On tonight’s edition of Fiery Friday, I’m taking a look at something a little different. The name of the game here is Italian Pepper Sauce, by Mom & Me. What makes this stuff so unique is that it’s built like a combination of a pasta sauce and a salsa. The real focus here, though, is the hot banana peppers, which form the centerpiece of Debra Danielsen’s Italian-themed sauce. Rather than simply eat this out of the jar (though I did that too, of course), I whipped up a chicken and noodle dish to give this sauce a chance to shine.
Fresh Vine-Ripened California Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Hot Banana Peppers, Red Onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Chopped Garlic, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Citric Acid, Salt, Basil, Calcium Chloride
Indeed, this has all the makings of a good pasta sauce. You get the tomatoes as the first ingredient to form the base, followed by the peppers and other herbs and spices. No complaints here.
I mentioned earlier that this stuff is like a cross between a pasta sauce and a salsa, and it’s all due to the appearance. Most store-bought pasta sauces are homogenous red liquids. They may have varying degrees of viscosity, but they tend to be blended to the point that you can’t easily pick out specific ingredients. Not so with Mom & Me’s Italian Pepper Sauce, which features huge chunks of banana peppers and onions.
Smell and Taste:
I don’t think I haven’t encountered an Italian-style sauce that smells as fresh as this product. The tomatoes and banana peppers make a wonderful combination. Incidentally, I also don’t think I’ve come across any product that puts the focus on banana peppers. The result is a uniquely sweet and spicy flavor that is quite unlike anything you’ll find on a typical grocery shelf.
Don’t underestimate those banana peppers! By the end of my lunch, my mouth was feeling a pretty good burn, and I didn’t add any other spices to the meal. This sauce gets a Mean from me, as well as a generally surprised look for being so deceptively spicy. What really pleases me, though, is the flavor. To be honest, when I first received this jar from James, I didn’t know what to make of it. After cooking with it, though, I am now a huge fan of Mom & Me. Although the tomato flavor isn’t as thick as you might expect from an Italian-style sauce, the delicious banana peppers more than make up for that. This one gets a Notable from me.
I cooked up a chicken and penne dish and topped it with this sauce, so I can vouch for its utility as a pasta sauce. You could also use it on a pizza, a sandwich, or even an Italian-style burger. Actually, that last one sounds especially delicious, so I’m going to have to try it soon.
Seriously, this is great stuff. If you frequently cook any sort of Italian food, consider taking a break from your normal sauce and giving this one a try.