Here are three things you might want to pick up next time you go shopping for groceries.
Classic Italian sauces
There’s little that makes mealtimes easier than a delicious sauce that can be used right from the jar, whether it’s to stir into a pot of pasta, top a homemade pizza, serve as the basis for a dish such as shrimp fra diavolo or provide a flavorful start for Bolognese. We’ve just been introduced to a line of four sauces from Antonio Carlo that are so delicious, I was tempted to pour them into a glass and drink them straight. I wasn’t surprised when I saw the company’s recipe for a bloody mary, which uses the arrabbiata sauce as the base. There really is an Antonio Carlo behind the company. He was born in Genoa, Italy, settled in New Jersey, and now makes his nona’s classic marinara and three variations: roasted garlic and tomato basil, as well as the arrabbiata. The sauces taste of fresh vegetables and herbs, and are so good that you might be tempted to pass them off as your own.
$9.99 per 24-ounce jar. Available at Publix and antoniocarlo.com.
You won’t catch me enjoying a glass of dairy milk. I’m not allergic; I’m just not a fan of the flavor. So, I’ve been keeping an eye on the ever-growing range of alternative milks available. Now, my refrigerator is stocked with almond milk (in unsweetened, vanilla and chocolate flavors) and oat milk (available in original, vanilla and chocolate versions) from Malk Organics in Austin, Texas. I appreciate that these milks are made with three basic ingredients: filtered water, organic almonds or oats and a bit of Himalayan pink salt. The vanilla is flavored with organic vanilla extract and the chocolate contains organic cocoa. The oats have such a sweet taste that the chocolate oat milk needs no sweeteners. At my house, we’re not cereal eaters, but we’re enjoying these milks cold in smoothies and warm in lattes. And, when the unsweetened almond milk was used to bake a batch of cornbread from a recipe on the Malk website, it worked perfectly!
$5.99 per 28-ounce bottle. Available at Publix, Sprouts and Whole Foods Market. Get information at malkorganics.com.
Pastene canned tomatoes are worth getting excited about. Chris and Mark Tosi are the fifth generation of the Pastene family to run the company, which was started in 1874 by Pietro Pastene. They use Italian tomatoes, including San Marzano DOP that are certified to have been grown in the Agro Nocerino Sarnese region. And, they also have California-grown tomatoes that are steam-peeled and crushed within hours of being harvested. The crushed tomatoes are labeled “kitchen ready,” and are topped with sweet tomato puree — ready to go into your favorite recipes. The coconut chickpea curry recipe on the Pastene website was a hit. These are the freshest tasting canned tomatoes we’ve tried, and the cans are so pretty that you won’t want to hide them in your pantry.
$2.79-$5.99 per 28-ounce can. Available at Publix and pastene.com.
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