When I discovered that my son had a problem with gluten, I also started taking a hard look at the food we were eating. It is amazing what you can find when you read the ingredients on the label. Products that I thought were “safe” were actually loaded with sodium, added sugar, MSG, preservatives, unknown chemicals, etc. This is so prevalent among the products we buy, I decided that the only way to avoid it was to make everything myself. Well, that is a lovely idea, but unrealistic nowadays. I do the best I can by making as much food from scratch as possible, while leaning on products that use real ingredients.
Pasta sauce is a huge example of this. I have found that 99.9% of pasta sauce at the supermarket contains added sugar and vegetable oils, such as canola and soybean. I just can’t imagine a bowl of sugar and soybean oil on the counter of an Italian grandmother cooking a pot of sauce on the stove. Yuck. When I think of marinara sauce, I think of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, spices, herbs, salt and pepper. The end.
Now I should just make my own sauce, but for me, that is just not going to happen. I’d love to someday… However, I am ok with this because I found Rao’s Homemade Sauces©.
Rao’s Specialty Foods, Inc.© was founded by Mr. Charles Rao back to 1896 in New York City. It still remains in the Rao family today. They produce a range of products, including 13 different varieties of sauce, which are made from real, simple ingredients. They also make pasta, marinades, dressings, oil, and vinegar.
Here is an ingredient breakdown of my 4 favorite flavors:
- Tomato Basil: Imported Italian tomatoes, pure olive oil, fresh onions, fresh basil, salt, fresh garlic, black pepper, oregano
- Roasted Eggplant: Imported Italian tomatoes, fresh eggplant, pure olive oil, fresh onions, salt, fresh garlic, fresh basil, black pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano
- Roasted Garlic: Italian plum tomatoes, Italian cherry tomatoes, olive oil, roasted garlic, carrots, salt.
- Marinara: Imported Italian tomatoes, pure olive oil, fresh onions, salt, fresh garlic, fresh basil, black pepper, oregano
I use Rao’s Homemade Sauces© on pasta or vegetable noodles and on pizza. Their sauces taste deliciously homemade and have that distinctive bright red/yellow color from good tomatoes and olive oil. It is hearty and coats pasta well. My only complaint is that I wish they were organic.
You can find Rao’s at most grocery stores, Whole Foods, Amazon and directly from their site. One sticking point may be the price. For a 24 oz bottle, I usually pay about $6. This may seem high for a jar of pasta sauce, but I promise you pay for what you get in both ingredients and taste. Try some on my baked meatballs and check out my review of my favorite pasta, Jovial.
The goal of my product posts is to get others excited about products that my family use and love. However, it is also important that they meet the same criteria as the food I prepare myself. It has to taste great and use quality, whole, ingredients. Rao’s Homemade Sauce is a fantastic product in taste and quality. I hope you and your family enjoy it too.
Disclaimer: I am not paid or compensated in any way to review gluten-free products. I only review products that I love, use in my daily life, and feel that others can benefit from too. I cannot guarantee that you will think these products are awesome too, but it is highly unlikely.