Bertolli tomato and basil with Bertolli extra virgin olive oil (500g, £1.69, Sainsbury's and other supermarkets)
sauce is so red, it makes you think either you're in Tuscany and about
to eat the ripest Italian tomatoes or that it is totally artificial.
It's not artificial; it just hasn't been cooked for long enough to
mellow it. Even though it is super-sweet, it is pungently herby and
certainly one of the best on the shelf. The rustic jar makes it look
like it comes from Mamma's pantry.
Loyd Grossman tomato and basil sauce (300g, £1.55, Waitrose and delis)
NHS may be finding its new Loyd Grossman menus too expensive, but I
would certainly fork out a little bit more for this tasty sauce. Its
deep red colour and warm garlic flavour puts it leagues ahead of the
others. Olive oil gives it an authentic home-made sheen: it looks like
I made it myself.
Dolmio sun-ripened tomato and basil pasta sauce (475g, £1.59, Safeway, Asda, Tesco)
chunks of tomato and basil leaf and the heavy-handed addition of sugar
(the third most significant ingredient on the list) don't make up for
this one's lack of flavour and slippy texture. The sachet packaging is
obviously meant to imply freshness, but we're not fooled.
Seeds of Change 100 per cent organic tomato and basil pasta sauce (390g, £1.49, Tesco and other supermarkets)
an organic product, this sauce tastes oddly chemical, as if it were
made by scientists. One tester found the flavour papery and would
prefer plain pasta to this. Weird menthol aftertaste is the nod to
basil. This is suffering to be organic. The best argument for homemade
Fiordelisi tomato, herb and basil sauce (280g, £2.35, Waitrose)
first thing that hits you is a faintly yeasty smell that is quite
pleasant but not terribly like tomato. It's the same as drinking tea
when you expect coffee. The tomato puree texture doesn't really do this
oversweet sauce any favours. Could be used in cooking to enrich other
dishes, but will never be the star of its own show.