I had really good intentions for cooking a wonderful chicken last night. I had almost everything I needed for dinner, but I ended up out in crazy holiday traffic running errands and got home too late to do the required marinating for the chicken. So, tired and hungry, I stood in the kitchen looking at the pantry, fridge and freezer wondering what the heck I was in the mood to cook….The answer is always pasta of some sort when it gets that bad. You can never go wrong with pasta.
I honestly would not even write about cooking a pasta dish with prepared sauce, but this one was really good! We purchased a jar of La Famiglia Del Grosso sauce a few months ago when it was on sale. We bought their Aunt Mary Ann’s Sunday Marinara (gotta love the name!). We thought we would give it a try on a night just like tonight. It looked better than the usual bottled stuff and it should be at $7.99 a jar (regular price). It appeared to be cream based, but I checked and it was not. Just the usual suspects with a notch up…Italian plum tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, olive oil, onions, sea salt, garlic, basil, black pepper and parsley. Sounds just like something you would make at home and it was! We usually combine a can of imported crushed tomatoes with sautéed garlic and onion in olive oil and add fresh basil, possibly some parsley, salt and pepper when we are throwing a marinara sauce together in a hurry.
I also happened to have some sweet Italian sausages in the freezer, so I thawed those. I started to saute a large onion and a green pepper in olive oil, threw in the sausage (that I sliced into larger pieces), browned the sausage and cooked the vegetables. How Italian is that? Sausage, onions and green peppers…I prepared some penne and wow! It was better than eating pasta at any Italian restaurant that we could think of that serves traditional Southern Italian cooking. And I should know. I am married to a good Italian boy and I am from Philly.
Of course, I went to the Del Grosso website today and found that this is truly a family business that is cooking up and marketing old family recipes. This all started with a small cafe in Altoona, Pa. where one of the original family that immigrated from Italy began cooking up old an old world recipe for spaghetti sauce. It evolved over the years to where they were selling sauce to patrons to take home. Now there are 8 sauces for 8 different family members (how about Uncle Joe’s Vodka Celebration?) as well as pizza sauces and salsa, etc. They even own an amusement park in Tipton, PA. Who knew sauce could be so profitable (other than Paul Newman)???? From what I read on the website, their sauces are quite the rage and they are participating in many culinary events. I guess it MUST be really good stuff. I missed all this until now since we do our own….
I did not take a picture of our dinner because it’s pasta! And I did not realize it would be so good with so little effort. I, of course, topped it with freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano. (Yo Adrian, you gotta do that!) We really were impressed. I will definitely buy this sauce again to have on hand in case there is another night like last night. There are many days when you just want to take it easy. This sauce is perfect for a night when you don’t want to do major cooking, but it tastes as though you did. Thanks Aunt Mary Ann!