The Local Diaries: Carfagna's Vodka Sauce

February 10, 2015

One of my resolutions this year is to discover more local brands. For now, this is limited to grocery items and restaurants. Summer time will be an entire new ball game. We are so excited to try out many local farmer's markets for our produce. Give it a Google, there are so many things in your own community you aren't taking advantage of. 

Around the holidays, I was so excited to receive this locally made pasta sauce as a gift from my Aunt and Uncle.Carfagna's Restaurant is a favorite of mine, located in good old Columbus, Ohio. Which, area wise, is one of the best culinary experiences in the state. Sadly it's two hours away, so you can understand my excitement after receiving the next best thing. 

This was a first time try for me. I've had their marinara, and house made Alfredo, so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. Vodka sauce in general has a unique taste. It's a bit acquired if you ask me. With a little added garlic I was able to create a nice balance that made everyone in our family happy. Although if I was eating this myself, I would've left it as is. Have you ever tried Vodka sauce? 

just in case you didn't know what pouring sauce looked like...

I love asparagus like something serious. If there's a way to add it to a meal, I'll find it. Cooking it to your liking can be a challenge. I recommend boiling it just because it's easy to control and super quick. In just a few minutes you have a side or added ingredient to your meal. In this case, I just threw it on top of my pasta. Mixed with the vodka sauce, it was a flavor all it's own.

 I swear 95% of the time we eat whole wheat pasta. Then there's that 5% when the grocery store is selling pasta for 0.65 and I cannot pass it up. Judge away. (;

There's something about Italian food that just brings out the best in people. It's one of those homey meals that leaves you satisfied without being over the top. Not to mention the simplicity if the meal in general.

My challenge for you is to venture into that part of the grocery store that carries local brands. Pick up a pasta sauce, some local bread, etc. Have a night where you can enjoy a nice dinner and piece of mind. Remember, these local gems wont remain in business if you continue to reach for those super marketed brands.

Do you have any local brand groceries you can purchase near you?
What's your favorite Italian dish?
Have you even been to Columbus, Ohio?

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