Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Delicious Pasta Recipe with Stefano 100% Natural Marinara Sauce

After vacationing in Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Sienna, Florence, Pisa, Sanremo, Cinque Terre and many other beautiful towns on the Riviera, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for authentic Italian food made with quality ingredients.

I can still remember the best pasta I ever had. My sister and I were dining at a small family restaurant called Tavern del Capitano on the coast of Vernazza. The waves were crashing against the rocky shore, the sky was bright blue and we were happily munching on brushetta as our food was prepared by the owner.

The pasta we ordered was simple – spaghetti with pesto, but the flavors were rich, fresh and beyond comparison. Throughout the meal we were speechless and afterwards I purchased dried pasta and pesto from a local shop in hopes of recreating the magic at home.

Thankfully you won't have to journey all the way to Naples for amazing pasta. Chef Stefano and his team in Montreal are bringing the taste of Italy right to your table with a collection of delicious sauces made from Striano tomatoes. The recipe is 100% natural with no added preservatives, sugar, tomato paste or gluten.

My family used to buy a popular grocery store brand until I read the label and discovered it was loaded with sugar, salt and additives. Since then we've made the switch and never looked back.

What I love most about Stefano’s Marinara Sauce (aside from the pure, authentic taste) is the texture. It isn’t thick, unnaturally smooth or generic. The consistency is hearty and homemade with tiny chunks of ripe tomato.

In my house we prefer spicy marinara with a hint of sweetness and this sauce makes an excellent base for your own seasoning.

To make the marinara even better crush 3 large cloves of organic garlic in a saucepan. I prefer to crush them thoroughly, pounding until the pieces are pulverized and all the flavor is released.

- Dice 2 medium onions

- Sauté the garlic and the onions on medium heat without caramelizing them. When they become soft add water (about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup), stir and sprinkle in some seasoning.

You can get creative and use your favorite spice medley but I prefer:
*Dried or fresh parsley
*Italian seasoning mix (which contains oregano and other herbs)
*A generous amount of Mrs Dash Original (no salt added)
*All purpose seasoning
*Fresh thyme
*Dried or fresh basil leaves
*Coriander powder
*Dehydrated chives

- Stir well

- Cover and simmer on low heat. You want the onions to sweat and the seasoning to cook so there is no grittiness.

- Continue to cook until the onions have melted down substantially. It should still look juicy so add a more water if necessary.

- Incorporate 2 jars of Stefano Marinara Sauce to the onion and seasoning base you’ve created and stir everything together.

- Add 1 heaping tbsp of organic coconut sugar for a hint of sweetness and about 1 tbsp of pepper sauce (I prefer the West Indian Scotch Bonnet style) but try to use something decent (Sriracha or Tabasco won’t cut it). If you don’t have a good pepper sauce on-hand, add chili flakes to the onions when you sprinkle in the other seasoning. Balance the sweet and spicy ingredients to taste.

- Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes and toss in your favorite pasta (I used Fusilli).

-Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy.

I also like Stefano's simple Tomato Basil Sauce made with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and sea salt. It is great for lasagna, cannelloni and even homemade pizza.

Stefano Marinara retails for $8.99 a bottle and the sauces are available at Sobeys, Foodland, Safeway and independent fine food retailers across Canada.

~Bon appetite!

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