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Quick & Easy Meals This Holiday Season With Carmine's Jarred Sauces


Many thanks to Carmine's for these jarred sauces in exchange for a review. All thoughts are my own.

Here in coastal NC, the nights are slightly cooler (well, for about a day, that is) but the days are getting shorter. By the time I get home from work, walk the dog, empty the dishwasher, and take out the trash, its beyond the "what's for dinner" motif we often do. For those of you with kids to shuttle back and forth, evening activities to partake in, it's even worse, right?

Spending your fall nights making complex dinners isn't going to happen! Instead, grab a jar of Carmine's pasta sauce for an easy-peasy meal! With several different sauce types to choose from, there is something to suit every palate and picky eater!

Carmine's sent me three of their sauces to test out: the Vodka, the Marinara, and the Tomato & Basil. I have to admit, I haven't gotten to the Vodka sauce yet, but I can tell you that the Marinara and the Tomato & Basil sauces are absolutely superb!

Wondering who Carmine's is? Where they are located? This family-friendly NYC based restaurant was established in 1990. This wonderful Italian dining establishment provides great recipes for it's diners both in house and at home. 

The Carmine's original sauce is the Marinara sauce. They tell us that it's a sauce just like Grandma made! I honestly can't remember my grandmother making homemade pasta sauces, so I'll take their word for it, but I found this sauce to be absolutely excellent. 

Many jarred pasta sauces set off my acid reflux due to the ingredients included in it to make it shelf stable along with the type of tomatoes used. This one has not so far! It is made up of plum tomatoes, blended oils, basil, parsley, garlic, and salt. There are no preservatives, no gluten, no added sugars in this sauce! 

Marinara sauces have many uses! Carmine's Executive Chef, Glenn Rodnick, suggests that the marinara makes a great red sauce for any pasta dish! Some ideas include spaghetti (or your favorite pasta) sauce, sauce for chicken parm, pizza, and my personal favorite-dipping sauce!

The hardest part of this meal was breading the chicken, which, let's be honest, wasn't that difficult. Since I didn't have Parmesan cheese in my pantry, I opted for a creamy cheese. It went perfect with the rich red marinara!

It is a rich sauce that has great flavor. I didn't find any one note over powering at all. If you love red sauces, you will love Carmine's Marinara! 

Next up is Carmine's Tomato Basil! Personally, this was my favorite sauce to use on pasta. I made veggie pasta and the balance of basil and garlic was absolutely divine, especially as I sopped up the remainder with a piece of bread. This particular sauce isn't thick but it's not too runny. It was super easy to heat up too!

Chef Rodnick suggests using the Tomato Basil as a dipping sauce, which must be why I loved it with my toasted bread so much. No matter whether it's mozzarella sticks or your pasta topping, it's a must do! It also was not acidic and is made with fresh ingredients. 

Personally, I used this sauce as the base for my tomato soup. We had 1 (yes, just one) cold day in which I took advantage and made tomato soup. Using some frozen tomatoes in my freezer and some of this sauce, and some spices, I made a fine and dandy tomato soup that again... was wonderful to eat with a piece of toast. If I had it in the fridge, grilled cheese would've been amazing, but I go out of town in a week and have limited groceries right now!

Finally, I was sent the Vodka sauce. I haven't tried this sauce yet, and normally Vodka sauces aren't typically my favorite,but since the other two haven't disappointed me, I doubt this one will either. It is made with a blend of plum tomatoes, cream, and a splash of vodka. This sauce is rich and creamy. It can be used in so many ways too!

Chef Rodnick suggests grabbing some peas and a half cup of diced ham to this sauce, or perhaps precooked chicken and mushrooms. Personally, that doesn't appeal to me, so I'd probably stick to the more traditional lasagnas, Parmesan bakes, or even meatballs. In fact, check out the provided recipes on the Carmine's website! 

Each jar of Carmine's pasta sauce is family sized, because family meals around the table are important. Each jar offers 32 ounces of perfect sauce to make dinner time easy in your home! Soups, pastas, bakes (Chicken Parmesan is always my favorite, but I know many of you would probably like eggplant Parmesan), or even meatball subs are ways that Carmine's pasta sauces can be used this fall. 

As we head into the holiday season and the crazy of November & December hits, you might be glad to keep a couple of these jars in the pantry for a quick and easy dinner solution. 

Finally, if you are searching for gifts, Carmine's sauces would be perfect! From the college student heading back to their apartment after winter break, to the young family trying to balance childcare, work, and household responsibilities (plus taking care of their health), to the retiree figuring out how to cook light and easy, Carmine's sauce offers a solution!

Be sure to visit Mommy's Block Party's Holiday Gift Guide for more gift-giving inspiration!

Want it? Get it!

Grab your Carmine's sauce from the Carmine's Pantry. Currently, offered: Tomato Basil, Marinara, Vodka, and Fra Diavolo. 

Right now, the sauces are purchased in three packs, which is great, because you can keep one and gift the other two in the upcoming holiday season! Or keep all 3 for emergency dinner nights!

If you find yourself in the NYC area, Carmine's is located in Times Square and the Upper West Side. Other locations include Jersey, DC, the Bahamas, and Vegas!

Follow Carmine's NYC on Facebook & Instagram

Which sauce would you want to try?

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