Mama Mia-I Love this Tomato Sauce!
Anyone who knows me knows I can’t sing enough praises about Dell’ Amore tomato sauce. “Born in Italy, Made in Vermont,” this premium marinara sauce is as close to homemade Italian “gravy” as you will get. Years ago, I was introduced to one of the owners, Frank Dell’ Amore after I contacted the family-run company to let them know that, as a registered dietitian, I loved that their sauce was low in salt and tasted great. Frank called me back personally to thank me for my feedback. Seriously, what CEO does that?!
Since then, he and I have stayed in contact and he even attended a Massachusetts dietitians’ meeting so he could spread the word to my colleagues about his sauce. He brought along his (Dean Martin) singing mascot, which I commandeered for this photo-op. The “Amore” tune certainly draws a crowd, but the aromatic wafts of the simmering sauce was truly its allure.
I decided to visit the Dell’ Amore plant, a mere 250 miles away from Boston. I took a side trip to cruise Lake Champlain while I was there; this is as close as I got to Vermont’s infamous Loch Ness Monster, “Champ,” but I swear I spotted something bobbing in the wakes of the lake!
While the business has been around since 1986, their tomato sauce recipe has been a family tradition since 1895. Their grandmother Filomena’s recipe arrived in the states when she emigrated from Italy in 1924. Her picture proudly dons each bottle but an oil painting of her also hangs over the production line, so I guess you can say she still oversees the preparation of her cherished recipe.
With hairnet and earplugs in place, I observed the assembly line while I was there. The tomato sauce, made in small batches, cooks in a large vat and is ready to be bottled when it reaches the desired temperature, which is carefully monitored. Frank and his two sons, Turi and Anthony, accompany their employees on the line to ensure quality control and exemplify teamwork.At the end of the conveyor belt, labels are mechanically put on the jars. One by one, they are manually turned upside down in order to form a vacuum seal, and are set aside to cool.
They are recognized as a premium sauce, so they cost a little more than some of the other (grocery store) sauces, but there is no comparison of price in my book when it comes to quality, taste, and good health. There’s a store locator feature on their website or you can order online. They are also located at Costco in two-packs (I buy four at a time!). They also have pizza sauce if you are twirling your own dough in your kitchen!
Frank recommends that once you open a jar, use the sauce within one week or freeze the rest. After a very long ride home, I needed an easy meal. I added a jar of their Sweet Basil and Garlic sauce (thanks for the complimentary jars, Frank!) to whole grain pasta, steamed asparagus, and chicken tenderloins to make a quick and delicious cacciatore.
To quote every Italian that I have ever met, “Mangia! Mangia!” And the best part is, you don’t have to travel thousands of miles to Italy to enjoy it…. Filomena already did that leg of the journey for you!
Check out their website at www.dellamore.com.