This "iconic" jarred pasta sauce may be better than homemade.

The supermarket tomato sauce has gone a long way. I grew up in a strongly Southern Italian/Sicilian neighborhood of New York where everyone seemed to have their own family recipe for tomato sauce.

Contrary to what household icon Ina Garten claims, store-bought was not acceptable.

The distinctive sauces of Vincent's Clam Bar are more reddish orange than crimson, with a smokier, sun-dried tomato sweetness due to its tomato paste foundation.

They're smooth, silky, and concentrated — more like a taste bud-coating, satiny tomato gravy, Marisi says — and are ideal for covering and clinging to fish, as intended.

The original trio lacks tomato pieces and visible herbs, in contrast to Vincent's other, more classic plum tomato-based sauces.

 You'll notice a silky, mild heat that sneaks in at the back of the bite, due to a technique in which red pepper flakes are sautéed in oil and gradually added in increments.

As a result, it has a distinct flavor profile and texture that has earned a devoted following among those who are familiar with it.

The most obvious way is to drench mussels, scungilli, clams, and calamari in it, whether individually or all together as a frutti di mare — how Vincent’s originally intended.  

This can be with or without pasta, which is the second-most obvious way to use this sauce. 

I also literally beef it up with Pound of Ground beef crumbles or use thin-skinned cheese-stuffed pastas like Woodstock Organic Four Cheese Tortellini for a no-thaw meal in minutes. 

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