I’ve recently developed an obsession with Mezzetta products. I want to try every single one of their products, except for the cocktail onions (yuck!). They tout themselves as “the leading producer of glass-packed peppers, olives, and specialty foods in the United States” on their website. My obsession began when Albertson’s had them on sale at 2 for $3. I bought the Peperoncini Slices, Hot Jalapeno Slices, and Roasted Red Bell Peppers. Initially, I wasn’t going to try the jalapenos, but I’ve had a craving for pickled jalapenos. I haven’t used the bell peppers yet, but I love the peperoncini and jalapeno slices. They are crisp, flavorful, and pack the right amount of heat. The jalapenos also come in a “tamed” variety, which is a hybrid of jalapeno and bell pepper, developed for the company by Texas A & M University.
It turns out that Mezzetta is not limited to jarred condiments, but produces pasta sauces as well. Their sauce is on the high end of the pasta sauce spectrum at about $6 a jar! I don’t like to pay above $3 for jarred pasta sauce, so I was only able to try it when Sun Harvest had them on sale at buy one get one free. I was blown away by the flavor. It was just as good as Rao’s sauces (sold at most grocery stores in El Paso, also priced at $6-8 a jar), which is one of my favorites thanks to Cooking Light’s Pasta Sauce Taste Test article. Both brands of sauce have a heartiness that cheaper sauces don’t come close to providing.
I purchased Mezzetta’s Porcini Mushroom and Tomato Basil sauces. The Porcini sauce was intense! It was rich from the extra-virgin olive oil and earthy from the mushrooms. The sauce combines locally grown (Napa Valley) porcini, champignon, and portabella mushrooms in this voluptuous marinara. I didn’t use all of the sauce for my pasta, so I decided to make a quick soup for lunch (recipe follows). The tomato basil was also amazing, but I didn’t think it had much basil flavor. The only negative aspect of Mezzetta sauces is the sodium content. A half cup serving ranges from 500-560 mg of sodium. Their sauces are so good, I just might shell out $6 to try all 8 flavors (except for Puttanesca of course, it has anchovies).
Quick Creamy Tomato Soup for One
Jarred pasta sauce is my secret to a great minestrone, so it made perfect sense to turn this sauce into a quick and delicious soup.
½ cup Mezzetta Porcini Mushroom sauce (or any other pasta sauce)
¼-½ cup water
1-4 tsp. half & half (or any type of milk)
Combine sauce, milk, and enough water to your desired consistency. Heat over a stove or microwave for about 1 minute. That’s it! Garnish with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.