Pantry Essential: Rao’s Sauce

Rao's Sauce

If you’ve read any of my earlier blogs, I have, what I think, is a pretty good Sunday Sauce recipe. But let’s face it – we don’t always have time to make a sauce that bubbles all day on the stove.  Sometimes, you have to reach for something from your own pantry – that’s quick and easy.  But typically quick and easy doesn’t equate to yum and delicious.

Well – say hello to Rao’s (pronounced RAY-OH’s) Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce.  It is THE best jarred sauce out there.  Hands down.  It truly tastes like you made this all day long.  Rao’s has a pretty interesting history though.

The first Rao’s restaurant opened in 1896 in New York City – Harlem to be exact.  It’s still there today – although good luck ever getting a table.  It’s tiny and I think you have to know someone who knows someone to be able to get a seat.  Nowadays, Rao’s can be found in Las Vegas and Los Angeles too.

Now, when you see this gem of a product on your supermarket shelf – you may indeed have a little sticker shock.  It ain’t cheap.  A 24 ounce bottle will run you about $8 or more.  But it’s so, so worth it.  Honestly, nothing else out there compares.  There are several varieties – Marinara, Vodka, 4 Cheese, Roasted Garlic, Arrabbiata, Artichoke, Bolognese, Roasted Eggplant, Italian Sausage & Mushroom, Puttanesca and Garden Vegetable. There are even some white varieties – Alfredo and Roasted Garlic Alfredo along with some Pizza sauces. But my recommendation is the Tomato Basil.  Simple and complex at the same time – it will compliment anything you decide to pair with it.

If you have trouble finding it your local store – you can always purchase online at


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A great day for me is preparing great meals for friends and family. I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and also updating classics that I've enjoyed for years. I love to travel and try lots of new cuisines - and wouldn't be anything without the love of my family!

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