First of all, the phrase "100% natural" is a personal pet peeve and immediately puts us on our guard. After all, just about anything can be called "natural" with the right spin on it.
But a look at the ingredient list revealed nothing out of the ordinary. No gums or corn syrups here! Citric acid is used as a preservative and an ingredient listed only as "natural flavor" is always a bit disconcerting, but other than that, it's your basic sauce of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings. (Check out the full list on the Lucini Italia website)
We tasted a spoonful before spreading it on our pizza. Yum! It tasted bright and tomato-y with a nice balance of garlic and herbs. There was also a noticeable lack of that tinny metallic taste we often notice in canned tomatoes and sauces. The sauce is thick, like cooked-down tomatoes, and we could see individual specs of ingredients in the puree. So far so good!
We spread it on the pizza and piled on our toppings. As we noted in our preliminary tasting, the sauce is thick and evenly pureed. It was easy to spread onto the dough and didn't leave any watery patches.
We like a fairly thin layer of sauce, and one can was enough to cover two of our roughly 12-inch pizzas with a little leftover (which was great mixed into a pasta sauce we made a few days later!).
Waiting for the pizza to bake and cool enough to eat is always the hardest part! The sauce thickened a little more in the heat of the oven, but not so much that it dried out. We thought it gave the whole pizza a richness without being overly assertive or overwhelming the other ingredients. It makes a mellow and tasty backdrop.
All in all, we all gave this sauce a thumbs up. It's a good classic-style sauce and is definitely one of the better ones that we've tried from the grocery store. It was a surprise, but we think it actually tastes pretty darn close to homemade!
Have any of you tried this pizza sauce from Lucini? What did you think?
(Image: Emma Christensen)