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Uncle Steve’s Sauce, An Interview With Steve Schirripa And a Quick Delicious Meal

Uncle Steve's Sauce

Uncle Steve’s Sauce

I received no monetary compensation for this, I did however get 3 bottles of sauce. I volunteered to do this article and the opinion is 100% my own.

I don’t know about you but I watched every single episode of the Soprano’s up until the very last one. I went through withdrawal after it ended, there was a hole in my Sunday evening TV lineup. If you have watched the show you probably recognize Steve Shirripa aka Bobby Baccalieri, he was married to Janice, Tony’s sister played by Aida Turturro on the show.  A few weeks ago I was shopping at my local Whole Foods and had just gotten my salmon and was browsing and walking with my friend (also named Steve) and I had to do a double take, sitting there in the aisle was Steve Schirripa, he had a table set up with pots of his sauce and some of his entourage was there with him. When I saw him he told me to come over and taste the sauce, besides being star struck I was thrilled to have a taste. I will be honest, I don’t buy bottled sauce, I’m not a snob and I’m all for quick and easy but I really just don’t like the taste of the sauce I have tried. There is nothing wrong with it, really nothing wrong, it’s easy, and after a busy day at work opening a jar of sauce and having a bowl of pasta is a great thing, that is if you can find a jarred sauce you like. Up until that day I had not. I loved how they let you taste the sauce, dip a piece of Italian bread in, that was my favorite thing to do when I lived at home and my Mom made sauce. It immediately brought back very fond memories. Well, it is seriously good. There are three types, Tomato Basil, Marinara and Arrabiata. I bought a jar of the tomato basil which is the one I tasted, now one thing about me is that I am a little shy and become verklempt especially around celebrities so I just walked away thanking him and telling him I am a fan. My friend Steve went up to them and said that I had a blog, they called me over and I told them I would love to blog about his product, they also said Steve would be happy to do an interview and that I could contact them to set it up, I was thrilled. We exchanged cards and I was on my way. Fast forward, life got busy and I remembered I needed to email Steve’s team to set up the interview, I did and they immediately got back to me and asked if they could send me some sauce, the next day I got it. Look at how cute the packaging is and even a wooden spoon is included, you have to love that. Be sure to check out the website also for Uncle Steve’s products!!

So here is my interview with Steve Schirripa.  I really wanted to know more about his company and why he chose to get into the food business. The interview was conducted over the phone, I hope you enjoy I know I did. I have to say I was a bit nervous, he put me at ease and is the nicest most genuine person and really believes in his product. It was such a pleasure talking to him.

1. I know you are a very busy actor and wondered if you could tell us why you decided to segue into the food business.
Steve: My partner Joe Scarppinito had the idea to make the sauce as a tribute to my Mom who had passed away. Joe is an entrepreneur and said to me Lets do sauce!! So we set out to make the best sauce possible, I’ll be honest I don’t eat jarred sauce and we wanted to make a sauce that tastes good. The sauce is so good my wife makes it for me at home.

2.  There are many commercially prepared jarred sauces on the market, what sets your sauce apart from the rest.
Steve: Uncle Steve’s sauce is Organic, Gluten Free, Non GMO and it’s our goal to make the best sauce possible, it’s hard to find a good jarred sauce, with Uncle Steve’s what you see is what you get, you can see the list of ingredients everything is completely natural, no hidden stuff, it’s all good.

3.  I heard that this is your Mother’s recipe, I am sure that her sauce is delicious but that’s a small batch for Sunday supper. How do you maintain the same distinctive and delicious flavor when preparing this for mass production.
Steve: Our sauce is made in small batches and we have good quality control, as a matter of fact we have thrown out an entire batch if it doesn’t meet our standards. We cook the sauce a long time and thats what gives it it’s distinct and authentic flavor.
When I was growing up Mom stayed home and cooked, now days Moms and Dads both work and our goal was not for you to stop making homemade sauce but when you are busy we provide you with the highest quality sauce that actually tastes really good and you can feel good about feeding this to your family.

4.  People from all over the US and world follow my blog, tell us where we can buy your sauce, how many states is it available and what stores?  I met you in Whole Foods Brooklyn and know it’s there, can my friend in Long Island get it at the Whole Foods near her?
Steve: We are in over 2000 stores and are growing every day. It’s amazing really because we have only been in business for a year. If you don’t see Uncle Steve’s sauce in the store go to the website here and put in your zip code we can tell you where to buy but we also have an online shop where you can buy sauce and other Italian specialty items. We are in Whole Foods in the New York area including Long Island and also New Jersey, we are heading to the West Coast, are in Florida, Oregon, Idaho, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin and other states also.

5.  I have to ask,do you stay in touch with fellow cast members from The Soprano’s? I never missed an episode and it’s still my favorite show of all time. Have they tried your sauce? Just curious.
Steve: Yes I stay in touch with fellow cast members, Michael Imperioli, I just had lunch with Lorraine Bracco, Tony Sirico. Michael loves my sauce, he is an incredible cook and actually won a celebrity Chopped.

6.  I see you have an online shop on your site can you tell us about some of the products available online.
Steve: The online shop has the sauce, Gluten Free Pasta, vinegar and soon will have olive oil. You can also get gift baskets.

7. I know you have a Twitter account @unclestevesNY can you tell my followers if there are any other ways to find you on social media (FaceBook, Instagram etc…)
Steve: Yes you can follow on Twitter and Facebook but I am not big at keeping up on Social Media.

8. Do you come from a traditional Italian family where Sunday’s were always dinner at Grandma’s house?  If so, what was your favorite Sunday Dish when you were growing up?
Steve: Yes and I remember the fried meatballs with pignoli and raisins, it was my favorite food and the smell was amazing I can still smell it. I remember we couldn’t eat them until we got home from Church.

Rigatoni With Eggplant And Uncle Steve’s Arrabiata Sauce:

I have been craving eggplant, I thought that it would go nicely with the Arrabiata sauce. I decided to make a quick and easy pasta dish using Uncle Steve’s Arrabbiata sauce, some eggplant and rigatoni, top it with a nice big dollop of ricotta and a generous grating of pecorino romano.  Previously when I bought jarred sauce I had to doctor it, you know what I mean, add some basil, garlic, olive oil, why not just make it from scratch then right? Well this sauce does not need to be doctored, it’s great right out of the jar, I did add a pinch of salt but that doesn’t count really. The meal took less than 30 minutes to make, and was delicious. I cut the eggplant into bite size pieces and roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper after the eggplant was done I added to the sauce that was heating on the stove. when your pasta is done add it to the sauce and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Thats it, a quick delicious meal in no time and this is a product you can feel good about feeding your family. Note: Uncle Steve’s Arrabbiata is spicy, they aren’t kidding, love it!!

The entire meal was done in 30 minutes. Here is what I did:

Wash and cut the eggplant into bite size pieces, pre heat oven to 425 degree’s line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread the eggplant on the parchment, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

While the eggplant is roasting, put your water on for the pasta, salt generously and bring to a full boil. While the pasta is cooking check on the eggplant, remove when it’s lightly browned approximately 20 minutes.

Look at the ingredients, natural, simple and good

Look at the ingredients, natural, simple and good

Get out your saute’ pan and add the sauce and eggplant and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the pasta from the water when al dente (I used a spider utensil) added directly to the sauce, let the pasta cook in the sauce approximately 2 -3 minutes. Serve with ricotta and grated cheese.

A bowl of goodness

A bowl of goodness fresh, natural and delicious!

 

 

 

 

70 Comments Post a comment
  1. Carla #

    What a fantastic interview – you lucky dog!!! I’m going out to buy a jar or two. I truly trust your judgment on taste and quality – so I’m looking forward to tasting it.

    January 28, 2015
    • Thank you so much, it was fun and I really do love the sauce. It’s very very good. Thanks again.

      January 28, 2015
  2. This is a fabulous post Suzanne! Wow! You met your favorite TV star. I am like you. I shy away when I see celebrities by chance ;). That interview is vey charming. He seems like a passionate sauce maker. Would look into my stores for his sauce. I hate jarred sauces but still keep them at home to feed the hungry family which doesn’t mind eating jarred sauces at all. I have given up (almost) eating pasta with any tomato sauce because of the same blah tasting reason.
    Again, loved it 😊.

    January 28, 2015
    • Thank you so much, I was so happy to meet him and get to actually interview him. He is passionate about his product and it shows in the quality and taste. It really is good sauce, I like it a lot and will use it for sure.

      January 28, 2015
  3. Loved your interview Suzanne, how lucky you are! I want that bowl of saucy pasta…

    January 28, 2015
    • Thanks Viviana, it was so much fun interviewing him, I was so nervous at first. The pasta is wonderful, the sauce is really really good.

      January 28, 2015
  4. WOW! Suzanne! That’s such a great post! Congrats on your interview! You’re so lucky!
    btw. this delicious bowl of pasta made my stomach growl…

    January 28, 2015
    • Thank you Marcela, I have to apologize, your comments go to spam all the time and I don’t know they are there. I don’t know to fix this. I happened to think of emptying my spam folder and saw your message. If you have left others that I didn’t see I also apologize for that. Thank you so much, I felt very lucky and honored to speak to Mr. Schirripa. He makes a great sauce!!

      January 29, 2015
  5. Interesting interview!
    I’m glad to know there is a jarred sauce that actually tastes good. I’ll give it a try next time I’m in a hurry. 🙂

    January 28, 2015
    • Thanks so much, it was fun interviewing and the jarred sauce really does taste good. It does come in handy when you have limited time to get a meal on the table.

      January 28, 2015
  6. Wow! How exciting that must’ve been. I do remember The Soprano’s. That’s when I still had TV. In fact, I watched the first couple of series. Funny, I don’t remember anyone excepting the main guy. I guess it’s quite a few years ago now. And what a wonderful interview! I totally agree with you. Trying to find a bottled tomato sauce is difficult. I just don’t buy. Tell Mr Bobby Baccalieri he’ll have to start selling over here!

    January 28, 2015
    • It was exciting and yes Tony was unforgettable. I will make sure to tell them to send that sauce to the UK!!!

      January 28, 2015
  7. Fun, fantastic post – I loved the Sopranos – this is great reading and eating.

    January 28, 2015
    • Thanks Liz, me too, anytime it’s on I watch. I thought it was the best show on TV. The sauce is seriously good.

      January 28, 2015
  8. I’m not sure if I’m more excited to read that you were able to meet and interview one of your favourite TV personalities Suzanne, or that there’s now edible bottled pasta sauce on the market for those days when you’re too busy or tired to make it! Hope they start exporting to Australia too! 🙂

    January 28, 2015
    • I know I hope so too, Johnny in the UK wants it too!! Thanks Margot.

      January 28, 2015
  9. Great post and interview. I’ll give the sauce a try.

    January 28, 2015
    • it’s really good Gerlinde, the Arrabiata is very spicy so if you like it hot you will love that sauce. The Marinara and Tomato Basil are equally good and make an excellent everyday sauce. Thank you so much.

      January 28, 2015
  10. Yum! You’re making me hungry! Can’t wait to find and try some Uncle Steve’s in Texas. I’m also a big fan of The Sopranos and never missed one.

    January 28, 2015
    • I miss the show, it was one of a kind and the best. Thank you and hope you try the sauce it really is good.

      January 29, 2015
  11. Liz #

    What an awesome connection! Love that you snagged an interview (and free sauce 🙂 ). Am with you that I prefer DIY, but sometimes someone else’s DIY is even better. Great recipe–eggplant can do so many things, but it seems not as popular as other veggies. Ah well, all the more for us.

    January 28, 2015
    • I will always go the DIY route but in a pinch knowing there is a good quick jarred sauce is great. It really is a good product, Thanks so much Liz.

      January 29, 2015
  12. Yum! I’ve seen Uncle Steve’s here in Florida. Being Half-Italian I make my own sauce from my garden tomatoes. My Mom will probably try it if I tell her too. I think I will tomorrow when I see her! Bravo Suzanne! Your Florida Bud. Cheryl

    January 28, 2015
    • It’s good sauce, nothing beats homemade and especially with tomatoes you have grown but in a pinch when you need to eat in a hurry this is hands down the best jarred sauce. Thanks Cheryl.

      January 29, 2015
      • Hi Suzanne, spoke with Mom and she’s going to pick up the tomato/basil and we are going to try it early next week! Just cause….We Can! Your Florida Bud. Cheryl

        January 29, 2015
      • Oh I am excited, thats great. I made grilled cheese sandwiches with Italian bread, provolone cheese and dipped in the tomato basil sauce, loved it!!!

        January 29, 2015
      • I am going to make the fried meatballs Steve spoke about with the pignoli and raisins in his Marinara sauce. My Mom also used to make those meatballs.

        January 29, 2015
  13. Great post, Suzanne 🙂

    January 28, 2015
  14. Well done on scoring such a top notch star for interview. I’m glad you found his as passionate about his product as he is about his acting so that you enjoyed what you tasted. You’ll have to try the other sauces in a recipe and report on how you found them. I’m sure he’ll make sure he puts your blog on his Twitter page for other follower to see.
    xxx Massive Hugs Suzanne xxx

    January 29, 2015
    • Yes I was very lucky, being able to connect with someone from my favorite show was amazing and yes his passion for his product is evident in the quality. Thanks so much David and I will be using the other sauce in a recipe.

      January 29, 2015
  15. Thatz really amazing Suzanne- loved your interview… and that jarred sauce looks nice- will have to try it soon… wonderful post Suzanne- keep rocking… 🙂

    January 29, 2015
    • Thanks Chitra, it was a fun post and I loved the interview. The sauce is also great, a very good quality product.

      January 29, 2015
  16. What fun, Suzanne! I’ll have to seek out this sauce at Whole Foods! 🙂

    January 29, 2015
    • It’s good sauce, I like to keep things like that in the pantry, they do come in handy, and it is really tasty. Thanks so much.

      January 29, 2015
  17. What a great encounter and a so very good interview, Suzanne! You asked a bunch of very interesting, helpful and informational questions. Plus, your recipe is great – I am all for pasta with eggplants! 🙂 Well done on all accounts!

    January 29, 2015
    • Thank you I had never interviewed anyone before it was fun and I really loved talking with Steve Schirripa, he is so nice and gracious. I love eggplant, and with the spicy tomato sauce it was wonderful thank you so much Stefano.

      January 29, 2015
  18. How exciting! And delicious looking too!!

    January 29, 2015
  19. Stephanie @ The Cozy Cook #

    Can you believe I’ve never seen the Sopranos?! Shame on me!! You make me want to sit down today and watch every single one- I should!!! And a delicious meal to go along with it sounds fantastic, love it! Eggplant is SO GOOD!

    January 29, 2015
    • Really, wow I was at my TV every Sunday without fail. It really is worth the watch if you are ever inclined for a Soprano marathon. Thanks the pasta dish was delicious.

      January 29, 2015
  20. That was really cool! That’s gotta be a blogging highlight for you, heck, a life highlight! Thanks to both Steve’s for making it happen!

    If you could ask him one more question, what would it be?

    January 29, 2015
    • It was, I was over the moon. Wow, it would be Soprano related not food. I would have to think about that, maybe something about the time he fought with Tony at the house on the Lake, did he know at that point his days on earth were numbered. You just don’t beat up on Tony and expect to live even if you are married to his sister.

      January 29, 2015
  21. It’s a well done, absolutely delightful interview, Suzanne. And the sauces sound great. Huge hugs! 😀

    January 29, 2015
    • Thanks Teagan, I was a bit nervous but in the end I think the interview went well. The sauces are great!!

      January 29, 2015
  22. Totally fun and a great recipe to boot! Thank you!

    January 29, 2015
  23. You did such a great job, Suzanne! I don’t know if I would have followed up with the interview the way you did. I’m a very reserved person and I never feel comfortable in situations like that. Good for you! Brava! 😄

    January 29, 2015
    • Thanks Francesca, I went out outside my comfort zone on this and took a leap of faith. I was very nervous. It ended up being great and I was so glad I did it. He was so nice and reassuring. I ended up having fun and found a great product at the same time.

      January 29, 2015
  24. What a wonderful post, Suzanne – I have no clue about TV but have hear about Sopranos, and only positive stuff, so I am truly won over already 😉

    January 29, 2015
    • It was a great show, the writing was just amazing as was the acting. Thanks so much Ginger.

      January 29, 2015
      • I have heard so much about it but I kind of get restless in front of a tv screen and go to make a cup of coffee at the first break, only to forget all about it and never come back …

        January 29, 2015
      • LOL, I do the same for most tv shows, use it as background noise. There are/were a few shows where I didn’t even want to take a bathroom break. The Soprano’s were on HBO a cable station, no commercials so if you got up you missed some of the show and it was so good you didn’t want to miss any of it.

        January 29, 2015
  25. Great post, Suzanne! I will look for a sauce… I like to try something new:) Olga

    January 29, 2015
  26. I’m usually not a fan of bottled sauces too, but sometimes they can be really useful when I’m rushing to make a meal. Thanks for the review, hope it’ll have a chance to be imported to Singapore 🙂

    January 29, 2015
    • Yes, not a fan of bottled sauce in general but you are so right they do come in handy and this sauce is really good and I actually enjoy using it because it tastes so good. Thanks Jasline, you never know it could end up in Singapore. Thank you so much.

      January 29, 2015
  27. What an amazing experience! Your questions were all questions that I was interested in knowing. You did the sauce service. That Rigatoni looked amazing!

    January 29, 2015
  28. its worth more than three bottles of sauce i tell ya!

    January 30, 2015
    • It was such a great experience I would have sent them sauce to do it!!

      January 30, 2015
      • I think they owe you more sauce

        January 30, 2015
  29. Step aside Barbara Walters!
    Some encounters become an event to talk about. The whole story of meeting a character/actor from your favorite program, a’and getting to interview the person for your blog… is an event to talk about. 🙂 I shall look for Uncle Steve’s at our end of the country. I love eggplants in a spicy sauce over pasta.

    January 30, 2015
    • Ha, Fae thats so sweet thank you. It was a really great experience for me and I am still very excited about it. Thank you so much. The sauce is delicious,

      January 31, 2015
  30. Wow, that is so exciting Suzanne! Your interview was awesome and pro. That is so super cool you got to do that and the sauce and recipe both sound amazing. Your photo of the dish looks amazing!

    January 31, 2015
    • Thank you Brandi, I had so much fun. The sauce is great, they have in Texas if you ever get a chance to try, it’s natural and organic I think you would like. Thanks again.

      January 31, 2015
  31. Now you’ve given me a yearning to re-watch the entire Soprano’s series…gosh, I LOVED that show! It sounds like you had a wonderful experience. 🙂 It’s just great that you not only got to enjoy some super sauce, but interview the man behind them too!

    February 1, 2015
    • I would love to do a Soprano’s marathon, haven’t seen an episode for a while. They used to show it on HBO often. Miss it. Thanks Nancy, I had fun!!

      February 1, 2015

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