The launch was a lovely evening with lots of delicious little bites of goodness all meant to highlight the product. I knew though that for me to truly know if this sauce was as good as they were telling me that I had to give it my own test, in my kitchen, all on it's very own so I could get to the naked truth.
So it began....
I let the sauce simmer, slowly, adding absolutely nothing to it. I think slow and low simmering is the best way to awaken the spices and herbs and prepared jarred sauce usually needs all the help it can get. I pulled out a box of De Cecco pasta and boil up a pot full of spaghetti.
It's time to put this sauce to the real test. I dished up a couple plates of pasta and call in my official guinea pig, my tell it like it is kinda guy, Dennis. We sit down and I tell him I want him to taste this pasta & sauce all by itself. No parmigiana, no salt & pepper, no Pepperonata, no nothing. I wanted his honest reaction. So we dug in.
Fork twirling. Taste. More fork twirling. Silence. Finally we speak.....
Me: So, what do you think?
Him: You didn't make this sauce?
Him: This came out of a jar?
Him: Really? Out of a jar?
Me: Yup, out of a jar.
Him: You didn't add anything at all to it?
Him: Not even salt & pepper?
Him: No basil?
Me: Nope. Nothing. It's naked sauce.
Him: Something's missing, I'll be right back.
I thought to myself, oh wait, he's off to grab up some hot sauce. Guess again.
Him: Great pasta deserves great wine.
Nothing says loving for pasta more than a glass of really great, bold, big assed old world red wine.
After all I am married to an Italian, right?
Him: Mmmmmm. This is really good.
Me: You are right, this is really good.
Him: Is there more pasta in the pot?
Me: Yup. Pass the parmigiana please.
So let's talk about the naked truth on Louise Prete jarred red sauce. This sauce has body, with a slight chunkiness, but not so much that it would take away from the smoothness of the sauce. Some jarred sauces are often way too acidic because they don't use good quality tomatoes. Not in this jar. The acid is balanced beautifully, from start to finish.
Big props to Louise Prete for not falling prey to the bad habit of dousing their sauce with oregano or too much salt. That, in my opinion, is the biggest faux pas that so many commercial producers of jarred sauce commit. Not here though. I also really liked the way the sauce clung to the pasta. It gave it a really hearty edge and on something as basic as spaghetti that is a deal maker. I would definitely buy and keep a jar handy in my cupboard for that quick dinner on a week night after a long day and you need a little soul food. This is definitely a keeper.
I affectionately call this sauce Prete a Manger!