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Mar 3, 2007 06:11 AM

Prepared Pasta Sauce ... WHY???

While I understand the convenience of buying pasta sauce in a jar to prepare a meal in a pinch, what I don't understand is why so many people do it regularly. Making a great pasta sauce is not rocket science, and, if it's a meatless sauce you want, it doesn't take long to prepare or cook, either. Furthermore, sauce can be made in quantity and frozen in smaller portions, so it's convenient and far less costly than the "celebrity" brands -- Rao's, Patsy's, etc. Can someone explain to me why you buy the prepared stuff?

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  1. Marketing maybe? Some might say laziness... but I'm inclined to say ignorance of how easy and how much better home prepared stuff is.

    Heck, I can't understand why people buy tubs of mashed potatoes either

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jimmy Buffet

      I actually didn't know that making pasta sauce was even an option (not to mention straightforward). Basically, if you wanted pasta, you'd buy noodles and jarred sauce - that was just the way it was. I never even thought to make my own. I can imagine this is the case for a lot of people.

    2. I buy Cento sauces for $3.99. The cost breakdown of putting together San Marzano tomatos, evo, basil, etc. for an equivalent home sauce would not be much less - if at all (certainly not "far less costly") - and it heats up while the pasta's cooking, which is very convenient for a working couple. We like to cook on weekends, and have made our own marinara sauce on occasion, but Cento's price is reasonable, the product is excellent (as good as any we've made or had elsewhere - and we've eaten a lot of red sauce over the decades), and the convenience is unbeatable.

      It's not marketing and it's not laziness - and I daresay it's not ignorance (which is a condescending remark, to say the least). It's a great sauce at a fair price. Simple as that.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Striver

        I fully agree with the Cento sauce. Am I less of a "foodie" because I open a jar rather than a can of tomatoes ? Give me a break ! I'll put up my Cento based sauce (to wich I add a few ingredients up against any "homemade" anyday. It's not about time, it's about the quality of the ingredients, the value (I pay $2.99 when it is on sale), and most importantly, the taste.

        1. re: Striver

          Where can I find Cento tomato sauce by the way? I live in Westchester County, but anywhere in the NYC area is fine.

          1. re: jeanki

            Fairway. The Harlem branch is the one I shop at; there's a rack of Cento products in the pasta section.

        2. The same reason peolple buy salad in a bag, pre cut up veggies, cans of soup...too busy or too lazy to cook real food I guess.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Eric in NJ

            I'm curious about your terminology - what exactly is not "real" about pre-cut vegetables? Does that also mean that a container of fresh-squeezed orange juice is not real because you didn't squeeze the oranges? Or how about buying a loaf of bread from a bakery - is that loaf not "real" because you didn't bake it yourself?

            Actually, if you make your own sauce, you generally use canned or store-bought tomatos, jarred or canned olive oil, and sometimes canned tomato paste - none of which you made/grew/canned or otherwise prepared yourself. So is that "homemade" sauce not real? We used to buy marinara sauce from a small grocery where the owners grew their own tomatos and basil and made a sauce which they sold in the store (they did use imported olive oil). How "real" was that?

            1. re: Striver

              I agree with Striver on this one. My sister is always giving me grief because she see me use bottled sauce on ocassion. She claims her family only eats homemade sauce. I shoot back at her, "Oh yeah, opening that can of tomatoes really makes it homemade!"

              1. re: Eric in NJ

                Add me to the "what's not real about cut up veggies" camp. Unless you plow the field, pick the ingredients, milk the cow and cook the meal someone has help in the food chain from plant to tongue.

                Does that mean going out to dinner is lazy, someone else prepared the food. And i betcha you will find some cans and paper cartons in those restos as well.

              2. I buy a jar once in a while so my Husband can/will actually cook dinner (not order take-out!) when I'm sick/late/out of town. Other than that? It's not in our house. I buy cans of tomatoes when they're on sale, and boxes at the farmers market from a vendor who will sell them to me by the bushel v. pound. The latter are blanched and frozen for later sauce-making... sometimes I make sauce at the time, depends on how much time I have.

                1. Some days I make my own pasta from scratch and sauce from home grown tomatoes and basil. Some days I'm too tired to pull out a cutting board and chop everything and clean so I open a can and a box of pasta. Some days I'm even too tired to even do that and we order pizza.

                  1 Reply