Albert Hecker and his wife Molly moved to Colorado Springs last summer from Upstate New York and brought their pasta sauce business with them. After running a restaurant for many years, the Heckers were ready to pursue a more family-friendly lifestyle.

Their Fra Diavolo Pasta Sauce and Fra Diavolo Pasta Sauce with Cascade Hops are both available for sale at Ranch Foods Direct.

“There are no preservatives, no colorings and there’s no added water in them. You are getting 100 percent tomato sauce,” says Albert Hecker (shown at right.)

The sauces are made with caramelized onions, shredded red pepper and whole roasted garlic cloves.

But about those hops?

“You’re getting the whole cone hops right in the sauce,” Albert says. “It’s very unique. Nobody’s ever done it before that we know of.”

The idea came about when a brewery asked them to create a new sauce with a beer-inspired twist.

“The hops are not bitter like they would be in an IPA and not too spicy. You get nice floral and citrus notes. It’s like an herb; you taste it on the back end of your palate when you eat it. And it compliments tomato flavors really well,” Albert explains.

The couple is in the process of lining up local sources to supply their key ingredients. “We’re teaming up with a local hops farmer this summer, and we’re also talking to local garlic and basil farmers,” he says.

Albert Hecker’s “hoppy” spaghetti sauce is said to pair well with craft beer.