On a summer day in 2005, Chef Scott Martino took a break from working at one of the finest restaurants in Pennsylvania and spent some time in his home garden. That day he harvested a bounty of tomatoes and used this fresh-picked produce to create what would become known as the Cortazzo Foods Marinara Sauce.
Chef Martino’s Lancaster County-based Cortazzo Foods now consists of three traditional Italian tomato-based sauces as well as two barbecue sauces. He still cooks using the same principle employed with that first pot of Marinara: small batches and taste-tests of every pot. The chef says that although this is a more time consuming method, it is a “labor of love.” Every batch of these handcrafted sauces simmers for hours and is created using only 100% natural ingredients, many of which are sourced directly from Lancaster County.
Family and friends have played a key role in the creation of Cortazzo Foods. The name “Cortazzo” was inspired by Chef Martino’s grandmother, Marianina Cortazzo. In honor of the chef’s heritage, he uses Marianina’s original Arrabbiata sauce recipe. Her portrait and other family photos are displayed on every jar of the tomato-based sauces. Much like the original Cortazzo sauce, the first batch of what would become Awesome in a Jar BBQ Sauce was created as an accompaniment to ribs Chef Martino cooked for an afternoon of watching football with friends. The Carolina Peakes sauce was created when a native South Carolinian friend told the Chef that people from Pennsylvania couldn’t possibly make Carolina barbecue sauce. Taking on the challenge, Chef Martino produced a sauce with a mustard and vinegar base, the traditional components of the region’s barbecue sauce. To remind his naysayer of her unfounded skepticism, he put her name on every bottle. Now Mrs. Peakes can no longer doubt Chef Martino, and we never will.
Here at Smucker Farms we carry the full line of Cortazzo Foods sauces. Next time you’re looking for inspiration for dinner, stop by the store and pick up a jar of your favorite Cortazzo sauce and cook your family’s next favorite meal, or just use the following recipes created by Chef Martino:
Steamed Clams Cortazzo: http://www.cortazzofoodsllc.com/recipes.htm
Awesome Beef Barbecue: http://www.cortazzofoodsllc.com/awesomebeefbbq.htm
Carolina Peakes Barbecue: http://www.cortazzofoodsllc.com/carolinapeakesporkbbq.htm