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Ohio’s Own: Carfagna’s Pasta Sauce

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Ohio’s Own: Carfagna’s Pasta Sauce
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Carfagna’s pasta sauce is the sort of thing that could make a dedicated food fan feel stupid.

Afterall, Carfagna’s market has been around for a long time— something like seventy-five years. It’s also been making jarred marinara sauce for a long time (although not seventy-five years). So, discovering it only in 2014 makes it feel as though someone (cough, cough) is a little late to the party.

Now that Carfagna’s sauces have been occupying displays at local groovy groceries and even a few Kroger stores, they’re harder to miss. That helps. Moreover, the sauce blows every other pasta sauce right out of the water. Trader Joe’s, Ragu, Prego: they can’t even play on the same field as Carfagna’s.

Consider the Carfagna’s sauce called “The Sicilian”. According to the label, it’s made with baby portabella mushrooms and roasted red peppers. That’s an encouraging start. Open the jar, and find not just the promised ingredients, but lots of them . . . and in sizable chunks that can be truly appreciated. The peppers and mushroom slices stew in flavorful, pulverized tomatoes that still have a distinctive tomatoey texture -nothing like the goopy-gloopy, sour versions made by big label competitors. Stuff like garlic, parsley and basil give the mix a little extra depth.

This is how good the sauce is: it’s lunch. Lunch without the noodles. The back of the Carfagna’s jar says that eating the whole thing with a spoon delivers 570 calories, 80% of the US RDA for vitamin A, 40% for vitamin C, and about 50% of the day’s iron. That sounds pretty darn impressive to me.

And since lunch should have a little variety, it’s worth knowing that Cargagna’s makes several flavors of its sauces. There’s also an original version, a vodka sauce, Pootaneska (hot), and one called Pomodoro Basilico with chunks of tomatoes.

So forget the pasta, get a jar, get a spoon and dig in.

For more info, visit www.carfagnas.com.

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