Friday, May 16, 2014

Steve Schirripa and His "Killer" Sauce

I was not a big fan of The Sopranos (although my husband never missed an episode), but I became familiar with Steve Schirripa through his role as the understanding but firm dad of Ben on "Secret Life of an American Teenager", so when I heard from a rep that he had a new line of pasta sauces,  I was eager to try them. After all what could be more authentic Italian than an Italian on The Sopranos?  I was really excited when my samples came, with each jar wrapped carefully in bubble wrap,three different recipes- Tomato Basil, Marinara, and Arrabiata.
This is likely how you remember Steve!

I didn't have to wait long to give this sauce a try.  When your 3-year old grandson is over for dinner and says his favorite is spaghetti, that is all it takes even for this Irish-American grandma!  I have to start by saying that while I do not normally make spaghetti sauce from scratch (fresh tomatoes,simmering all day, etc.), I usually do start with some San Marzano tomatoes, onions, not a jar of prepared sauce, and my experience with prepared sauces is that they usually are too acidic or too sweet, and overly salty. We decided to have a meat sauce with spicy Italian sausage,so we chose to use the Tomato-Basil flavor for this sauce.  Since I did plan to add my own meat and onions, I wanted to taste the sauce in its unadulterated form first. I was pleasantly surprised- the sauce had the flavor of fresh tomatoes with a great balance of sweet-salty, and without the overly acid tang that sometimes underscores prepared sauces. I sauteed onions and browned a sausage and ground beef mixture, and then added the Uncle Steve's sauce, and let the sauce bubble for a little while (Is there any better sound and smell?)

video
So how did it turn out?  While my daughters who were home knew the pedigree of the sauce, my grandson's mom, who is 6 months pregnant, came in from work, smelled the sauce and asked if we had extra.  Two plates later,she said,"Mom I really love your sauce the best!!"  Even her three-year-old cleaned his plate!

I apologize for paper plates,but that allowed the spaghetti and Uncle Steve to be the star!!
Do I want to discourage people from making their own sauce? Of course not!  That is part of the culinary tradition for many moms out there. But on a weeknight when time is tight, Uncle Steve's sauces are a high-quality option that fool even discriminating palates. I look forward to trying the other flavors- Uncle Steve is sure to be invited to my table more often , and you should invite him to yours as well!!!

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