It's no secret - I love to cook. I am always game for trying new products, especially when they are all natural and exceptionally healthy. My husband, two daughters and I are all quite adventurous when it comes to trying new things. My son, on the other hand, is a whole other story. When I experiment with new products I am always ready for crticism and complaints from the peanut gallery and it is not unusal for the majority to come from my son. For the most part, my husband and two of my kids are not big fans of peppers so when I agreed to review Rose Romanos Italian Gourmet Pepper toppings, I was a bit worried about how everyone in my family was going to respond to my dishes.
The box arrived at my door a few weeks ago packaged in a pretty, rustic wooden box filled with hay filler and enclosed with a sliding Plexiglas cover. I received two jars of Italian Peppers Marinara with Red Peppers and two jars of Italian Peppers Marinara with Green Peppers, a menu and a mini cookbook with mouth watering recipes and ideas for using the products. Immediately I commented to my husband how lovely this would be to send as a gift to a special family member or friend who enjoys cooking and eating delicious food.
Rose Romano's Italian Gourmet Toppings are locally-sourced gourmet toppings made with all natural ingredients and contain no preservatives. In addition, they are low calorie (just 5 calories per serving!) and gluten-free, and they make wonderful toppings on everything from pasta and vegetables to seafood, omelets and sandwiches. I knew from day one that I would fall head-over-heels for this versatile gem-of-a-topping; therefore I could not wait to get cooking to see what all of this deliciousness could do for my menu planning.
I began by making a recipe, Farfalle Jonadi, from the Rose Romano's cookbook, which came enclosed in my gift pack. Made with bow tie pasta, fresh spinach, garlic, shallots and basil topped with a generous serving of Rose Romano's Italian Peppers Marinara with Red Peppers and fresh Parmesan and Romano cheese, I cannot begin to describe how flavorful this dish turned out to be. The red pepper version has a slightly chunky consistency with a mild, sweet flavor which really complimented the other ingredients in the meal yet let the flavor of the topping really stand out. My ENTIRE family, including my very picky son, devoured their dinners and asked for more! This recipe is going into my list of favorites and will be reason enough to buy Rose Romano's peppers again and again. Let the picture speak for itself:
Next up, I was looking to create a easy yet healthy and delicious hot lunch option. I scanned my freezer and refrigerator and came up with this:
Warm Spinach Salad topped with cooked sliced mushrooms, garlic, a toasted Morningstar Farms Chicken Patty, fresh shaved Parmesan and Romano cheese and a generous dollop of Rose Romano's Pepper Topping
Again, I was blown away by how delicious my lunch was! I felt as if I was dining at a cafe instead of in my own kitchen! If I was not already falling madly in love with Rose Romano's Pepper Toppings, this sealed the deal.
My next family experiment featured the Rose Romano's Italian Peppers Marinara with green peppers. My family loves penne with crumbled turkey sausage, so I was eager to see what would happen if I replaced my usual pasta sauce with Rose Romano's Peppers Marinara. The dish turned out much like my usual dish, but with a twist of green pepper flavor. It worked very well with the dish. I'd say in this recipe the sausage was a bit more powerful of a flavor and competed a bit with the Rose Romano's peppers more than the previous ingredients I used in other dishes, but over all it was really yummy. I will add that the green peppers in the Rose Romano's Italian Peppers Marinara are just the right balance and not as over powering as some green pepper based sauces. However, the green pepper topping was definitely a stronger, more "peppery" flavor than the red pepper sauce . My husband, who is not a big green pepper fan, enjoyed the overall taste but commented that the red pepper topping was his favorite of the two. Again, everyone including the kids happily finished their meals.
I have since experimented with Rose Romano's atop my favorite veggie omelet, as an appetizer served on toasted crostini with mozzarella slices and as a sauce on homemade mini pizzas. I am crazy about the versatility of the product and how a little goes a long way when it comes to flavor.
Disclosure: I received Rose Romano's Peppers Marinara to facilitate this review. All opinion, as always, are 100% my own.