Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara

I first bought a jar of this on my first trip to TJ's when its Asheville store opened. I was interested in trying a wide variety of their wares, and since I tend to make myself a lot of pasta, this seemed an obvious choice.

However, it was up against a roughly 25-year habit of using essentially nothing but Prego brand spaghetti sauce. I've occasionally tried others, but nothing could knock off the king of this particular little hill.

But I have to admit that TJ's Tomato Basil Marinara comes close. I've bought about half a dozen jars of it over the past year. I still prefer Prego by a little bit, but I'm perfectly happy to use this instead--and I do whenever spaghetti is on the menu for a dinner with Nina, since I know she prefers it to Prego.

Will I buy it again? 

Of course. This isn't quite a Top Ten item, but it's very good.

Nina's View

No arguing that I think TJs marinara is better than Prego. But I'm afraid that's a little like saying I prefer root canal to leg amputation.

Okay, hyperbole abuse, my bad.

The reality is it's a perfectly decent prepared spaghetti sauce. But I grew up in a home where my Mom made spaghetti sauce the way she'd learned to do it IN ITALY. So: spoiled. Every now and then I'll make a big vat of red sauce for myself, à la Mama. For what it's worth, of the canned stuff I think Paul Newman's Own takes the prize.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this, and I also grew up with Italian marinara that my grandmother would make and slave at all day long in the kitchen, from tomatoes coming out of her garden. Spoiled indeed...we are Italian. For me this was the freshest tasting jarred marinara I've had, maybe ever if I don't want to pay 9 bucks a jar (and I dont.)...Prego or Ragu tastes too sweet to me, and the rest all taste like they've been over-cooked. I found this to be a nice blend of fresh and sweet... and the price is great also.