Friday Favorite – Bertolli Vodka Sauce

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I love vodka sauce – if it’s made correctly.  There needs to be a good balance of cream, tomatoes and a little vodka.  I usually only order it in a restaurant and never tried making it at home, but it is on my list of things to do.  You have to understand that neither my husband nor I ever had jarred sauce of any type growing up. He would enjoy marinara sauce made from tomatoes in his parents’ garden and I would enjoy sauce made from canned crushed tomatoes, puree and tomato paste.  I was 18 before I tried jarred sauce and did not care for it very much (it was too sweet).  I think jarred sauces have come a long way, but cannot seem to sway from making my own.

My mom is a great cook, but does not know it.  She loves vodka sauce, but had no desire to learn how to make it at home  so she decided to try a couple of jarred ones.  The few I sampled at her house were not that great. One tasted bitter and another smelled like a cross between vomit and dog food.  I am not exaggerating either.  The smell was so nauseating, I could not even eat it, but my parents, brother and his kids all seemed to enjoy it, so I thought it was just me.

After that,  I was determined to find a jarred vodka sauce that smelled and tasted good and finally, I found it!  It’s Bertolli Vodka Sauce and let me tell you, it is absolutely divine.  It’s creamy and tomato-y and great for a quick meal.  My husband and I like to sprinkle (or actually, POUR) on Parmesan cheese and…crushed red pepper.  MMMM HMMMM!!  It really kicks up the taste and gives it a little heat to contrast the creaminess of the sauce.  For some protein, you could always add grilled chicken or even shrimp.  Put a little parsley on top and you have a tasty and fast meal on the table in about 15 minutes from start to finish!

If you can’t find Bertolli, I would also recommend Mario Batali’s vodka sauce. That came in as a very close second.  (Sorry, Mario!)

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