MARIO BATALI ARRABBIATA SAUCE
Arecent visit to some of the farmers’ markets in Northern Michigan produced everything I needed to make fresh pasta sauce. We are so fortunate living here with our agricultural diversity and for the next couple of months the harvest is on which bodes well for all sorts of canning projects. Making homemade salsas and tomato sauces are easy and not as time consuming as one might think.
During a recent interview with Chef Mario Batali he emphasized that every “great recipe and meal starts at the store.” He took it a step further about getting the freshest ingredients as possible and knowing where your food comes from. Batali, in addition to being a celebrity chef and owner of several top restaurants, is also a bestselling cookbook author. Many of his cookbooks have an Italian theme with plenty of pasta sauce recipes.
While making homemade pasta sauce is relatively simple, it is not always convenient. Unlike many celebrities who lend their name to just about anything, Mario Batali does not. He is hands-on at all of his restaurants as well as his Italian winery (see Bottoms Up) and so when you see his name on a product, you can expect that it meets his high standards. A few years back he released a collection of Mario Batali Pasta Sauces.
The collection of sauces include Pizza, Marinara, Alla Vodka, Arrabbiata, Cherry Tomato and Tomato Basil. My personal favorite is the Arrabbiata because I like spicy foods and this has some zip to it. The sauce is made with crushed red pepper and San Marzano tomatoes with a nice balance of capers and fresh garlic.
Summer Garden Food Manufacturing, the only Green LEED Certified Manufacturing facility in North America makes Batali’s sauces for him. “These are all natural sauces and made in small batch production to ensure consistent product quality and great taste in every jar. No paste, puree, or sugar is added to any of my sauces making them great options for the health conscious consumer.” The sauces are sold in Northern Michigan; for locations and details check out www. mariobatali.com ---Rick Coates