I used to be able to say, "I've never used jarred sauce", as in Ragu, Prego, etc. Unfortunately, I can no longer utter those words.
Since being in the truck, I've made vodka sauce and marinara from scratch as I always have, but I've also resorted to buying a few pasta sauces in a jar. So far my favorites are from Bertolli. I've tried Tomato & Basil (fresh, slightly chunky and you can taste the basil as if you added it yourself), Mushroom Alfredo with Portobello Mushrooms (nice mushroom flavor and the cream was not too thick or cheesy), Italian Sausage, Garlic & Romano and the Five Cheese with Asiago and Fontina Cheeses (ohhhh, so delicious!). Barilla makes some also, which I thought I'd try because I always buy their pasta; the Three Cheese is the first one I tried and it wasn't too bad.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my sister-in-law ROCKS the lasagna. Surprisingly, she does it using a jarred sauce. Tonight I called to tell her that I've found some decent jarred sauces and wanted to share the brand names with her. She was all, "Ohhhh, so you've finally crossed over to the white side, huh?" The "white side" being a reference to her being a white girl and not an Italian.
Believe me, she's held up pretty damn well in an Italian family. She was the first white girl in the family since my brother was the first one to marry a non-Italian. She bore the brunt hearing more times than one can count, "What? You use jarred sauce???"
She's since shut us up on many occassions by making macaroni and cheese so rich it'll land you in a hospital, linguini with white clam sauce that puts my stepfather under a spell and the aforementioned lasagna. She's pretty safe though; since she's not Italian, no one will be smacking her in the side of the head with a soppressata upon learning of her jarred sauce usage.
When I first told my brother about the sauces I've discovered, he said "The Italian Police don't care about some wayward Italian making a jarred sauce in her truck. It's not likely that they'll find you." He hesitated, then said, "But I wouldn't tell anyone about it if I were you."
I told my sister-in-law to keep it to herself, that I'd "come out" in due time. I've already come out to my mother and now that my brother knows I'll slowly tell others in the family as I come to trust they won't crucify me upon hearing it.
I never thought I'd say this, but thank God my father has already passed. His heart would have never been able to handle this revelation.