sauce

All posts tagged sauce

Paul Sorvino FoodsIt’s one thing to get to be sent marinara and vodka sauces.  It’s another to be sent Paul Sorvino’s authentic neapolitian marinara and vodka sauces. 

Now, I’m not one to go ga ga for a movie star, but I really like the movies Goodfellas and Bulworth (both starring Mister Sorvino) so it was kind of cool when someone from Paul Sorvino Food sent me two jars of sauce: one of marinara and the other of vodka sauce.  It was even cooler when I came home to find my wife watching Goodfellas and I could go in to the pantry and grab one the jars (which feature a picture of Mister Sorvino) and ask “Look familar?”

It was less of a thrill when she replied “No.  Who is the guy on the jar?”

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.  It was still pretty cool to review a sauce made by one of the stars of arguably the greatest mafia movie ever (yes, I preferred it to The Godfather. What you gonna do about it??)  And yes, I realize Mister Sorvino is an actor, but let me say he’s a supremely good actor.  Maybe a little too good.

So, just in case, let me say in no uncertain terms that Paul Sorvino Foods’ sauces are the best pasta sauces I’ve ever had.  No questions asked. 🙂

Okay, in all seriousness, Paul Sorvino Foods opened in 2007 when Mister Sorvino decide to release a series of food products based on his mother’s recipes.  Undoubtedly, his mother was a great cook because her sauce, even after it survived the jarring and shipping process was nice and rich and chunky.  That was a very pleasant surprise and more like what I expect from an Italian restaurant.  The vodka sauce was a lot smoother, but creamier.

And how do they taste?

Let’s start with the vodka sauce.  I am not the world’s greatest alla vodka sauce fan.  I like my vodka, I just don’t like it with tomatoes.  With that said, if I had to do penne alla vodka, I’d probably reach for a jar of Paul Sorvino Foods’ sauce.  I really like both its sweentess and its pronounced tang.  I especially liked the lack of overpowering alcohol flavor.  When fixing for guests, I might add a pinch more red pepper flake, but that’s because I like heat and I want it to balance the sweet.

On the other hand, the marinara was definitely my favorite.  When we first tried it, I took some straight out of the jar and put it on my noodles (shells in this case, because they are BWD, Jr. friendly)  and the sauce tasted fine, but it was a little thin. 

After dinner was over, I got to thinking about the thinness of the sauce and went back and read the label.  Sure enough, it said that the marinara needed to be simmered before eating.  So I put it in a sauce pan over medium heat (per the label) and let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes.

The resulting sauce was so much better.  The flavors were bolder, the chunky tomatoes broke down and gave the sauce a much richer tomato flavor, and the chunks of garlic got soft and perfumed the marinara.  Much, much better.  Much better.

So, my suggestion is that you try Paul Sorvino’s mama’s marinara and vodka sauces.  My recommendation is that you set them to simmering about the same time you get your pasta water boiling.  Cleaning the extra pot will definitely be worth all that extra flavor.

The picture was taken from Facebook.com/PaulSorvinoFoods and is used without explicit permission.

Creamy Tofu-Enhanced Tomato SauceSo my friend @Nightblooms and I got on the subject of tofu one fine night on Twitter when she told me about this amazing tofu/tomato sauce she made for her family.

Never one to pass down the opportunity to let others do my work for me, I begged her to do a guest post on BlogWellDone.com.  She graciously accepted with the vaguest promise of a post from me in the near future (more on that later.)  But without further ado…

Creamy Tofu-Enhanced Tomato Sauce

Contributed by Marie Oliver

Food as medicine is a practice that is easily taken for granted growing up with restaurateur parents.  Living away from home for the first time as a young adult was when the ingrained habit revealed itself. I found myself grocery shopping for sometimes obscure foods and spices that supposedly improved health when consumed as a beverage or used as an ingredient in foods.

There is nothing obscure about the tomato, but did you know it was once considered poisonous?  The tomato is among a wide range of plants that are a part of the deadly nightshade family, avoided due to their toxicity.  Eggplant, peppers and potatoes are among the nightshade plants we relish as dietary staples.

The health  benefits of tomatoes are numerous, whether eaten raw or cooked.  There was a fascinating study initiated by a couple of Harvard scientists over 20 years ago that examined the effects of tomato products on prostate cancer in about 48,000 participants. Data was gathered and reviewed over a 12 year timeframe.  Although they claimed the study to be inconclusive, in the same breath it was asserted that there was a definitive reduction in the risk of prostate cancer in men who consumed tomatoes – about 45%.

The red pigment found in tomatoes is lycopene, an antioxidant or cell damage neutralizer.   Lycopene has also been said to inhibit growth of breast, lung and endometrial cancer cells.  However, for some who are allergic, tomatoes may be a health hazard.  If you suffer from hives, headaches or asthma symptoms after consuming tomato products, then step away from the fruit. Tomatoes also contain the chemical salicylate, which is an active ingredient in aspirin. So, if you have an aspirin allergy, talk with your physician about whether you should avoid food salicylates as well.

Continue Reading

In a recent article for BIAO Magazine, I was asked to put together a healthy cocktail party spread.  I decided to make the centerpiece of the spread a chicken dish that would focus on that elusive combination of light and tasty.  I tried several different recipes before finding the one that worked best with party concept.  You will have to find a copy of the magazine to see which chicken made it, but here’s one I liked that did not quite fit the theme.

  • 4 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • 2 tablespoons of salt plus one more pinch
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard powder 
  • 5 plums (I used 2 black, 3 red, but you can use all of one type), diced in quarter inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 serrano chili, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider (apple or grape juice would also work)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  1. Trim the fat from the chicken and cut into cubes no more than one inch by one inch.  The size of the chicken is not as important as keeping the cubes roughly equal so that the chicken cooks evenly.
  2. Make a spice rub by mixing the Mix the salt, pepper, and mustard in a bowl.
  3. Coat the chicken with the spice rub and set aside for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the plums, pinch of salt, ginger, garlic, and serrano to a skillet over medium heat.  Cook for about three minutes.
  5. Add the cider and put the heat on medium low.
  6. The sauce is ready when the cider is reduced by half.  It should still be a little runny as it will be cooked again with the chicken.
  7. Heat a second skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.   When the chicken is almost cooked, ladel in the plum sauce and continue to cook until the chicken is finished.  (You may need to do two batches.)

Serve over rice with a side of soy sauce.