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SIMPLY JESSICA: Steve Schirripa talks about his line of sauces

When Steve Schirripa was a young boy growing up in New York, he thought every Sunday at 2 p.m. was a holiday. He spent his Sundays at his grandparent’s home surrounded by his parents, his aunts, his uncles and other family members.

The meal would kick off with fried meatballs, egg salami and a pasta dish, followed by the main dish.  Then it would start back over again at 6 p.m.

“Every Sunday felt like Thanksgiving,” Schirripa said. “It was a tradition, which unfortunately I don’t do anymore. No one has the time. This tradition has gotten away from most families.”

Schirripa is known for his role as Bobby Baccalieri on “The Sopranos.” He currently can be seen on CBS’s “Blue Bloods.” Schirripa joined the show last October. He plays a good police officer.

The Italian actor describes himself as a guy who likes to help people.

“I’m not a showbiz guy,” Schirripa said. “I’m a neighborhood guy that got lucky to be able to do what he loves for a living. I like the New York Knicks and the Yankees. I like to eat and I like my family.”

He has a Woody Allen movie coming out soon.

“It was a dream come true to work with Woody,” he added. “I’ve been a Woody Allen fan since high school.”

Almost three years ago, Schirripa was hanging out with a childhood friend named Joe Scarpinito. They reminisced about how enjoyable it was to eat Schirripa’s mother’s pasta sauces. It was at that moment that an idea was born.

Schirripa was encouraged by Scarpinito to do something with his mother’s recipes. His mother had just died. In that moment, Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties were born.

Actor Steve Schirripa samples one of his three Italian pasta sauces. (Courtesy photo)
Actor Steve Schirripa samples one of his three Italian pasta sauces. (Courtesy photo)

Uncle Steve’s is a nickname given to Schirripa by Scarpinito.

“We didn’t want to give it a phony Italian name,” Schirripa added.

Uncle Steve’s Italian specialties consist of three sauces: Tomato Basil Sauce, Marinara Sauce and Arrabiata Sauce.

It is not an exact recipe. Schirripa and Scarpinito made it healthier by making it gluten free, non-GMO and kosher certified.

Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties is the first sauce in a jar that Schirripa has tasted. The sauce is made in small batches.

He uses all organic ingredients. He calls his sauces a healthy alternative for working parents. Schirripa wanted today’s families to get a taste of what he experienced as a child in New York.

“Everyone is working these days,” Schirripa said. ”It’s not like the old days when my mother was sitting around and she could cook on Sundays. Everyone is on the go.

“Kids are playing soccer and other sports. I created this sauce as a way to give parents a homemade sauce that doesn’t taste like it came from a jar.

“If you didn’t know that it came out of a jar there is no way that you would know,” Schirripa said. “It’s that good. I kid you not. If you taste it, then you will become a customer.”

The organic pasta sauces are sold in stores across the country such as Whole Foods, Albertsons and other health food stores.

The sauces can also be purchased from Schirripa’s website: http://unclestevesny.com.

Be yourself. I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com