Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marinelli's - Pasta Sauces

There is something to be said about eye-catching packaging. While walking through my local Whole Foods one day, I saw this really cool box of pasta sauce. It had a face sketched on the box in black and white with spaghetti noodles and sauce hanging out of the mouth in color. Intriguing, to say the least. Then, when I picked up the box and turned it over and saw that they were certified vegan, gluten-free, Kosher, and Non-GMO Project Verified, I had to find out more about them.

The company is Marinelli's and they've been making "True Italian Pasta Sauce" for over 10 years out of Niagara Falls, Ontario.  I know what you are thinking -- there are so many pasta sauces out there. What makes Marinelli's unique? Well, a few things. First, all of their sauces are handmade in small batches from fresh, all natural ingredients. They do not use any artificial colors, flavors or additives. They don't even add any sugar to any of their sauces. And when I say "fresh", I mean fresh -- onions are peeled, diced, and then sauteed in fresh oil, all by hand. The company even roasts and grinds its own black pepper at its facilities. And they only make 950 jars at a time -- hand-numbering each one.

They sent me two of their flavors to try -- the Caramelized Onion Cipollata and the Classic Marinara. Of the two, I think I enjoyed the classic marinara the best.

The marinara just tasted so fresh and balanced as it is made with vine-ripened tomatoes, cold-pressed certified extra virgin olive oil, sauteed Spanish onions, garlic, genovese basil leaf, sea salt, ground black pepper, and chili flakes. They never use frozen, dehydrated, pre-cooked, or pre-processed foods -- just fresh vegetables and you can really tell the difference.

The caramelized onion cipollata was great as well. Made with Spanish onions, it had a light, sweet onion taste in a chunky tomato sauce. I found the flavors of this sauce to be well-balanced as well.

To top it all off, I found out that all of their flavors are vegan!  This includes Marinelli's No Meat Bolognese, Mushroom Soffritto, Sweet Pepperonata Primavera, Roasted Sweet Red Pepper, and Spicy Peperoncino Arrabiatta. Gosh, those sound good! At $10 a jar, the sauces are pricey, but considering that you are getting a very fresh, natural pasta sauce made in small batches, I don't think the price is too high. If only I could find that No Meat Bolognese locally! If you can't find them in your area, you can buy them in packages of six on Amazon here. I'll be keeping a lookout for arrabiatta too -- it sounds so good!


  1. We have just tried the Sweet Pepperonata Primavera. It is absolutely the best canned pasta sauce we have ever eaten. It rivals even speciality restaurants. My husband could not believe that I had not added ingredients to 'doctor it up'. Vegan, kosher, no preservatives, gluten free, etc., all fresh and natural.

  2. Oh, that sounds wonderful! I hope to try that soon! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I just tried the Caramelized Onion and it is the best. I dont usually eat Italian out I always prefer making my own. I have to say this sauce I enjoyed. I bought it in florida, tried it and loved it. I live in maryland. I am going to try whole foods. This is a sauce worth the effort to find.

  4. I just found the entire selection at Roots market-- we bought the no meat bolognese, among others. They happen to be on sale this month too. Looking forward to trying them all out!