If you're planning to eat out this weekend, I recommend dropping in for excellent family-style Italian fare at Cucina Vanina, in Cottonwood Heights. But, even if you're not planning to dine out, I still suggest stopping by Cucina Vanina to pick up a jar or two of their superlative sauce.
Owner/chef Vanina Pirollo makes her all-purpose tomato sauce from scratch, based on a recipe from her grandmother. Hence the name: Sugo della Nonna. Sugo means sauce in Italian (nonna is grandmother) and this is some of the best tomato sauce I've ever tasted. One reason: It's pure and simple. The ingredients are nothing more than tomatoes, olive oil, a hint of garlic and salt. It's a rich, red color and the flavor is spectacular. With tomato sauce, as with many things, less is often more.
Now, the good news is that even if you're not dining at Cucina Vanina you can still enjoy this superior sugo. It's sold in 15.3 oz. jars at the restaurant for $5.99. That might seem a bit spendy, but it's worth every dime. It's terrific for pasta or to spoon atop arancini, meatballs or sausages. Mangia!