Finally! As many of my audience (mostly bots) know, I’m kind of a spaghetti connoiseur. I think I’ve tried most of the brands at Walmart, Tops, and Wegmans. Here are my favorites, my not so favorites, and my despicables:
Mario Batali’s Tomato Basil sauce – The first thing you’ll notice about this sauce, is the price: it’s $7! But I highly recommend trying this sauce for a couple reasons: it’s 100% crushed tomatoes and no paste. What that means, is it doesn’t have a the tart and overpowering tomato taste that you find in most brands. Definitely, this sauce is the best of the non-paste spaghetti sauces.
Victoria Marinara sauce – This sauce is also made from non-paste tomatoes. Not quite as refined as the Batali’s sauce, but still a worthy contender for the best spaghetti sauce. Overall, its ok.
Dropping down to the ~$3 tier spaghetti sauces, we find the all-around best spaghetti sauce on the market, in my opinion: that is, Chef Emeril’s Home Style Marinara. Emeril’s sauce is simply perfect. Some people say it tastes like ketchup, which I would argue, is also delicious. It’s refined, buttery smooth, flavorful and unlike most brands, it doesn’t have that overpowering tart tomato paste flavor. There’s definitely hints of onions and garlic, and some chunks of tomatoes but overall, it’s a very smooth consistency. 10/10.
Moving on to a close second place, we have Bertolli’s Olive Oil and Garlic sauce. This sauce is very good. It has many more chunks of tomatoes than Emeril’s as well as a much stronger garlic taste. Overall, this is a more interesting sauce than Emeril’s, but that doesn’t translate into a better flavor. If you can’t try Emeril’s, I’d highly recommend this sauce.
In a more distant third place, we have Pellicano’s Traditional Pasta sauce. Evidently, traditional sauce relies heavily on tomato paste. However, this sauce is still very good, but lacks the interesting flavors of Bertolli’s sauce, and simply doesn’t have the smooth refinement of Emeril’s. Overall, this sauce is fairly unremarkable.
Francesco Rinaldi, well, who hasn’t tried this sauce? It’s also, unremarkable. Which leads us further down the rankings to the abyss of the despicables where we find F&J Perna and this “Full Circle Organic” thing. F&J Perna’s spaghetti sauce tastes like someone dumped a can of tomato paste in jar, poured in some creek water, and then dumped some basil in it. Disgusting.
Full Circle Organic…I’ve always been wary of the organic crowd. I’m fairly certain they are basically reformed hippies and I can’t stand things that carry fleas, sleep all day, and get high, unless it’s a cat. As such, I can only imagine how this “Full Circle Organic” spaghetti sauce is made. But I do know what they use for ingredients: COCKROACHES!
Yes, as you can imagine, I saw this brand, and I was excited to try a potentially new and delicious sauce. It promised me fresh ingredients, chunky diced tomatoes, and roasted garlic: it delivered COCKROACHES! As I was eating a plate of perfectly cooked Barilla spaghetti, topped with this “Full Organic” sauce, there under a chunky tomato, was a cockroach…despicable.
Tomato paste: it’s like a badge of lost innocence. It seems, we’ve accepted this overbearing, tart, and when generally relied upon, disgusting flavor in what should be imo, a simple and elegant dish. I love garlic and onion, and the chunks of tomatoes that constitute a great sauce. Here’s to a 2016 Spaghetti Sauce reveiw part 2!