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Ohio’s Own: DeMassimo’s Arrabbiata Sauce

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Ohio’s Own: DeMassimo’s Arrabbiata SaucePhoto by Miriam Abbott
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As a general rule, it’s a good idea to splurge when buying pasta sauce. Sure, you can get it at a big-box grocer for around a dollar, but the red stuff in those bargain jars is typically disappointing at the table: it’s watery, either too sweet or too sour, and somehow, alarmingly absent any distinguishable tomato flavor.  

There are some far better local offerings in the pasta sauce scene. Carfagna’s renditions have long been a personal favorite. DeMassimo’s is maybe a less well-known name, but that’s not for long. What started as a project at the Hilliard Farm Market in 2015 has since blossomed into a full-scale sauce operation that offers its wares in classic, pizza and arrabbiata sauce variations. 

As a bonus, DeMassimo’s follows an all-natural, no-sugar-added mantra. Don’t get me wrong: sugar is awesome, generally speaking. Sugar is great in brownies, cakes and cookies. But it feels like a cheat in tomato products. Reading some pasta sauce labels can make you wonder if you’re just putting red-colored corn syrup on your noodles.  

Happily, there’s no paranoia needed with the DeMassimo’s arrabbiata sauce. “Arrabbiata” translates from Italian as “angry,” so any traditional version of the sauce sports a defined spicy kick. A big 16 oz DeMassimo’s jar delivers lots of pulpy, pureed tomato, held down with parmesan, romano, onions, and a pleasant little spiked burn to keep things interesting. A jar of the arrabbiata sauce runs about $7; the company’s other sauces are closer to $5. Any of these tiny splurges can make a big difference in a meal. 

You can find DeMassimo’s products at local gourmet grocers, but several Kroger and Giant Eagle locations offer the sauce, too. In fact, it just scored a national deal with Fresh Thyme. You can find out more about the company, including a value-added olive oil connection, here: demassimos.com.

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