Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pumpkin Chipotle Pasta Sauce - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ

Pumpkin Chipotle Pasta Sauce - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ
I've mentioned this in a lot of reviews, but I usually can't eat tomato sauce. I say it's because I'm allergic, which is not entirely true, but it's just the easiest way for me to explain things. Really, the problem isn't so much tomatoes themselves, as their acidity. I can have any other acidic food, but those little red suckers tear my stomach apart and make me puke my guts out. I come from an Italian family, so this can be a problem. (I call myself Fail-talian.) After a while, heavy cream and garlic sauces can get boring, so I'm always looking for alternatives, and I thought maybe this could possibly work. (Plus, it's pumpkin!) So let's see if this pasta sauce can survive my stomach.

The packaging for this is the same as any other tomato sauce sold in grocery stores, it's a glass jar with a paper label, so there's nothing new and interesting to discuss. For an Aldi product, the label is really nicely designed. Specially Selected is a higher end no-frills line from Aldi, and when you compare this label design to it's Walmart counterpart, Aldi's looks way nicer. (Although Archer Farms at Target might win overall, Target likes to go above and beyond and get fancy with their designs.)

I opened the jar, and the pasta sauce has a smokey roasted pepper scent, mixed with a hint of sweet squash-iness. It's an interesting aroma, very different from normal tomato sauce, and from the scent alone, I'm not too sure how I feel about it. 

To try it, I cooked up some penne and tossed it with some warmed up sauce, and it's actually pretty good. The sauce has a smokey pepper flavor, hence the chipotle, and the pumpkin adds some sweet and earthy notes, but I don't know if this is a sauce I could eat all the time. The smokey flavoring is pretty strong, and it's really not all that spicy, it didn't upset my stomach, so this might be a great alternative for me, but I don't think this flavor is worth stock piling. So if you are only looking for something new to try, you can miss out on this one.

On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5 (5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 3.5. This has some nice squashy flavoring, but the smokey roasted pepper notes prevent this from being overly sweet. I wouldn't say this was a spicy sauce, I honestly don't find it to be spicy at all, but the flavoring is smokey and there is a roasted pepper aspect to it. If you're looking for something to turn your normal pasta dish into something festive, give this a try!
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  1. You might want to try it again this year. I just tried it for the first time, and it was definitely spicy! I grew up eating Vietnamese food, which is really hot, and now regularly eat Saudi food, which can be hot. This is probably medium hot for a "normal" scale (on which Serrano peppers are hot, not ghost peppers!). Maybe Aldi has changed the recipe.

    1. Thanks for the tip! I still have a jar I stockpiled from last year, I'll have to pick up a new one and compare them.

  2. This is amazing, will be going to purchase a case of it, and the other flavors. I don't do the tomato pasta sauce but this is the best