Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.
A trio of Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties pasta sauces made its way to our kitchen not long ago. The varieties were Tomato Basil, Marinara, and Arrabiata, and nearly as exciting as the products themselves was the variety of imagined uses to which I found myself putting them as I unpacked the box they arrived in.
Beginning with the Tomato Basil sauce, I sampled a spoonful before cooking with it, as I would do with each sauce. The Tomato Basil started things off right. Had I been told that the basil, tomatoes, garlic, and onions I was tasting had been harvested as recently as that morning, it would have been easy to believe. The sauce has a satisfying thickness and texture in terms of its consistency; minced herb and vegetable bits present throughout, not what I’d call “chunky” but not so smooth as to feel watery or overtly processed. The Marinara is a slightly thinner sauce, but shares the same pleasing texture and fresh flavors usually typified by ingredients blended just hours earlier. Those who enjoy a touch of heat as much as I do will be pleased with the potency of the spicy Arrabiata sauce. It too, delivers a level of fresh cleanliness to the palate that engaged me at once and remains among this product’s more memorable attributes.
It bears mentioning that the Uncle Steve referenced in this product’s name is actor/author Steven Schirripa of television series ‘The Sopranos’ fame (not to mention a multitude of books written and a number of food-themed television programs.) A long-standing lover of food and cooking, Mister Schirripa has produced a line of sauces in which his affection for crafting recipes and his attention to detail are apparent on first bite. It also bears mentioning that this product is free of gluten and USDA Certified Organic, two features certain to please health-conscious eaters.
As for the uses to which I put the sauces, the Tomato Basil sauce was excellent on homemade pizza and added to a rustic ratatouille, while I used the Marinara in a spinach-pesto lasagna. The Arrabiata took especially well to a dish of penne with chorizo.
Clean flavors, great texture, and fresh, organic ingredients all contribute to a product that nimbly avoids the trap of tasting like something that came out of a jar.
Learn more about these products or pick up some to taste for yourself at UncleStevesNY.com.