Friday, June 5, 2009
Foodie Hall of Fame: Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce
This week's inductee into my personal Foodie Hall of Fame is Rao's Tomato Basil sauce. Gasp! A JARRED pasta sauce is hall-of-fame worthy?!?!? Yes...this amazing sauce really is that good! I have my friend and fellow foodie Andie to thank for first introducing me to this amazing sauce a couple of years ago. All it took was one try and this is the ONLY jarred sauce that is allowed in my kitchen!
Don't get me wrong...I love to cook homemade tomato sauce when I have the time. Giada De Laurentiis has a recipe for a KILLER pasta alla Amatriciana that I love to cook for special occasions. But I don't always have time to devote to chopping, sauteing, and simmering. At the same time, I don't want to sacrifice flavor for the sake of convenience.
With this sauce in my foodie bag of tricks, I don't have to sacrifice a thing! This sauce is all natural. It contains tomatoes and olive oil imported from Italy, fresh onion, garlic, and basil. That's it...no hard-to-pronounce additives or icky ingredients. Just fresh ingredients cooked and quickly jarred. Rao's makes an entire line of pasta sauces, but the Tomato Basil is my favorite because it's so versatile.
Rao's is a legendary New York restaurant that's notoriously difficult to score a reservation for. They opened a second location in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas a couple of years ago, which we dined at on our last trip there in 2007. The homemade version of the sauce we had at the restaurant was exactly the same as the sauce that we buy and use at home.
Yes...I know what you're thinking: Rao's sauces are very pricy for jarred pasta sauce. The average price for a jar in my city is $8.99. I easily justify the expense by reminding myself that buying a jar of the sauce at my local grocery store and cooking at home is MUCH cheaper than a weekend trip to Las Vegas to eat at Rao's in Caesar's Palace ;)!