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.
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.
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