This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Ragu.
Keep reading to find out how to win a $100 Visa Card!
Keep reading to find out how to win a $100 Visa Card!
My family loves tomatoes, and there's nothing like a simple, fresh red sauce on pasta al dente. But I don't always have the time or energy to make it all from scratch. So one pantry staple I cannot live without is jarred pasta sauce. I recently participated in a BlogHer review of Ragu pasta sauces, and I have to say it's great to know that I don't have to sacrifice convenience to feed my family well. According to their website, half a cup of Ragu's red sauces contain a full serving of vegetables. And unlike many jarred foods, these sauces have no additives or preservatives. All those delicious, healthy tomatoes already peeled, seeded, sauteed and simmered for you -- what's not to love?
We were sent several varieties of Ragu pasta sauce -- Ragu Old World Style Sweet Tomato Basil, Ragu Old World Style Margherita, Ragu Alfredo, and Ragu Pizza Sauce-- and invited to try some of the recipes on Ragu.com.
The combination of nutrition, taste, cost and convenience makes Ragu sauces hard to beat. When I'm out of time/inspiration/money, I just pour them on hot pasta, and they taste great all by themselves. They also make a great base sauce for more labor-intensive recipes! And speaking of recipes, I definitely recommend the ones we tried from Ragu.com. Here are three recipes that we really enjoyed:
Upside Down Deep Dish Pizza
When I opened the oven and the kids saw this dish, they howled in disappointment. This is NOT pizza, it's a yucky casserole! But I'm not called Mom for nothing -- our rule is that everyone has to try everything once. I know what they like, and I was right. I am not gracious in victory: I thoroughly enjoy telling my kids, "I told you so". Even if I hadn't forced them to admit how yummy it was, I could tell they loved it by the way they were wolfing it down. When I confessed that there was spinach mixed in with the beef, they merely shrugged and kept on eating. The spinach really does go well with the ground beef and Ragu sauce (I did add a bit more cheese than the recipe called for, but the taste of beef and spinach still came out loud and clear). And the next day, we all fought over the leftovers. This is definitely a keeper!
This must be one of the highest ROI -- return on investment -- recipes ever. In plain English, I get a delicious pasta dish that my kids will devour for practically zero effort! This is pretty much our We-just-got-home-from-soccer-practice-and-Good-Grief-is-that-the-time-I-need-to-make-dinner! staple. It is beyond easy to prepare . No penne pasta in the cupboard? No problem. We substituted cheese tortellini. Kids hate pepperoni? Use sausages instead! The one must-have, in my opinion, is the basil. Forget the "optional" note in the recipe -- this is what really makes the dish. You only need a few leaves to enhance the basil that's already in the Ragu Margherita sauce. And if you use fresh basil leaves, fresh mozarella and high-quality pepperoni, I swear the result is as good as any you get from your local pasta joint.
Double Topped Mushroom Pizza
This is another high-ROI recipe, especially since you don't make the pizza dough yourself (Although you could if you really wanted to. As for me, I consider yeast a live animal and don't particularly want to work with it, so I was happy to use a prebaked crust). This is another time-crunch standby in our household. Olives are Jammy's favorite vegetable, and we all love mushrooms, so this recipe is right up our alley . But I've never used green onions to top a homemade pizza before, and I have to say they were a surprisingly delicious touch! And I'm proud to say that none of my kids felt it necessary to pick out ANY of the toppings before they shoved the pizza into their mouths.
You can find all three recipes online at Ragu.com. And be sure to visit Ragu.com for even more kid-friendly recipes, healthy tips and more.
This is one of those rare reviews where I have nothing to write in the Blah section. Unless.... hmmmm..... it sucks that I ate way more than I should have?
The Bottom Line
Ragu pasta sauce -- delicious, nutritious, budget-friendly and oh-so-easy! Like I need any more reasons to make it a pantry staple in our household?
Win it! One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will be selected to win a $100 Visa gift card! To enter, head on over to the Ragu recipe page and select the recipe that you'd most love to try. Leave me a comment below and tell me which recipe you chose. Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following (please leave a separate comment for each extra entry):
1) Grab my button -- it's on the left hand sidebar, or click here to get it -- and post it on your blog! (leave a comment here with a link to your site).
2) Blog about this giveaway and link to this giveaway on your blog post (leave a comment with a link to your blog post).
3) Tweet this giveaway (leave a comment with a link to your tweet). Here is a sample tweet you can copy and paste:
Win a $100 Visa giftcard from @bonggafinds and Ragu http://tinyurl.com/yc7xp3x
* The contest will begin at 10/1/2009 and will end 11/11/2009.
* No duplicate comments. Maximum of 4 entries per person.
* This giveaway is open to US-residents, aged 18 and over.
* Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
* You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the BlogHer Reviewers' Ragu meals - you have 10 chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Good luck!
I received a product sample and monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.