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Cinderella’s Hearth: Rao’s Vodka Sauce for the Win!

Until recently, I’d never tried Rao’s pasta sauce, largely due to cost. But our daughter and family gave us a big variety basket of Rao’s pasta and sauces for Christmas, and we’re enjoying all of it.

The vodka sauce, though—that was the winner. The marinara was lovely, but I wasn't sure I loved it enough to pay almost three times what I’d pay for Barilla. So we tried the Rao’s vodka sauce with penne pasta, and waited to see the results.

The sauce is somehow spicier and creamier than the marinara. It has a more homemade taste, and it has bolder and subtler flavors that come through. There’s also a cheesiness to it that is delightful. Kudos also to the penne. Turns out Rao’s definitely makes good pasta, but since it’s nearly three times what I regularly pay, I’ll opt for the vodka sauce only. I’ve gotta save a buck somewhere.

I think Rao’s vodka sauce would be delicious with meat sauce, but Todd and I eat meat only about once a month, so our pasta tends to be vegetarian. But it was fantastic with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 

Costwise, the breakdown is that it cost about $4.50 per serving, as we didn’t use an entire bag of pasta for a bottle of vodka sauce—we like a very saucy pasta meal. That’s less than you’d pay in a restaurant, and honestly, Rao’s vodka sauce is better than a lot of what I’ve eaten in restaurants.

So if you’re on the fence about trying Rao’s go for it! It makes a luxurious meal at home. Spoil yourself the next time you’re in the mood for pasta.


If you’re looking for a great continuation of the “Cinderella” story, buy Lissa Sloan’s “Glass and Feathers,” which publishes on March 26. It’s a fantastic book, and preorder details are coming soon.


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