minutes per mile blog

spaghetti throwdown: Tuttorosso vs. Cento San Marzano

Yesterday I went out for my first post-race run. Sloooooow and steady (with a school bus approaching!)IMG_2911(Do school buses make anyone else think of this scene?)
Violent bus thoughts aside, it was a lovely, honeysuckle-scented jog.IMG_2913And today I’m doing 100% nothing! In the past, I would have jumped right into more high-volume mileage a couple days after a race, but now I’ve learned that quality recovery is important too. It’s all part of the periodization theory that my coach uses — getting the right amount of intensity, specificity, volume, and rest at the right time.

Enough science — let’s move on to spaghetti! _DSC0033There was a serious spaghetti throwdown in my house the other night for my pre-race meal. The lineup:

Tuttoroso vs. Cento San Marzano.2014-04-25I’ve never really thought about brands when it comes to canned maters (I usually buy whatever’s on sale or has a pretty label (this is also how I buy wine)). So I was skeptical that there would be a difference between the two brands — and if there was a difference, I was guessing that the more expensive (San Marzano) would win.

We made put the canned tomatoes in separate pots, added the same spices to each, and let them simmer away.

Cento San Marzano:pasta_sauce_DSC0014Tutttorosso: (with Skinnytaste spinach turkey meatballs in the background!)pasta_sauce_DSC0009Then we added some penne and a few gnocchi for good measure (you can never over-carb the night before a race, right?)

Cento San Marzano:spaghetti_DSC0024Tuttorosso:spaghetti_DSC0026As you can kind of tell in the pictures, the Tuttorosso sauce was thicker, with a deeper red color.

After extensive taste testing, everyone  at our pasta party — Anthony, my parents, and myself — agreed that the Tuttorosso sauce was better. It tasted smokier and more, well, tomato-ey. The San Marzano sauce was thinner and less flavorful. It didn’t stick to the noodles as well and tasted more watery.

My mom — who’s been a Cento San Marzano devotee for years — was shocked at the results!spaghetti_meatballs_DSC0035Meatballs, salad, and a good sprinkle of cheese helped tie it all together.spaghetti_meatballs_DSC0045Though I did receive the Tuttorosso tomatoes to write this review, all saucey opinions are 100% my own. If you want to join in the tomato craze, you can go to Tuttorosso’s Facebook page to get four $1.00 coupons and enter to win in their “Celebrate Your Tradition” contest (winner gets a serving plate, sauce ladle, pasta pot set, heirloom wooden spoon, and a $300 restaurant gift card!)

And those are all of my running and pasta thoughts for you today. Have a good one!

  • What brand of canned tomatoes do you use?
  • Favorite type of pasta noodle?
  • Ever eaten a wild honeysuckle?

8 thoughts on “spaghetti throwdown: Tuttorosso vs. Cento San Marzano

  1. I use Ragu sauce and a microwave. Someday I will branch out for something fancier.
    My favorite pasta noodle is angel hair!

  2. I have zero allegiance to noodles and sauces. lol. Whatever is on sale. and like your other reader, I buy Prego for my spaghetti. I only get tomatoes for homemade chili.

    I used to eat honeysuckles as a kid.

  3. not an expert by any means but am 3/4 Italian and grew up with lots of different homemade sauces. my fathers side is from abruzzo and mothers side is from Naples. the best sauce I ever had was from my grandmothers (Naples) and wish I knew what brand of tomatoes she used. her dad owned an italian market but she still used canned tomatoes on many occasion and i liked her sauce the best that were from the canned.
    she never measured anything like most italian cooks, a pinch of this, a handful of that sort of thing.
    I am not picky and will use a jar of Ragu (Prego, I will just not eat anything if Prego was the only option) or I local brand from Delgrosso but usually make my own with Cento or Hunts and get good results.