Sunday, July 31, 2016

Uncle Steve's Italian Specialty Sauces + Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

For me, the path to a healthy lifestyle is paved with nutrition education. As many of you know, my health and fitness journey began on May 18, 2016 and since then, I've learned so much about the food that I put into my body. Watching what I eat has been both educational and exciting, in part because I've tried so many different delicious foods.

Lately, I've been on a vegetable kick and my cravings include soups and salads. I recently had the opportunity to try a new line of organic tomato sauces—Uncle Steve's Italian Specialties—and I was super impressed! Today, I'm really excited to share my opinion on these sauces, as well as a flavorful tomato basil soup recipe.

* Product and/or service provided for review without cost. As always, all opinions are my own.

In my experience, typical store-bought tomato sauces are thin, runny, and void of any actual tomato chunks. A lot of times, they're also packed with extra sugar and lots of genetically modified ingredients. Fortunately, that was not the case with Uncle Steve's sauce!

In fact, Uncle Steve's Italian Specialty Sauces are USDA-Certified Organic. Each jar is made right here in the United States with small batches of imported organic Italian plum tomatoes, vegetables, and spices. All of these sauces are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and paleo approved. There are no added sugars, no GMOs, no pesticides, and nothing artificial. With these sauces, you can be sure that you're feeding your family the best.

I was super impressed with the appearance and texture of the sauce. The color is red and vibrant and the sauce is actually chunky and contains pieces of peeled tomatoes. Of course, the flavor of each of these sauces is delicious; they're rich and super versatile, so you can use them in so many different recipes.

This line of sauces was created by Steve Schirripa—you probably know him best as Bobby Baccalieri from The Sopranos. Since the show, he has become a best-selling author for the New York Times. In his book, "A Goomba's Guide to Life," he discusses growing up in Brooklyn, recipes, and more.

He can also add creating delicious, organic tomato sauces to his list of accomplishments!

I received three different sauces to try: Uncle Steve's Arrabiata Sauce, Uncle Steve's Tomato Basil Sauce, and Uncle Steve's Marinara. I've discussed each sauce in detail below, including nutrition facts, ingredients, and recipe ideas.

Uncle Steve's Arrabiata Sauce

Arrabbiata sauce, or sugo all'arrabbiata in Italian, is a spicy pasta sauce made with garlic, tomatoes, and chili peppers cooked in olive oil. The term "arrabbiata" literally translates to "angry" in Italian. It's used in the name of sauces in reference to the kick, or spiciness, of the peppers.

INGREDIENTS: Organic imported Italian whole peeled tomatoes, organic fresh onions, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic fresh garlic, sea salt, organic fresh basil, organic crushed red pepper, organic black pepper

Recipe Ideas
Arrabbiata sauces are usually served with penne and grated Percorino Romano cheese. You can use it in different dishes, however, depending on your preference. I tried the Uncle Steve's Arrabbiata Sauce with a pound of meatballs. I just threw the meatballs in a slow cooker with a jar of the sauce. I put the cooked meatballs on a toasted roll and topped it with provolone. Delizioso!

Uncle Steve's Tomato Basil Sauce

This tomato basil sauce contains lots of organic fresh basil for an aromatic dish that's sweet, savory, and slightly peppery. Basil pairs extremely well with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil, so it is frequently found in pasta sauces.

Quick Tip: If you're using fresh basil in a dish with this sauce, it's best to tear it so that the metal from your knife doesn't alter the taste.

INGREDIENTS: Organic imported Italian whole peeled tomatoes, organic fresh onions, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic fresh garlic, organic fresh basil, sea salt, organic black pepper

Recipe Ideas
Tomato basil sauce is perfect for tomato soups, spaghetti, and other pasta dishes. It also pairs well with ciabatta or Bruschetta and topped with cheese!

Check out the Tomato Basil Soup recipe at the end of this post!

Uncle Steve's Marinara Sauce

Marinara is super versatile, and most people in the United States think of mozzarella sticks when someone mentions this highly seasoned tomato sauce. Truth is, marinara can be used for so much more than just a dipping sauce!

Quick Tip: Jazz up your marinara by adding pine nuts and fried mushrooms!

INGREDIENTS: Organic imported Italian whole peeled tomatoes, organic fresh onions, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic fresh garlic, sea salt, organic fresh basil, organic black pepper

Recipe Ideas
Marinara pairs very well with stuffed tomatoes or stuffed peppers (add cooked meat and veggies to the sauce, simmer, bake in the oven, and then top with freshly grated cheese). Baked goat cheese baked on top of marinara with toasted bruschetta for dipping makes a tasty appetizer.

Each jar of Uncle Steve's sauce contains 25 ounces and costs $7.99. Uncle Steve's line of Italian Specialty Sauces can be found in the organic section of Stop & Shop, Giant, Martin's and Shaws. In Ohio, you can find it at Jungle Jim's and Albertson's. I've also seen it sold online at and of course, on the Uncle Steve's website

Needless to say, these sauces can go a long way in a kitchen pantry. Whether you're whipping up a meal for yourself or the whole family, Uncle Steve's sauces can be used in so many different savory dishes. Check out one of Uncle Steve's delicious tomato basil soup recipes below!

Organic Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

The printable version of this recipe is at the end of this post.

This is a rich, savory, aromatic dish that's perfect for a cool, fall night. Serve it with baked goat cheese and bruschetta for dipping, and you have yourself a meal! The soup itself is super simple and can be thrown together within five minutes.

You will need:

  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Uncle Steve's Tomato Basil sauce
  • 4 Tbsp heavy cream or almond milk
  • Basil leaves for garnish (optional)

To start, pour your sauce into a medium sauce pan and then add your broth.

Whisk together over medium-high heat for about three minutes, or until heated through.

Turn off the heat and then add in your cream. Whisk it all together until it's nice and hot.

Seriously—that's it. Just pour it into two bowls (makes two servings) and add basil leaves or dried parsley for garnish.

If you liked this recipe, don't forget to pin it (just hover over the image and then click "Save") so you can make it later!

Printable Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

print recipe

Uncle Steve's Tomato Basil Soup
A rich, savory tomato soup recipe that pairs well with baked goat cheese and bruschetta.
  • 2 cups Uncle Steve's Tomato Basil Sauce
  • 1 cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 4 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream or Almond Milk
  • Basil Leaves
Heat up tomato sauce over medium-high heat.Add in broth and whisk together for about 3 minutes, or until heated through.Remove from heat and add in cream or almond milk.Pour into two bowls and garnish with basil leaves.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 Servings

Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

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