The secret ingredient is always the most simple...
(AKA TOMATO SAUCE BASE)
If you're familiar with Italian cuisine, you know the importance of a good sauce. And like most things, end results are only as good as the foundation from which it started. Choosing the wrong tomato base when making a homemade sauce can make even the nicest guests stop at McDonalds on the way home... its just science! And even worse, not knowing what to do with a perfectly good sauce can take the enjoyment out of that wonderful aroma coming from the stovetop. When people think tomato sauce, two main things come to mind: pasta and pizza. But what if we told you there were a million different and absolutely delicious ways to cook with your sauce and make meals that you actually may end up wanting more than a slice of pizza or bowl of pasta (we know.. we couldn't believe it either!). We know you have to get to cooking and probably don't have time to go through a million different recipe ideas, so we narrowed down our 8 favourite passata-inspired meals.
TIP: Each of the meal ideas below can be started with our favourite, BENEDETTO Passata. Pick up a jar of this best-seller at your local grocery store and finally experience your M.I.L smile from your cooking.
How could we not start with this classic. There are so many different ways to dress pasta but one of the most common is a good ole tomato sauce. Whether it's on homemade gnocchi, packaged spaghetti, or just the bread you use to scoop up leftover sauce, a classic tomato sauce pairs beautifully overtop any kind of pasta (or carb for that matter).
A slice of heaven. Didn't think pizza could get any better? Think again! Some of the best pizzas in the world attribute their success and flavour from its sauce. You can top your pizza any way you like, the true beauty of the pizza comes from the base. At Italcan, the only way we know how to make pizza is starting with the famous Villa Di Manno Pizza Dough and BENEDETTO Passata overtop. The rest is up to you! (Even if it involves anchovies...)
We'll be the ones to say it... not too many people know how to make polenta the good way. We're here to tell you (unless your Nonna already has), THIS is the only way polenta should be cooked. Smooth, soft, steaming hot and covered in sauce. Essentially - 'Italian mashed potatoes'. This has become a go-to in our families household, as it's fast, easy, and delicious. Not to mention, the second someone mentions it, it starts a whole train of family members begging for Nonna to make polenta for lunch. If you've never had polenta like this, we recommend you stop reading this, go out, buy BENEDETTO Passata, and make this tonight for dinner!
This, quite frankly, is the meatball to our spaghetti in terms of things to make with passata... they go hand-in-hand. Most families have meatball recipes passed down for numerous generations (and everyone swears their families is the best, we know). However, just like pasta, a good meatball recipe can be tarnished by a bad sauce. Want to surprise your family by making that family recipe better (didn't think you could?), use BENEDETTO Passata for your 'polpetti' next time and wait by the pot to hand out seconds!
Whether you're a vegetarian or not, you'll only want to eat eggplant parm for dinner after trying it. There is nothing better than hearing the words 'eggplant parm' when you ask what Nonna's cooking. This cult classic has been around for generations, and rightfully so! The melted cheese, the soft eggplant, the crunchy breadcrumbs, and who could forget the layers and layers of sauce.... mmm! Not feeling veggies today? Any eggplant parm recipe can be substituted with chicken to make a rockin' chicken parm!
ZOODLES IN TOMATO SAUCE
As delicious as pasta can be, its not always the best option health-wise. A lot of people, including us at Italcan, have discovered the world of Zoodles over the last few years. Zoodles (zucchini noodles/spirals) has replaced pasta for many households... okay maybe not ours, but definitely some people! Those being health conscience or with allergy restrictions, like celiac disease, have adopted the 'zoodle lifestyle'. Zoodles pair perfectly with all different kinds of traditional (and non-traditional) pasta toppings. Our favourite being a classic tomato sauce, made with BENEDETTO Passata. Feeling fancy? Top off your bowl with a scoop or two of fresh ricotta and a sprinkle of salt... you can thank us later!
Don't let Disney fool you, this classic French dish is way more than a movie about a lovable chef rat. For those of you not familiar with this dish, it features many thin slivers of vegetables (sometimes thick chucks if you're feeling lazy), layered in a spiral pattern overtop of tomato sauce. Typically, the vegetables included in a traditional ratatouille are eggplant, tomato slices, bell peppers, summer squash, onions, and zucchini slices. But you are the master in your own kitchen.. for the most part. The main thing you have to remember with this dish is flavour. Each flavour profile works so well together that they named a movie after it? Crazy, right! Psst... Want to know what Remy's secret was? BENEDETTO Passata.
It's time to put some 'shak' in your 'shuka'. This Mediterranean dish is a personal breakfast favourite of mine. Shakshuka is a simple dish made of gently poached eggs in a delicious chunky tomato and bell pepper sauce. Said to have originated in Tunisia, this breakfast recipe is popular in many parts of North Africa and the Middle East. It is so satisfying, you can serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There are so many different variations of Shakshuka that you need to try, from halloumi shakshuka to chorizo shakshuka, and everything in between. The best part of the whole dish? The amount of hot leftover tomato and red pepper sauce for dipping your pita in... yum!
Still looking for more ideas? It's time to go pick up a jar of BENEDETTO Passata and get creative!
Remember, the only wrong way to make sauce is not using BENEDETTO.