Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 800 common convenience foods, ingredients, and restaurant selections so that you know what's worth eating - and what's not. View the Index of all Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP has counseled thousands of his patients on healthy, sustainable weight loss. Now he's compiled his best tips and recipes into a six-week plan for you to learn how to eat great food that just happens to be great for you - and if losing weight is your goal, you can do that, too.
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Bottled pasta sauces are actually one of our more favored items to review here at Dr. Gourmet. Even the bad ones are not as terrible as some of the other prepared foods put to the taste test. When we see a new sauce available it is something we jump on and this week we have two new ones for you (one of them is our new favorite).
Monte Bene is a new brand for us and we sampled their Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce. The first thing that caught my eye was the lower sodium content at 240 mg per 1/2 cup serving. This is unusual for pasta sauces, with most coming in at over 300 mg and often over 500 mg per serving.
The flavor does not suffer and the sauce has a pleasant salty taste. The tomato flavor is bright and not too sweet. If the sauce suffers it is from tasting a little thin, without a fully robust tomato flavor. At 40 calories and 2 grams of fiber, this is likely because the sauce is not cooked as long as some, and the more liquid texture than thicker sauces we have tried bears this out.
The Eden Organic Old Italian Spaghetti Sauce does not suffer from this. The sauce is thick and rich even in appearance. The flavor is tomatoey and not too sweet, not too tart. The 70 calories per serving and 5 grams of fiber is an indication that this sauce is more concentrated, and when we tasted it side by side with the Monte Bene that fact really came through.
The best part is that the Eden has no added sodium. None. Having only 10 mg of sodium per 1/2 cup serving elevates this from a really good bottled sauce to a great one. The flavor is less salty but not to the point of being bland. Given that you would likely add some parmesan to your pasta or pizza, your dish would be plenty salty enough and it would have a great, thick, tomato flavor. Eden Organic Old Italian Spaghetti Sauce is now our clear Dr. Gourmet favorite sauce.