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Colman's Tuna Pasta Bake Sauce Mix

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9 Reviews

Brand: Colman's / Type: Mix

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    9 Reviews
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      07.11.2013 15:31
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      Have been using for 10 years and will continue to!

      ---Intro---
      I tend to cook most things from scratch - I wouldn't dream of using a jar of ready-made sauce for bolognaise, or of not making my own white sauce for lasagne (but I will admit that I cheat by using jars of curry sauce). However, when it comes to Tuna Pasta bake, while I have made them from scratch with various recipes, I still find I prefer one which includes a sachet of flavoured powder. I have no preference between this Tuna Pasta Bake from Colman's which I am reviewing today, or the Tuna Napolitana from Schwartz which I use in the same way. I have been using this product for around 10 years now.


      ---The packet and ingredients---
      The 44g packet can be found in the supermarket along with numerous other sachets of sauce (Chile Con Carne, Cheese Sauce, Sausage Casserole Mix etc), and is mostly purple (dooyoo's picture must be the old version ) with a picture of a tempting looking tuna pasta bake on the front.

      Ingredients (which I won't list) include wheat flour, tomato puree powder, cheese powder and various herbs, spices and extracts. It contains no artificial colours, no added MSG and no artificial preservatives.


      ---Instructions and my twist on them---
      The packet includes instructions of how to use, and what other ingredients you will need to make the pasta bake. However, I tend to adapt this slightly (and certainly alter the quantities), and also depending on what ingredients I have in.

      To make you will need to firstly put your pasta (I like the shell pasta, but most work well - possibly not spaghetti though!) on to boil. Now, the instructions say to use 225g pasta (bearing in mind that this dish is meant to serve 4 people). Personally I don't feel this is enough, as I always allow at least 75g pasta per person. Therefore I'd do 300g if I was making enough for 4. Usually though I would be making enough for 3, so use 225g.

      Meanwhile put the contents of the sachet into another pan (this pan needs to be big enough to include all other ingredients so bear in mind if you're going to be adding things like mushrooms.

      Before I add the contents of the sachet into the pan I will fry off a medium chopped onion in the pan in butter (and sometimes some garlic too), as this adds to the flavour. Then I add the powder (which is a light orangey colour) directly onto the onions. In a measuring jug or glass I will have 3 quarters of a pint of milk (instructions say semi-skimmed, but skimmed works fine too) and add a splash of this milk to the pan with the powder, and mix. Then gradually I will mix in the rest of the milk whilst bringing it up to the boil. It does need to be stirred continuously, otherwise it will stick to the pan (not that it really matters as it can just be soaked afterwards).

      Once it has boiled, then turn down the heat to a simmer, and add the other ingredients. You will need a drained tin of tuna (it says in spring water, but I find it doesn't matter what type), and a large drained tin of sweetcorn - the instructions say to use frozen sweetcorn, but I've never used that.

      At this point I will often also add a load of mushrooms, and chopped peppers. This bulks out the dish and is useful for when you need to make sure you're getting your 5 a day! I always add some black pepper (it doesn't need salt though), and sometimes add fresh herbs such as parsley and basil (dried herbs can be used too).

      The instructions say to mix the pasta into this. However, I tend to put the pasta straight into a casserole dish and then mix in the sace (with tuna etc) and mix it in that which makes washing up easier. Then, put grated cheese on top. You can also add a packet of crushed read salted crisps on top which I used to do, but tend not to anymore since we rarely have crisps in the house.

      Then put the tuna pasta under the grill until the cheese has melted.


      ---Eating and freezing---
      You can eat this on its own, but it's nicer having with a nice salad with mixed lettuce, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. If you're indulging, then garlic bread goes well with it too! It is nicest eaten hot, but is also still very nice when it's gone cold and I can be found picking bits of out the dish!

      I find that this makes an extremely filling and tasty meal. The packet says on it that a serving contains 436 calories (based on their given shopping list), but obviously this depends on what else you add. I imagine that mine is significantly more since it has more pasta in it.

      I think that this sachet adds a lovely flavour to the other ingredients. It is mostly a tomato flavour (which is heighted more if I add additional tomato puree as I sometimes do), but one which I seem unable to recreate if I don't use a ready made sachet!

      I will usually do enough for 3 portions, and then freeze one portion which I can have another time when I'm on my own (I just throw it in the microwave). I find it freezes well mostly, but sometimes it can taste a bit more fishy after defrosting.


      ---Finally---
      I will continue to buy these sachets, as they enable me to make a tuna pasta bake which suits my tastes perfectly. Although it's perfectly adequate using it as the packet says (which you might want to do the first time you use this), I prefer to adapt it to my own needs (I absolutely always add onion for a start). The packet does also suggest that you could use tinned salmon and broccoli instead on tuna and sweetcorn.

      Perhaps it is cheating slightly, but as I say, I do most other things from scratch. And to be honest, by the time I've added all my other stuff, it does end up being a bit more special while remaining a very simple dish to make. I like the fact that it works just as well using the packet if you make enough for 2, 3 or 4 people.

      I tend to buy the sachets when they're on special offer (and always have them in my cupboard). In fact it is currently on offer - 2 sachets for £1 in Asda.

      5 out of 5 stars from me.

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        10.08.2013 20:46
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        A quick tasty cheap meal for all the family

        This is a firm favourite in our house and we have it at least once a month. I find it easy and quick to cook when I get home from work and it is an economical dish.

        You need pasta, semi skimmed milk, sweetcorn, tuna and grated cheese. Although I only usually have skimmed milk in the house so use this and haven't had any problems doing this. You cook the pasta in the normal way on the hob and drain it when it is cooked. Then in a separate pan you mix the contents of the packet with a drop of the milk and mix until the powder has dissolved, then stir in the remaining milk. You then bring this to the boil and when it has thickened then add the pasta, tuna and sweetcorn and simmer for about five minutes. I find that it needs stirring at this point so that the pasta doesn't stick together and that everything is mixed thoroughly. I then transfer it to an oven proof dish and sprinkle grated cheese on the top and put under a hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. You can also sprinkle crisps on top and if I do this I usually use cheese and onion as I find that this compliments the cheese.

        When it is cooking I would describe the smell as tomato, cheese and herbs and smells very appetising. When it is cooked I usually bring the dish to the table so people can help themselves and it is easily scooped out of the dish with a large spoon or server as although it has a creamy texture is firm enough to stay on the spoon whilst serving. The taste is cheesy and herby and very tasty. I sometimes add a few extra spices to the mix as we like our food to have that bit extra spice and flavour.

        I usually serve this with a mixed salad and occasionally garlic or ciabatta bread which makes it a very filling and substantial meal. I find that it easily feeds four people with these accompaniments. I do wonder why they call it pasta bake though as there is no baking involved unless you count putting it under the grill? I am aware that packets do contain more salt and sugar than if you cook things from scratch yourself but I consider this a good quick alternative if you haven't got much time and it does taste great.

        It is currently only 50p in Asda and 75p in Tesco so I bought a few from Asda the other day. They do have a long shelf life but they don't last that long in our house. I recommend this as a good staple for your store cupboard as you can cook it from scratch in about twenty minutes so is ideal when you haven't got much time and the ingredients are ones which most people usually have in their store cupboards.

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          22.05.2013 14:57
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          A fourite in our house!

          The product I am about to review is called Colman's Tuna Pasta Bake which is not technically a bake as no oven is used in preperation but that doesn't bother me.

          It's a product that I always have in my cupboard as it is a good, cheap, quick and easy mid-week tea time meal which all of the family like.

          I won't go into the history of Colman's in too much detail but I was quite surprised that the Colman business dates back to 1814 when a flour miller Jeremiah Colman took over a mustard manufacturing business on the river Tas, four miles south of Norwich. Colman's of course is better known for the little yellow pot of mustard we are all used to seeing.

          Anyway...back to the product. The recipe mix comes in a purple packet with a picture of the finished product on the front.
          Calories 436
          Sugars 9.3g
          Fat 13.4g
          Saturates 5.9g
          Salt 1.82g

          I've never really looked at these datails before and realise it's not the healthiest product but as with anything, if you eat it in moderation and part of a healthy diet it's not too bad.

          On the plus side, there are no artificial colours, added msg or artificial preservatives.

          The back tells you how to prepare the dish but I do mine slightly different.

          Firstly in a large pan, put three quarters of a pint of milk and sprinkle the packet contents over.

          In a bowl, break up one small 7 oz tin of tuna and add a small tin of sweetcorn with added sweet peppers. Slice four or five mushrooms and add to tuna.

          Bring another pan of water to the boil and add whatever pasta you are going to use. I use fusilli (8oz) but the picture shows penne.

          Set timer for ten minutes and whilst boiling, gradually bring milk mixture to a simmer and add tuna,sweetcorn and mushroom mixture whils heating through.

          Over the years I have perfected the timing so that when the pasta has had ten minutes, the milk mixture is just coming to the boil and thickening.

          Drain the pasta and mix into the milk mixture. At this point make sure it is really really hot! Pour all of the mixture into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with a mixture made from 80g good quality strong cheese and a crushed packet of crisps. Sometimes I add breadcrumbs as well.

          Put the dish under a hot grill until cheese is browned and melted. Delish!

          Dish up. It serves four people if you are serving a salad with it but I would say three if you just wanted it on its own.

          Whilst I am a great advcate of cooking from scratch, I am also not shy of using the odd packet or jar mix to make life easier.

          Its delicious or at least we think so. I have read some mixed reviews on this product but I guess it wouldn't do for us all to like the same thing.

          It usually sells for around the 75p mark but have just searched and Tesco are doing it for 50p!! A bargain so what are you waiting for?

          I am giving this product four stars. I have knocked a star off purely for the salt and fat content but it really is yummy!

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            12.03.2010 23:17
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            A great addition to a great dish

            Colmans Tuna Pasta Bake


            INGREDIENTS

            Dried Tomato (25%)
            Wheat Flour
            Sugar
            Cornflower
            Salt
            Flavourings (contain lactose from milk and wheat)
            Dried Cheese (4%)
            Dried Onion
            Vegetabke Oil
            Yeast Extract
            Dried Parsley
            Dried Garlic
            Dried Oregano
            Lactose
            Milk Proteins
            Paprika
            Dried Thyme
            Dried Lemon Juice
            Colouring (paprika extract)
            Black Pepper.


            COOKING

            Although you can deviate from the recommended recipie found on the back of the packet, I followed the recipe nearly exactly and so can review this casserole mix better.

            You will need pasta, semi skimmed milk, tinned tuna, sweetcorn, grated cheese.

            We also added some crushed crisps over the top which gave it that extra finished touch. The crisps do go soggy though stil have some crunch left to them.

            Cooking is very simple with the instructions on the back of the packet. The text is rather small so reading glasses may be needed (at least they were for me!).

            Cook the pasta as you would usually on the hob. In a seperate saucepan, add the packet mix and a splash of the milk and stir until mixed and then add the rest of the milk. After the sauce has been brought to the boil, add the tuna, sweetcorn and pasta and simmer for about a minute. Tip everything into an oven proof dish and top with cheese (or in our case the crushed crisps and then the cheese). It states on the packet to put under the grill until golden though unfortunately shortly after we brought this mix our grill decided to die on us so we used the oven instead. This worked absolutely fine.

            We served this meal with some salad and french stick.


            TASTE

            You can immediately taste a slight cheesy tomato blend to this mix. It is not overpowering in the slightest and gives a wonderful aroma in the mouth. The mix is rather creamy though certainly not sickening. It does not have any bad taste or after taste to it at all and goes down smoothly.


            SMELL

            When cooking, the smell is simply mouthwatering. You can detect a small aroma of herbs and spices though mainly a slight cheesy smell which, when mixed with everything else, is absolutely perfet - a real winner in both taste and smell!


            TEXTURE

            The creamy texture of this packet mix sits nicely in the tuna dish. It is not overly thick though any thicker I think would ruin it. It glides down easily when coated around the rest of the ingredients and makes a perfect all round texture to the whole dish.


            APPEARENCE

            It is difficult to comment on the appearance of the actual mix once cooked as it mingles with the rest of the food though it does have a creamy appearence as well as texture and taste and looks absolutely mouthwatering.

            The packet is a standard Colmans packet with a purple tinge to it and a lovely image of the final dish on the front. The recipe and ingredients can be found on the back of the packet.


            COST

            This packet costs around 0.74p which I think is a great price.


            CONCLUSION

            This packet mix is a firm favourite and we have had it many times. The taste, texture, smell, price...everything is great and fully reccomended.

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              05.02.2010 20:37
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              Great dinner if you are short of time

              Colmans Tuna Pasta Bake recipe mix is a staple in our house. This is mainly because it is so simple, quick and easy to make. All you need is a tin of tuna, a tin of sweetcorn, your pasta mix, pasta, semi skimmed milk and for me the best ingredient, grated cheese.

              Colmans say add this unique blend of cheese, tomatoes and herbs to tuna, pasta and sweetcorn to create a delicious pasta bake. We all know fish is good for you, but in this recipe it's a proven family pleaser.

              I have been eating this packet mix for a long time, as my mom used to make it for me when I was still leaving at home. I tend to have it around every two weeks, as both me and my partner enjoy it. And as we both work full time, its quick and easy to make, and generally the ingredients are always in the cupboard.

              So what do you actually need to made it?....

              1 sachet of Colmans Tuna Pasta Bake Mix
              225g of pasta
              425ml of semi skimmed milk
              200g tinned tuna, drained
              115g of canned sweetcorn
              80g of grated cheese
              (the recipe says you can add a crushed packet of crisps over the top when grilling, but I prefer not to)

              So how do you make it I hear you ask? Well here goes....

              Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

              Tip the sachet contents into a saucepan.

              Add a splash of the milk and mix well, stir in the remaining milk.

              Bring the sauce to the boil

              Add tuna, sweetcorn and drained cooked pasta.

              Simmer for 1 minute

              Pour into heatproof dish, top with cheese and place under the grill until golden.

              Once pipping hot, serve.

              I generally have mine with a side salad and maybe so crusty bread or garlic bread.

              Ingredients are as follows.....

              Dried Tomato (25%), Wheat Flour, Sugar, Cornflower, Salt, Flavourings (contain lactose from milk and wheat), Dried Cheese (4%) Dried Onion, Vegetabke Oil, Yeast Extract, Dried Parsley, Dried Garlic, Dried Oregano, Lactose, Milk Proteins, Paprika, Dried Thyme, Dried Lemon Juice, Colour (paprika extract), Black Pepper.

              The packet states that the mix contains traces of egg.

              The final produce will feed 4 people and contains 504 calories per portion.

              This mix contains no artificial colours, no added MSG and no artificial preservatives.

              Final thoughts..... If me I find the mix really tasty, with a creamy tomato taste that works really well with the tuna and sweetcorn. For a quick and easy dinner you cannot get better than this.

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                18.11.2009 10:34
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                A fairly tasty sauce that requires no baking!!

                Remembering a pal of mine cooking me Tuna Pasta at college I decided to give Colmans Tuna Pasta Bake a whirl.

                The Claim:
                Add this unique blend of cheese, tomatoes and herbs to tuna, pasta and sweetcorn to create a delicious pasta bake. We all know fish is good for you, but in this recipe it's a proven family pleaser.

                Shopping list:
                1 sachet Colmans Tuna Pasta Bake
                2259 (80z) pasta
                454ml(3/4 pint) semi skimmed milk
                200o(7oz) tinned tuna, drained
                115g(4oz) canned sweetcorn
                80g grated cheese
                Regular bag of crisps

                Cooking:
                Well quite honestly I think that the title of this product should emit the word ''bake''. The instructions on how to cook are pretty basic, cook the pasta, tip contents into pan adding milk and stirring until thick, add tuna and sweetcorn. When pasta is cooked, add to the sauce pop in and heatproof dish. pop cheese & crips on top and grill....So tell me where does baking come into it??

                Nutrional Info:
                This product is super calorific and not good for you at all!!
                Calories 504
                Sugars 10.3g
                Fat 13.1g
                Saturates 6.8g
                Salt 2.07g

                Extra Info:
                The company offers tips on what to try as opposed to tuna, and offers options of the Cheesy Salmon and broccoli bake. Instead of using tuna, add salmon and a bit of broccoli and follow the same receipe as above.
                I havent tried this option so cant comment there!!

                My opinion:
                I have tried this sauce twice and had 2 very different experiences. The first time I followed the instructions to the latter and had real trouble with cooking what seemed a very simple dish. The way of pouring the milk into the pan and then adding milk and mixing was real hard work. It kept forming big gloops in the pan and although I furiuosly whisked away it seemed never ending to try and get a smooth consistency and I burnt the bottom of the pan. The sweetcorn I pre cooked then drained and added and it seemed to make the sauce go sort of watery. The pasta was ok but then after mixing it all together and obligingly adding my crips and cheese it tasted properly disgusting.
                the cheese and crips combination melted but then was soggy when I was eating it and there was a taint of a burnt sauce (my fault I know!!)
                Undettered I thought I would give it another go.
                This time round I mixed the packet mix in a jug with the milk and then poured the full mixture into the pan. This meant that I had a smooth consistency very quickly and when adding the sweetcorn it blended well, but I have to say even on a low heat the mix cooks really quickly so you cant wander off!! I made up the pasta but this time omitted the crips and used a 3 cheese mix instead....The results...actually really very yummy.
                It had a good blend of flavour and this time round I could actually taste the tomato and the herbs and it was much more fulfilling.

                overall:
                This cost me £1.00 for 2 as it was on special offer in Sainsburys but it is generally ranging between 69p and 79p depending on where you buy.
                Although it has a high calorific content I personally do really like this mix. When you add a salad and some ciabatta bread with dipping oils to the side it makes for a very filling and tasty meal

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                  16.10.2009 17:04
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                  3 stars

                  Intro
                  -----
                  Colman's pasta sauce powder mix has been in my household for ages. We always get one in because they are so simple to make. All you need is one of these sachets and then pretty staple ingredients such as tuna, pasta and sweetcorn and you pretty much have your exact meal. It does not require much skill to cook and therefore it is pretty good to have in the home.

                  However, the nutritional values of the packet mix do ruin what really should be a very good and nutritious product, when you consider that the ingredients are so healthy.


                  How to make
                  ----------------
                  It is very simple to make this product into a fairly tasty dish. Simply cook your pasta, then in a separate pan add 3/4pint of milk to the powder and mix vigorously. You then pour the sauce over the pasta, along side adding things such as sweetcorn, tuna, or whatever else you fancy.

                  You then leave it to simmer for a few minutes before transferring to a over proof dish, adding some cheese and crisps and leaving for 25 minutes. After this time, your meal is ready.


                  The downside
                  -----------------
                  This all may seem brilliant. Tasty food, without much hassle, but i am afraid that those who are even semi health conscious should be aware of this product.

                  I always thought that it would be fairly healthy, however, one look at the nutritional information reveals that it really is not - in 100g there is

                  Calories
                  323

                  Total Fat
                  5 g

                  Saturated
                  3 g

                  Total Carbs
                  60 g

                  Polyunsaturated
                  0 g

                  Dietary Fiber
                  5 g

                  Monounsaturated
                  0 g

                  Sugars
                  28 g

                  Protein
                  9 g

                  Although, at first, this does not seem to bad, when you consider that your average serving will be between 2-300 grams, you really do have a product that is not great for you.


                  Summary
                  -----------
                  That is why i recommend staying pretty far away from this product. In my opinion its better to stick with your basic pasta sauces that you find in the supermarket.

                  This is a real shame because it does create a good meal, but the health benefits do ruin it massively for myself, and they should for you too!

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                  05.08.2009 07:13
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                  -

                  I am a big fan of pasta dishes and forever looking for different pasta dishes. Colmans Tuna Pasta Bake Sauce mix has been used in my family for years and since I've moved into my own house I have continued to buy them.

                  The sauce mix is a powder mixed that contains a lot of different ingredients; dried tomato, wheat flour, sugar, salt, dried cheese, onion, parsley, garlic, oregano, thyme. One sachet contains enough for four servings. The mix should be blended with 3/4 semi skimmed milk. Basically the mix is a blend of cheese, tomatoes and herbs.

                  Cook pasta as normal, in a seperate pan bring sauce mix to boil and add tuna and sweetcorn. Simmer for one minute then add drained pasta. Transfer to a heatproof dish, top with grated cheese and crushed crisps. Placce under the grill until golden.

                  When I use this sauce I always use whole milk as I find it gives the sauce a much thicker and creamier taste. The meal, once finished is really tasty, with the sauce mix it keeps the meal from being dry and in 15 minutes you have a wonderful tasty meal for the whole family. I also usually have garlic bread as a side dish and it all adds to the flavour.

                  And if you have any left overs this dish can be freezed for another day which saves on waste. I like tuna but every now and again I fancy a pasta bake but dont really fancy tuna so in place of it I quite often throw in come chicken instead. It works just as well, tastes just as nice and is very filling.

                  The mix is high in calories (504 in a meal), Sugar of 10.3g, Fat 13.1g, Saturates 6.8g and salt 2.07g. All quite high but then its not as if you would have it everyday. I probably have it once a week whether its with tuna or chicken and I really enjoy it. I usually use Schwartz mixes but when it comes to tuna pasta bake I always go for Colmans as the sauce has much more flavour.

                  The packaging has recently changed now so what you can see in the picture is now incorrect. The packet is now purple but other than that its pretty much the same.

                  Its definitely a mix worth trying if you like your pasta dishes.

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                    25.01.2009 14:54
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                    Yuck!

                    This review contains the instructions you will need to take good food and ruin it. Tuna, pasta and sweetcorn in themselves are fairly bland but reasonably nutritious foodstuffs but by adding a sachet of sachet of Colman's tuna and pasta bake mix not only can you make a high calorie and salty meal but it will taste pretty awful too.

                    Colman's tuna pasta bake mix contains a dry mix of ingredients that you make into a sauce to add to nice fresh ingredients to make a meal. It's simple to make, you simply add the contents of the sachet to 3/4 of a pint of milk in a saucepan and after stirring well you add the fresh ingredients, bung it all in an oven proof dish before adding crisps and cheese and heating under a hot grill to crisp up the top and serve.

                    The sachet contains a pale pink powder with a strange artificial smell. When you add it to the milk, the mix turns a very strange colour indeed and has a strange gloopy texture with some flecks of green running through it. I think the sauce is meant to be a creamy tomato flavour but really I couldnt really taste any of those ingredients.

                    I think that Colman's have a bit of a cheek using the word bake in the name of this product, to me baking would imply cooking something in the oven not just crisping a topping under the grill. Baking implies a nice homely activity but this food is far from home cooked. The topping itself is a weird combo of crushed ready salted crisps and cheese, when heated under the grill this turns into a greasy yet crunchy mass on the top but is soggy underneath.

                    Add this nasty topping to a strange tasting salty and artificial mush undertneath and you do not have a nice meal at all. I bought the sachet because I remember cooking it when I was a student once and quite liking it, how my tastes have changed over the years. I thought it would expand the repetoir of meals which my fussy daughter would eat as tuna and sweetcorn are her favourite foods but she turned her nose up at it too.

                    When made up according to instructions, this meal was pretty horrible nutritionally too. A portion contains 504 calories which is 25% of an adult RDA so not terrible for a main meal. It also contains 34% of your saturated fat for the day and a whopping 35% of your sodium needs and and surprisingly for a savoury meal 11% of your sugar.

                    For the 79p that this sachet cost me, I could have a tin of tomatoes, a small onion, a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of mixed herbs and a chunk of pepper and make my own tomato sauce which would be low calorie, low sodium and delicious. I really don't understand why people buy these sauce mixes, home made is not that difficult most of the time and generally not more expensive either. A big thumbs down from me for Colman's Tuna and Pasta Bake Mix.

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