Food & Drink

I Tried a $17 Jar of Pasta Sauce — Here’s My Honest Review

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With regards to jarred pasta sauce, Rao’s is just about king. The sauces are a bonus providing from Rao’s, the restaurant — a tiny, ultra-exclusive spot that initially opened in New York Metropolis. Now Rao’s has places on the West Coast, and sells their jarred and packaged products in grocery shops everywhere in the nation. Residence cooks love these things, paying as a lot as $10 for a 32-ounce jar of “basic” marinara. And for what it’s price, Rao’s additionally constantly makes our Kitchn Essentials checklist.

So after I received my fingers on a jar of their limited-edition white truffle marinara, I used to be tremendous wanting to strive it. Solely three batches of this sauce have been made, leading to fewer than 2,500 jars, that are solely obtainable on the Rao’s website. It’s undoubtedly a special-occasion ingredient. However wouldn’t it be definitely worth the $17 price ticket?

First, not like so many truffle-flavored merchandise, this sauce truly accommodates shavings of actual white truffles. As a result of they’re foraged, truffles are uncommon and dear. As a workaround, “truffle oil,” infused with a chemical compound, is usually used as a flavoring agent. The elements within the Rao’s sauce embrace each — the precise truffles, and the truffle taste. 

I made a decision to offer the jar a strive with a buddy who solely buys Rao’s sauce, figuring he might assist me evaluate it to the baseline marinara. We deliberate on serving it with farro and slightly basil, pondering the easy preparation would enable the truffle taste to shine.

After I cracked the jar, I instantly remarked that it smelled “very truffley.” It jogged my memory of freshly shaved truffles, not a pile of fries doused in pretend oil. In different phrases: It was perfume-y and nice, however not cloying. 

As for the flavour? It truly wasn’t as intensely truffley as I’d been anticipating. Each every now and then, I’d catch a faintly funky, earthy word, which most likely meant that I lucked upon a type of actual shavings. A spoon of sauce straight from the jar had an identical impact: It was scrumptious. The sauce is nice and balanced, and never too truffle-forward.

My buddy, the Rao’s aficionado, reported the identical truffle impression. Collectively, we polished off nearly all the jar. As our forks scraped our plates, he commented, “Was it actually good? Sure, after all; it’s made by Rao’s. However why deviate from their marinara when that’s already excellent?” I’m inclined to agree. And that’s excellent news for all of us as a result of this jar will solely be obtainable for a restricted time and the marinara will all the time be obtainable.

Would you strive Rao’s truffle marinara sauce?

Rochelle Bilow


Rochelle Bilow is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, the previous social media supervisor at Bon Appétit Journal and Cooking Gentle Journal. She has additionally labored as a prepare dinner on a small farm in Central New York, and a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York Metropolis. Join along with her @rochellebilow.

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