Discover Homemade Italian Flavor Right On Your Grocer’s Shelf [VIDEOS]
Visitors to my home are frequently surprised to find an absence of prepared foods when they look in my pantry. But after a recent trip to the grocery store, that suddenly changed when I discovered a new brand of Italian products called Bove's.
Foodie that I am, I nearly always make my own homemade pasta sauce. But occasionally, I'm just too tired to throw together my simple marinara and will grab a jar of high end sauce instead. In the past, Rao's has always been my go-to sauce brand because I have fond memories of going to the restaurant in New York City when I lived there in the early 90s. But a few weeks ago while shopping at Shaw's, I stumbled across Bove's Vodka Sauce, a brand I'd never heard of.
What made me try Bove's when my wife and I always try to make everything from scratch? My initial purchase was based on the fact that I could pronounce every ingredient listed on the label. Bove's, like us, works diligently to make healthy foods with nutritious ingredients that are packed with homemade flavor. Those are rare characteristics to find in a store bought item these days. (Although it's also the same reason we don't go out to eat all that often.) Most foods just seldom measure up to our demand for quality.
The real kicker was when I took that jar of vodka sauce home and made dinner. The aroma that filled my kitchen overwhelmed me and took me back to the days when our friends Simona and Claudia used to invite us over for dinner for traditional Italian meals they learned to make growing up in Tuscany. My mouth started to water immediately. And when I took that first bite, well oh my goodness, my eyes rolled back in my head with unexpected bliss! The simplicity of Bove's product held all the rich, creamy goodness I look for in a vodka sauce, and believe me when I tell you, it was love at first bite.
In fact, I loved the product so much, I sat down at my computer as soon as I finished eating because I wanted to send my compliments to the company. I soon discovered that Bove's is more than a pasta sauce company like Barilla, it is a restaurant in Burlington, Vermont with a rich 70 year history. They opened in December 1941 and quickly became a staple of the community, dishing up yummy eats at low prices.
Now the company is run by the third generation of the Bove family. Mark Bove, one of the owners, quickly responded to my email praising his sauce, and told me that the company also sells frozen lasagna and meatballs, which I have since tried. Each are handmade, not machine made, before being packaged and sent out to stores like Shaw's and Market Basket. Again, I'm picky on my lasagna, but these products are an awesome alternative to making them yourself, and put other frozen brands to shame.
So if you haven't tried Bove's before, I can't recommend it enough. Mark's kept the prices low and the quality high. Perhaps after trying Bove's yourself you'll feel as I did when I first wrote Mark and said, "Leave the light on at the restaurant. We'll be up soon!" Now if only it would stop snowing so I can make the drive!
In the meantime, Mark shows you how to make his lasagna above. And below, you can watch where Bobby Flay challenged him to a throw down on the Food Network. You can also get Mark's recipe for lasagna here.