If your style of gourmet cooking is similar to mine--that is, opening up a jar or microwaving--then this article is for you my friend.
Trader Joe's has been around for years and years yet it always seems so crowded--if you live in California you will see one or two in most major cities. Here in southern Orange County, there are ten. They have tons of great private label products and because they don't advertise they keep the prices ridiculously low.
So, down to our yummy meal: in a previous article, I've mentioned my love of their delicious salad dressing.Add to that their utterly amazing Trader Giotto's Three Cheese Pomodoro Pasta Sauce and no doubt you will be the star of your family this weekend. Made from delicious Roma (or plum) tomatoes, this sauce is less acidic than many other tomato-based sauces. The sauce is made simply from tomatoes, cheese, olive oil, onions, salt, garlic, salt, basil, oregano.
It is also sugar-free, which is practically impossible to find in a store-bought pasta sauce. It in not cream-based either--the only dairy it contains are the three cheeses--romano, parmesan, and the wonderfully full-flavored asiago. The sauce is also egg-free, gluten-free and nut-free; however, they do note on the label that it's made on equipment shared with the above for those with allergies.
When cooking (er, microwaving) the sauce, be as plain as you'd like or as creative. My family loves it simply on angel-hair or penne with freshly-grated parmesan. The sauce tastes so homemade and full of flavor, there's really no need to "jazz it up" as you must do with store-bought sauces from the general grocery store.
Nutrition information: surprisingly, the calories per serving are not that bad: 90 per half cup. 6 grams of fat per serving, with 2.5 saturated fat and zero trans fats. Sodium is a bit high, however, at 650mg per serving--something to keep an eye on for those watching their salt intake.
This sauce seems to be quite popular. TJ's usually has an end-cap display of it at the Laguna Niguel store, and the shelf on the sauce aisle is quite often wiped out. For that reason, I buy four jars at a time and recommend you do the same. At $2.99 a pop, it's worth it to have them on hand for easy dinners.
To find a Trader Joe's in your area, click here. If you don't have one, chances are you have friends or family who does. Hit 'em up. You won't be sorry.