1/2/06 | Bertolli Vodka Pasta Sauce
[ Currently Eating: Interesting Chocolate Wafer Thingies ]
I had been meaning to post about this jar of Bertolli Vodka Pasta Sauce awhile back but somehow never got around to it. Well, I finally downloaded the pics so here you go.
I usually don’t make a habit of buying ANY pasta sauce in jars if I can get away with it. The reason is not only does it tend to be quite a bit more expensive than opening a can of crushed tomatoes and making your own sauce, but I tend to think that many of the tomato based pasta sauces in jars are overly sweet. There are a couple exceptions (one is Barilla Pasta Sauce which is super tangy).
I’d never even bought Bertolli Sauce before, though I’d gotten their Extra Virgin Olive Oil on sale before and it was quite reasonable and pretty good for the price. But because this sauce was on clearance for under two bucks (I can’t remember the exact price) and because it was a bit different than the usual straight-up tomato based sauces, I decided to give it a whirl.
I wish I still had the Bertolli bottle so I could rattle off all of the questionable ingredients in it. The thing is, it’s actually made with “fresh cream”, their own Bertolli Olive Oil, tomatoes, and actual vodka. Yeah, I made damn sure that was listed on the label before buying it!
The usual route most people go is dump the pasta sauce in a pot, heat it up, and then pour it over spaghetti, but I decided to instead use it as an ingredient rather than just a sauce. Using about half the jar, I mixed mixed up a quick sauce similar to the usual one I make for Quick Bacon Pasta. The results, which actually look nice for once, are below:
I used Mostaciolli, bacon and a bit of parmesan cheese, as well as cubed zucchini and parsley to make this feel a bit more healthy. Kind of like a Carbonara of sorts.
So, the big question is: Can you actually taste the vodka in the sauce? The answer, surprisingly, was yes. It was there but it wasn’t overpowering or “raw” tasting. A lot of the alcohol tends to cook out of these sauces anyhow when you make them from scratch, so I wasn’t expecting to get tipsy. But there was a hint of it there, which was nice.
The actual flavor of the sauce rated as interesting to good, though not superb, and certainly nothing like a completely homemade pasta sauce. It wasn’t very sour at all and had a nice earthy taste to it due to the blended cream and tomatoes mixture. A bit on the salty side, but then I like my food less salty than most folks.
The texture was very smooth, they definitely ran this through some sort of blender. The color is that peach-pink color that ain’t gonna win a beauty contest; sort of looks like ketchup mixed with mayo…. but on the pasta it looks pretty normal.
I was actually pretty surprised as I’ve had pasta sauce like this a couple times before from jars or cans and it usually fails miserably to impress. I think it definitely helped to fix it up by adding the “extras” to the sauce. It’d probably go well with your usual additions like mushrooms, meats, and other veggies.
At this type of price, it was pretty decent. I also didn’t need to use the entire jar at once, especially since I don’t like to drown my pasta. So I got more than 1 meal out of it. Not too shabby!
Price: under $2 for a jar
Bought at: Albertson’s
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10