A good marinara is hard to find. A good marinara – in a jar – is even harder to find. The ingredients aren’t complicated – tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and herbs are the base of just about every marinara recipe. This simple tomato sauce should be good enough to eat on its own but also serve as the building block for other sauces, like vodka sauce or clam sauce. In my opinion, you should also be able to crack open a good jar of marinara and use it, without making any adjustments, in a lasagna or baked ziti.
The first thing I did was check the jar. The label on the front states that the sauce is ‘All Natural’. Labeling like this generally makes me wary of the product. I mean, what does ‘All Natural’ mean?
Then I looked at the label on the back of the jar and I couldn’t believe my eyes!
Just in case you can’t read it, the ingredient list is “USA grown, GMO free Canned Tomatoes (Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, salt, naturally derived citric acid), onion (fresh), olive oil (pure, imported), water, garlic (fresh), dried basil (organic, fair trade), dried parsley (organic, fair trade), ground black pepper, pure cane sugar (organic, fair trade). Naturally Derived Citric Acid.”
Okay, so now I’m getting really excited. (Yeah, I know. I don’t get out much.) The plan? Serve Meesh’s Marinara over angel hair pasta with the pork cutlets and pea shoots I had already planned to make.
For the record, I am in no way affiliated with Meesh’s Marinara company and received no compensation for this post. Here is our honest opinion of Meesh’s Marinara.
- Consistency – this is not a smooth sauce. It has chunks of tomato, onions and garlic. We all agreed that it reminded us of a ‘fresh’ sauce.
- Acidity – a common complaint that I have is that a lot of marinara sauces from a jar are acidic. Mark often gets heartburn after eating marinara and he didn’t with this. It wasn’t too sweet either. Just right.
- Salt – here is where we had a difference of opinion. Justin and I thought that it was just right. Mark thought it needed more salt. We all agreed that this is not a deal breaker. If you want more salt, just add it!
- Overall impression – Again, we all agreed that it tasted like a sauce made with fresh tomatoes. Like a quick summer tomato sauce. (Not sure if that makes any sense.) I think that if you like a more ‘cooked’ flavor, you could just keep cooking it, and even blend it if you really want a smooth sauce and that speaks to the versatility of marinara sauce. The three of us give Meesh’s Marinara a thumbs up. Extra points for their mission “to support . . . local farms and businesses as much as possible.”
We enjoyed Meesh’s Marinara “Original” but the sauce is also available with no sugar/no salt and no salt/low sugar. You can buy Meesh’s Marinara at these locations in New York’s Capital District or online. Individual 25 ounce jars are $6; 3 packs are $17.25; 6 packs are $33; 12 packs are $60.