As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, a heavy box holding two new sauces from Bertolli arrived at our house: Four Cheese Rosa and Arrabbiata. It arrived at a very fortuitous time, as I hadn’t gone grocery shopping in weeks and we were running out of easy-to-prepare meats from the freezer. I pulled out a dozen shrimp, set them to defrost, and then started rummaging through the fridge for some veggie nutrition (because while you can just eat pasta and cheesy sauce, it’s probably not very healthy). I found a zucchini, an onion, and leftover mushrooms/spinach/bok choy from a previous shabu shabu at home meal.
Travis picked the Four Cheese sauce as the one to try, even though I am very wary of jarred cheese sauces. However, looking at the ingredients, it’s really an impressive list. No preservatives (at least, none that aren’t pronounceable), real cream, tomatoes, and cheese, and it all sounded quite wholesome. I actually had to re-read the label to see if I was trying out some new organic version or something (nope – just plain Bertolli getting all tasty).
A pot of water was set out to boil, the veggies got chopped and sautéed with olive oil and garlic, and the shrimp got dusted with cornstarch (I’ve abandoned using flour unless we’re doing the flour-egg-flour breading). Once I had a large pan nice and hot with olive oil, the shrimp were added for a few minutes then flipped. I’ve learned to remove the shrimp from the pan when the very middle of the deveined area looks translucent. They usually continue to cook as I plate our dinner and by the time we’re eating them they’re just right. I say usually, because sometimes we have really jumbo shrimp and those are too large to cook all the way with residual heat. And eating half-cooked shrimp is not pleasant. The cornstarch makes the outsides really light and crisp and they don’t get as gummy as just using flour would.
Once the pasta was cooked, I drained it, tossed it with the veggies, and mixed in half the bottle of Four Cheese Rosa. On top of the pasta, I placed six shrimp, all golden brown and crispy, and then we sat down to eat. In front of the tv, which is how we manage to actually watch any of the shows on the DVR.
I have to admit, I was pretty wary of this sauce, but it was really good! Nice and cheesy, but not too rich with the hint of tomatoes, and it tasted like real food. No funny textures or plastic flavors or anything! I’m really glad I got to try it, because now I’m not so scared of jarred sauce (at least, this one from Bertolli).
This one meal left us with enough leftovers for lunch a couple days later, plus the other half of the jar was mixed into cooked ground turkey and onions (and another zucchini) and scooped over quinoa for dinner the next week. I think that’s a pretty good value for a jar of sauce! I’m looking forward to trying the Arrabbiata sauce… maybe over some chicken.