When I heard I was receiving a product to review from the Redpack tomato company, I knew I'd have an easy time giving my opinion on their product. I use canned tomatoes quite a bit...often several times a week. Living in what resembles the north pole, canned tomatoes are most often a very desirable alternative to the "fresh" tomatoes I find at the market. I was pleasantly surprised (squealing with glee, in fact) when what came to my door wasn't just a can of tomatoes, but a gigantic replica of a can of tomatoes that was filled with goodies! I have photographed the replica next to a 28 ounce can, which I would normally call a "large" can of tomatoes. But as you can see, it looks like an ant to next this crazy awesome Redpack gift tin.
So, we were off to a good start. I unpacked the tin to find magnets, a can opener and a hot mitt, a spaghetti spoon, some recipes cards and finally...2 cans of tomatoes. I set out to make a batch of red sauce that I've made a hundred times, using a 28 ounce can of Redpack Crushed Tomatoes in Thick Puree.
Easy Red Sauce
5 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 anchovy fillet
1 small teaspoon capers
1 handful kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 28-ounce can Redpack crushed tomatoes in thick puree
Cover the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Add chopped garlic and turn the heat to medium-low. Add red pepper flakes and the anchovy fillet and stir together (the anchovy will break up and melt). Once it's sizzling, stir often and cook for several minutes until the garlic is golden (but not brown).
Add olives and capers to the pan, increase the heat to medium, and stir. Cook for a minute or two, then add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir. Turn the heat to a couple notches over medium to bring to a boil. Keep it at a boil, stirring often until the mixture is thickening a bit and very fragrant, about 10 minutes. Serve over fresh potato gnocchi.
The resulting sauce was wonderful! It was brighter in flavor than the canned tomatoes I would normally use, slightly more acidic and a bit less sweet. My husband pointed out, and I agree, the Redpack tomatoes taste a lot like garden tomatoes that have been canned in jars. Very bright in flavor. The cost is just a few pennies more per can than I usually pay for the middle-of-the-road canned tomatoes, but the flavor is one you'd expect from a pricey brand.
Next on my to-do list will be Redpack's own recipe for Orange Scented Pork and Veggie Stew. Sounds like a recipe that's right up my alley! Thank you to the Redpack tomato gurus for the work that you do and your generous gift!