Pasta and sauce, the staple of rushed weeknight suppers, can be incredibly cheap and simple to prepare. Or not, if you splurge on the sauce. Although price is not always a reflection of quality, with regards to these five tomato gravies, the quality ingredients and balanced textures actually warrant paying up to $10 (!) for a jar.
5. Mario Batali Alfredo Sauce. The best alfredo sauce is the one you make using butter and cream on your own stovetop. The second best is the one made with butter and cream on Mario Batali's "stovetop," i.e., a totally "green" production plant. This dairy-rich sauce laden with parmigiano-reggiano tastes as if it were made in very small batches...which makes it easier to pass as your grandmother's recipe at dinner parties.
4. Rao's Tomato Basil. "Clean" is the first word that comes to mind when you taste this tomato sauce redolent of Italian gardens in high summer. Bloody fresh tomatoes and pungent basil are laced with just a bit of olive oil to create a pure botanical flavor that enlivens simple string noodles such as cappellini or fettuccine. This story continues on the next page.