This is a compensated review from Ragu and BlogHer.
A few weeks ago, I got a delivery box full of bubble wrap, packing peanuts (which my children proceeded to dump on the floor multiple times!), and several jars of Ragu sauce.
Armed with my jars and several recipes from Ragu’s website, I headed to my kitchen.
Wait a minute. Scratch that…the “my kitchen” part.
I actually packed up several Ragu jars along with the rest of our vacation supplies and drove them down to the beach, where I proceeded to use them in our condo kitchen.
One of the recipes from Ragu was for an easy homemade pizza. The recipe called for a pre-baked pizza crust, but I opted to use bagels instead, so I suppose I made Easy Homemade Pizza Bagels. To sauce the bagels, I used the Ragu Pizza sauce. I’ve seen this in the stores before but I’ve never bought it. I generally just buy the larger jars of Ragu sauce and use those to top my homemade pizza.
The pizza sauce seemed to be a bit thicker than regular Ragu tomato sauces, which is handy for pizza-making endeavors. Aside from that, though, I didn’t see a marked difference between the pizza sauce and regular sauce, and considering that the pizza sauce is more expensive per ounce, I’d probably recommend sticking with a normal-sized jar of Ragu.
On the other hand, if you’re single or have a small family, buying a small jar might help you to avoid wasting sauce. There are six of us, though, and we eat pizza weekly, so tomato sauce rarely goes to waste at Chez Frugal Girl.
You can use Ragu pizza sauce for pretty much any homemade pizza application…French Bread pizza, thin-crust pizza, and deep-dish pizza, to name a few. I also use Ragu (the regular sort) when I make calzones and stromboli.
Chicken Parmesan Alfredo
One of the jars I chose to bring held Alfredo sauce, so I decided to try the Chicken Parmesan Alfredo recipe. I have an aversion to baking chicken breasts (I always seem to over cook some of them because chicken breasts are never evenly sized), so instead I cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise to make thin chicken cutlets. This makes the chicken pieces all about the same thickness which makes it so much easier to cook them evenly.
After cutting the chicken, I dipped the cutlets into the beaten egg, covered them in Italian bread crumbs, and then sauteed them in a bit of butter until they were cooked through. I heated the Alfredo sauce in a pan and used it to top the chicken, which turned out quite beautifully. The sauce added a lovely aesthetic touch to the chicken.
I have to say, though, that I was more impressed with the sauce’s looks than its taste. Perhaps I’m not used to a cheesy Alfredo sauce (although I do add Parmesan when I make my own Alfredo), but I just thought the sauce had sort of an odd flavor. For the record, I am normally an enormous fan of anything creamy, so I was surprised that I didn’t like this.
I did like the actual chicken recipe though, at least with my modifications, so I would highly recommend trying that for an easy dinner. If you’re not a big fan of Alfredo sauce, you could try topping the chicken with a tomato-based sauce from Ragu.
The third recipe I tried was Chicken Margherita. I cut my chicken breasts into cutlets for this recipe as well. Happily, this recipe instructed me to cook the chicken in a pan instead of the oven. Yay! I followed the recipe otherwise, although I didn’t need to cook my chicken pieces quite as long as the recipe suggested since my pieces were thinner. And since I am 450 miles away from my basil plants, I didn’t garnish my chicken with basil. I’m positive that fresh basil would only have improved the recipe, though. I don’t think you can possibly combine tomato/tomato products with fresh basil in a less-than-pleasing way!
Without the basil, the dish was good, but not terribly exciting. If you need a quick and easy dinner, though, and aren’t looking for something super gourmet, this might be a good recipe to add to your repertoire.
Now for the really good part! I have a $100 Visa gift card to give away to one of YOU. There are a couple of ways to enter:
1) Visit Ragu.com to take a peek at their kid-friendly recipes, healthy tips, and more, then come back here and leave a comment telling me which Ragu recipe you’d like to try!
The contest will begin at 10/1/2009 and will end 11/11/2009. Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.
- No duplicate comments.
- You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
- You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
- This giveaway is open to US residents, aged 18 and older.
- 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.
Thanks for participating!