-Free Ingredients at La Riviera Trattoria