imagine the pasta-bilities

Imagine the Pasta-bilities!

by Lori Murray
Fancy Food & Culinary Products
October 2005 – pages 14-17
Life moves swiftly, and most Americans are simply too busy to cook. At the same time, a more discerning palate leaves the average person unwilling to sacrifice quality and taste – even at the expense of time. While food manufacturers race to find solutions to this dilemma, there is one that already exists, and it continues to grow in popularity. We’re talking about pasta and sauce, of course, that healthy food combo we stole from the Italians.
The good news is that manufacturers are producing quality sauces just like Grandma used to make. While they may be a bit pricier than their mainstream supermarket counterparts, these pastas and sauces deliver a restaurant-quality meal for a lot less money than eating out. They’re quick and easy to fix, and they dispel the myth that jarred sauces are inferior. In addition, these sauces are versatile, and they are increasingly being used in a wide variety of recipes.
We’ve talked with specialty producers to find out what’s new in the pasta/sauce market, and we’re ready to share what we learned about these products. So don your apron and put the water in the kettle for pasta sampling. Get your shoppers ready for an Old-World taste experience that won’t clutter the kitchen.
Made With a Touch of Wine
In the tiny, off-the-beaten-path college town of Athens, Ohio, Jonathan Leal has created a host of sauce masterpieces. Under the umbrella of Milo’s Whole World Gourmet, Leal’s Vino de Milo Gourmet Sauces feature wine and top-quality ingredients as the foundation for all-natural, sugar-free pasta and simmering sauces.
“We have done a ton of research,” says Leal. “There isn’t any company out there now whose entire line is wine-based, and that makes us a good fit with wine stores, as well as high-end specialty food markets with wine selections.”
While the wine is imported from California’s Central Coast region and Trentino, a northeastern province of Italy, the tomatoes are none other than Ohio home-grown. And when it comes to ingredients, everything is fresh. The sauces are sugar-free, low in sodium, contain no saturated fat and have as little as 40 calories per 4-oz. serving.
“These sauces are chunky,” says Leal. “People can see what they are eating. It’s not pureed to the point where you have to take our word for it.” That includes everything from diced tomatoes to chickpeas, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms and more – all with a touch of wine. To top it off, Leal adds fresh herbs at the end, just before the sauce gets put into the jar.
Still, not all of these sauces are meant to be tossed with spaghetti, and Leal knows that. It’s the reason he makes a number of suggestions for using the sauces with fish, chicken and pork. In addition to the 25-oz. jars of gourmet sauces, Leal now markets 13-oz. jars of wine-based simmer sauces, ideal for simmering meats and vegetables.

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