Thick, rich tomato paste is a great way to lend depth to your favorite bolognese. It also adds dimension to recipes in the same way that a good stock does. The appealingly soft texture and full-on tomatoey flavor of Hunt's tomato paste put it over the top in our tests.
What's the difference between tomato concentrate and tomato paste? Both are made by reducing cooked, seasoned tomatoes. And either one will amp up the flavor in soups, stocks, stews, vegetarian dishes, and the like. The difference is this: concentrate doesn't need to be sautéed in order to develop flavor, and you can get away with using less of it (get it in the resealable tube). San Marzano won our taste tests for a flavor that is both vibrant and intense, without too much sweetness.
As soon as a pea gets picked, it begins to turn starchy. That's why peas that are flash-frozen at harvest have an almost eerie resemblance to fresh. This General Mills-owned brand's peas have great burst and the ability to hold structure (read: They won't go mushy on you). Plus, we like the fact that they're organic. A simple pea soup is just a few cups of chicken stock away.
There are many, many brands of soy sauce out there. But you want Kikkoman, because it tastes of soy, not just salt. The Wisconsin-made staple isn't only for dipping dumplings—we recommend using it whenever you want to give a dish a savory umami hit.
Plugra European Style Unsalted Butter, 8 oz (for spreading and flaky pastry)