In our house pasta is a major part of our diet, we must eat pasta at least three times a week in one form or another, so I always need an endless supply of it. I've tried more expensive dried pastas and they've tasted great but as prices have risen and wages have fallen cut backs have to be made and so I thought I'd give Asda's Smart Price pasta a go and I haven't regretted the decision one bit.
The packaging may have changed from that shown in the picture, it's now a clear plastic bag, but the pasta its self hasn't, it's still the long tubular penne pasta inside and to pay around 30p for a 500g bag it's well worth the money. It cooks in around 20 minutes, depending on how tender you want your pasta and once it's covered in a sauce it tastes just as good as a more expensive dried pastas. I've even had it cold in salads without a sauce and it tastes just fine to me. Ok so once cooked some of the tubes can be a bit longer that others, but that doesn't bother me, if I'd been making fresh pasta (not that that's going to happen) then not all the pieces would be exactly the same anyway, so what's the harm in the dried pasta looking at bit home made. The ridges on the outside of the pasta help the sauce to stick to it and with it being a tube you get sauce inside it as well, so you get a double hit of your favourite pasta sauce in just one fork full.
Asda Smart Price Pasta is a store cupboard essential in our house I wouldn't be without it, infact, I think I'll make a Pot Luck Pasta for dinner tonight.
Pot Luck Pasta:-
Three handfuls of Asda Smart Price Pasta - cooked as per instructions on packet
One tin Asda Smart Price Tomatoes
One tin of Kidney Beans
Meat of your choice - I use a small packet of panchetta - cooked
Vegetable of your choice - I use sweetcorn and peas, but it's your choice
One jar of Pasta Sauce
Put all the ingredients into an over proof dish, cover with the pasta sauce and cook for around 30 minutes in a moderate to hot oven. Top with cheese for the last 5 minutes of cooking if you like. It's a quick and simple meal that doesn't cost the earth. Enjoy.
When it comes to pasta I am really, really fond of the stuff as its just so versatile and this pasta is one that I purchase very often indeed as I shop alot in Asda and this is only 25p for a bag weighing 500g which equates to alot of pasta for your pennies!
The packaging of the pasta can only be described as cheap looking. It comes in a white and bright green plastic bag with a round window that you can see through on the front of it and we are told that it is Asda 'Smart Price' Pasta Shapes 'Made from durum wheat and soft wheat' and that it is suitable for Vegetarians. On the back of the bag other information listed includes ingredients, allergy advice and a full nutritional chart, we are told how to cook it (11-13 on the hob in water), the weight is stated which is 500g and contact details for Asda are listed. Its an easy to open bag this though it isn't resealable and it is as informative as it needs to be but like I have already said the bag does look cheap and nasty and tears pretty easily making the pasta fly everywhere if your not careful! lol
Well these are called pasta shapes but when I buy them they are yellowy coloured tubes of pasta with lines running down them and cut horizontally to the bottom of them. They are about the same size too and so all look the same and of course they are a dried pasta so it stores for ages before you need to use it up.
Cooking it is simple, in a pan and I find a large pan of this to cook brilliantly in about 11 minutes. You can of course add salt to it when cooking, or cook it and then put it in some type of sauce or dish...me I eat this on its own as a side dish but have also use it to make a tuna pasta bake and the likes.
When cooked this just looks like tubes of pasta really. I always prefer it al dente and the time I cook it in (for a large pan) means that I don't get soggy pasta once I've shook off the excess water. The tubes expand through cooking of course and have no fragrance to them at all really.
These are tasty enough. They simply taste plain and pasta like and to me, are not seasoned so I always do that. They don't carry lots of flavour which is why I usually add them to dishes or cover them in sauces.
All in all these are a good and economical buy. If you want to eat just plain pasta then maybe these are not so good on flavour as more expensive brands but for me these are perfect for both my tummy and my purse and I like em well enough!
Nutritional Information Per 100g Uncooked:
of which sugars: 2.5g
of which saturates: 0.5g
equivalent as salt: Trace
Only available in Asda stores.
I regularly shop in Asda and often use their website at www.asda.co.uk to order groceries online. Shopping for groceries via this method means that there are often times when items that I can easily find in store are not available on the website and so I need to make another choice. This happened to me recently when my usual brand of dried pasta was not available on the Asda website. I decided to make some alternative purchases, one of which was the Asda Smart Price Pasta Shapes, a product that I had not tried before.
When the Asda Smart Price Pasta Shapes arrived amongst the rest of my groceries, I was unsurprised to see that their packaging was very basic looking and rather uninspiring. I regularly buy several items from the 'budget branded' Asda Smart Price range and so am accustomed to the 'cheap and cheerful' qualities of this particular brand.
The Pasta Shapes are packaged in a small plastic bag which is coloured half white and half green. There is a cellophane window on the front of the package, through which I can see the pasta shapes themselves. The bag is a fairly generous 500g in size and I paid only 18 pence for this, which I thought was a great bargain price. The Smart Price pasta contains gluten and wheat, and it is suitable for a vegetarian diet.
I will admit to feeling slightly dubious about the quality of the Asda Smart Price pasta shapes prior to cooking and tasting them. Having bought 'budget' dried pasta in the past and having been relatively unimpressed, my apprehension was probably understandable. Nevertheless, I decided to try out the pasta one night and went about cooking it for our supper one evening.
The Asda Smart Price pasta looks to be pretty average in its appearance. The Pasta Shapes consist of pasta tubes which are quite long and resemble penne. They do look basic, admittedly, but then doesn't all uncooked dried pasta have a certain 'plain/bland' look about it? Due to the product being called 'Pasta Shapes' I had assumed that the pasta was going to be an assortment of pasta shapes (funnily enough!) but I wasn't disappointed to see the long tubes within the package.
Cooking the Asda Smart Price Pasta Shapes was as easy as cooking any other brand of dried pasta that I would normally buy. All I had to do was add the pasta shapes to a large pan of boiling water. I used around half the bag and so got two uses from the bag for the 18 pence I spent. The Smart Price pasta cooked in the boiling water easily, and required very little effort from me in terms of preparing it. The only difference I noticed is that the Smart Price pasta seemed to take a little longer than usual to cook, but that is probably down to the size of the pasta tubes rather than the quality of the pasta, although this is of course just my opinion. All in all, the pot of pasta took around 15 minutes for it to cook through enough for my own taste, which isn't unreasonable for me personally.
Once cooked, the pasta was easy to drain and I liked how the quality of the pasta tubes was sufficient enough to allow me to shake the shapes around my large colander without falling to pieces which is something I have found with cheaper brands of pasta I have bought before. Adding a home-made tomato and basil pasta sauce and stirring it through the pasta shapes, I thought that the meal looked to be a tasty and filling one, and the Smart Price Pasta Shapes certainly looked good on the plate, and the pasta didn't look to be any different from any other brand of pasta that I buy regularly.
This was the case with the taste and texture of the Smart Price pasta too. Neither my husband or myself had any negative complaints or comments whatsoever and happily polished off our platefuls. The Smart Price pasta absorbed the flavours and herbs in the pasta sauce in the same way that my usual brand does, and the texture was just as I like it - a little 'bite' to the pasta is my preference, without being too hard.
The only real negative point I have to report about this brand of pasta is the amount of starch-like residue that seems to come off of it once it has been cooked. It certainly seemed to me that there was a lot more starch in my pot than usual, although a quick rinse with some boiling water from the kettle got rid of it and left the pasta looking as it should. For the bargain price paid for this product, this extra 'step' in my pasta-cooking routine is one that I am more than willing to undertake.
All in all, I was rather impressed with the Asda Smart Price Pasta Shapes and have purchased them again since first trying them out. I think they offer a fantastic value-for-money option which is ideal for students or perhaps families on a low income, as well as those of us trying to save a few pennies here and there! They definitely deserve full marks from me and I would recommend giving them a try!
Review of Asda Smart Price Pasta Shapes
Asda as many readers will be aware have their own range of basic, simply presented goods aimed at the budget end of the market, these items are known as the 'Smart Price' range.
I am living on an even more reduced than normal budget at the moment, due to family circumstances and I really do need to make every penny count. A plastic bag of Asda Smart Price pasta shapes weighs in at 500g and costs a mere 17p, making it a very useful buy for those on a budget.
As with all Smart Price goods, the packaging is very simple, green and white labelling with no frills. All cooking instructions and nutritional values for the pasta shapes are printed on the reverse of the pack, along with Asda's company information.
The pasta is the dried variety, it is basically a penne type pasta which I find lends itself well to many dishes, a pasta bake for example, or even as a simple accompaniment to other dishes.
The ridged, tubular shape makes it ideal for serving with a sauce. We often eat ours with a home made cheese sauce, or if I'm feeling exceptionally lazy, boiled and coated with a jar of Asda Smart Price Bolognese sauce. A truly budget conscious meal when you consider the pasta is 17p and the pasta sauce mentioned is 18p!
**Cooking and Storage Instructions**
The pasta should be cooked in plenty of lightly salted boiling water. Asda recommend a serving of 50-80g (2-3oz) uncooked weight, per person and cooking for 11-13 minutes. The pasta should be drained and served immediately.
Naturally the length of cooking time does depend on your personal preference regarding pasta texture. The pasta purists would wish to their pasta 'al dente' which naturally takes less time. I prefer mine a little softer n texture so generally cook these pasta shapes for around 15 minutes, which I find produces a pasta which still has a little 'bite' to it and is not soggy or mushy. I also usually rinse the cooked pasta with a little boiling water before serving.
Asda recommend that the pasta be stored in a cool, dry place. I usually transfer mine into an airtight container after opening the packet.
**Ingredients, Warnings and Nutritional Values**
Asda Smart Price Pasta shapes contain Durum Wheat Semolina , Soft Wheat Semolina.
As the product contains Gluten and Wheat, consumers sensitive to these items should exercise caution.
Asda also advise that the product should not be re-heated. Whilst I am not suggesting others ignore Asda's warning, I have to say that I have successfully reheated a pasta bake made with this product and suffered no ill effects!
I won't replicate the full nutritional values here, as a brief guide 100g (uncooked weight) provides the following:-
350 calories, 12.0g Protein, 72.0g Carbohydrate, 1.5g fat, 0.8g fibre.
**My Thoughts and Conclusion**
This product represents real value for money. The pasta shapes are easy to cook, versatile and very cheap! What else can be bought for 17p nowadays that will provide 6+ adult sized portions?
I must admit that I cannot justify spending £1 or more on a branded dried pasta when Asda are offering this version for such a low price! No, it is not as good as fresh pasta, but in my opinion, it is just as good as the more expensive pastas on the market.
I have served this pasta to adults and children alike, it has always been eaten and enjoyed, which is after all what most of us wish to achieve when we cook a meal!
At the end of the day, to me, pasta is pasta, I consider it a store cupboard staple and at this low price it is certainly helping me stretch my budget.
To conclude I would recommend Asda Smart Price Pasta Shapes to others.
Thank you for reading.
©brittle1906 June 2011
Update December 2011. These pasta shapes have risen in price to 25p since I originally wrote this review. Even so, I still feel that they are a good buy.
N.B. My reviews may be found on other sites under the same user name.
I am a real pasta lover, from the pasta n sauces to freh pasta, and in our household we go through it by the bucketload. None of my household have any wheat allergies or dietry requirements, which is why i thought id give the smart price pasta a go.
At 32p for 500g this actually works out a lot cheaper than even the supermarkets named brand at half the price. The packaging is white and green, with a window to be able to see the product through. The choice is limited, in fact there is no choice, the shape pictured above is the only type you will be able to buy in this range unless you are after spaghetti or lasagne sheets. For me - this is not a probelm.
The back of the packaging states how to cook the pasta and i find that the taste is pretty similar to other brands - excluding fresh pasta, which has a different taste completely. It will depend how you cook the pasta though, whether you like your pasta al dente or not.
I have found that it is great for cold pasta salads, your everyday spag bol and even the pasta bakes. It doesnt appear any more starchy than other brands.
I have found that there is always a long date on the pasta, so easy to buy in bulk if you have the ability to get it home!
Generally a good budget dried pasta, does what it says on the tin!
To me pasta is pasta and being on a budget and trying to save as much as possible I didn't think you could go wrong with the 'Asda Smartprice Pasta Shapes'.
They come in simple packaging white with a viewing panel to the inside which is cleverly placed to look like cooked pasta in a bowl in a lime green colour. At only 38p for 500g the packaging isn't essential but it does make you wonder why some companies charge £1-£2+ a bag and yet this is just a little over a tenth of the price.
There are no fancy swirls, twirls, shells etc which to be honest I don't find necessary anyway however this is plain penne pasta and I use it for everything from an accompaniment, pasta bake, pasta salads, macaroni cheese or mixing it with mince and making a 'spaghetti' bolognaise. I honestly can't find the difference between this and a higher priced brand. It says on the packaging 4-6 servings and I've found it to be pretty accurate although depending on the dish depends on the amount needed.
In comparison to other pastas this bag isn't re-sealable but I use one of those clips you can buy to keep food fresh and it keeps it just fine. A 150g portion is around 350 calories so not too bad in terms of health depending on the accompaniment.
Definately time to switch why spend more than double on technically the same product just because it's shaped prettier? It's also great for finger foods for weaning babies as the pieces are large enough for them to hold and chew on so great for the whole family
I have always purchased smart price pasta shapes as to me pasta is pasta and currently at 32p a bag is a bargain I do wonder sometimes how they can sell the smart price range for such little money but is probably why the packaging is so simple just white and green with a picture of pasta on it and directions for cooking on the back and ingredients , well what else do you need , i purchase a pasta bake and bung it the oven ( I am a big fan of bunging things in the oven ) for 20 minutes take it out and had lashings of grated cheese over the top and bung it back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown and then serve with some garlic bread. I also sometimes just boil the pasta according to the directions on the back of the packet in a large pan of boiling slightly salted water and then add some tuna mayonnaise and mix it in with some lettuce , tomatoes and cucumber , it provides good quality meals without breaking the bank.
I have seen a bad review on this product so I wanted to write on myself that others would find useful as I think this product is a great buy and will save you all some money!
I have been trying a few different products from the Smart Price range and this one does not disappoint. You usually find this on the bottom shelf of the pasta aisle. The packaging is not the most attractive but I'm not bothered by the packaging, it's whats inside that counts! It comes in a green and white bag with part of it see through to allow you to see the contents. The pasta is 'Penne' shaped with the pieces being just over an inch in length, some seem loger than others but this doesn't make a difference in my opinion.
The pasta looks a little darker than the other brands so at first I thought this wouldn't taste as good or cook as well but for 31p I wanted to try it in case. I'm glad I did as I was very impressed with this pasta, it swelled up nicely one boiled and cooked nice and soft. We eat a lot of pasta in our house so to find a 500g bag for 31p is a real bargain. So far we have had this on its own with pesto, in pasta bakes and to accompany other meals.
The packaging states it should serve 6-10 servings but we use quite a lot in cooking so we'd probably get 4 servings from a bag but this is still over half the price of the old pasta we used to buy. The bag is not re-sealable so selotape or a pasta jar may be required to stop the contents spilling out into your cupboard.
It is made from durum and soft wheat and a 100g portion will set you back about 350 calories so depending what you have with it, this can make a healthy meal.
Per 100g Uncooked -
Cals - 350
Protein - 12g
Carbs - 72g
Fat - 1.5g Saturated fat - 0.5g
Fibre - 0.8g
Sodium - Trace
I would reccomend this product to anyone. Why pay more when you can get the same but at a smart price? Try it, you only have 31p to lose!
Thanks for reading.
Having seen a recent review of this pasta I just had to review this myself because my experience of this product was completely different.
Asda's basic range of products are called 'Smart Price' and have gradually changed from the old 'red & white' packaging to the the new 'green & white' packaging.
Asda Smart Price Pasta Shapes are currently on sale for 31p for 500g which gives you 6 to 10 servings depending on whether you have 2 or 3ozs each; which is fantastic value for money.
These are 'penne' shaped pasta just over an inch in length with the slanting cut at each end. The pasta is made from durum and soft wheat and comes with a good 2 year best before date but as they are smart price they come in the basic range packaging so no resealable tab like the more expensive ranges. No problem really because I always transfer the remainder into a resealable jar.
To cook this pasta you put the required amount into boiling slightly salted water for 11 to 13 mins. Now I don't use salt in the water and I find to get a soft texture you need to cook for 15 mins; anything less and they will still be firm (I know that's how they are supposed to be eaten but I prefer it soft).
The cooked pasta tastes just as good as more expensive ranges I have tried and do swell up from the original uncooked state. I have served these as just cooked as well as in a pasta bake with no adverse effect on the quality. Very versitile.
Nutritional Info: Per 100g (uncooked)
Calories - 350
Protein - 12.0g
Carbs - 72.0g (of which sugar - 2.5g)
Fat - 1.5g (of which saturates - 0.5g)
Fibre - 0.8g
Sodium - Trace
This is a great product for a basic range and I have no complaints from hubby which is saying something especially as he refuses to eat some products unless they are a certain brand. So for him to approve of this pasta says everything to me.
I have no qualms recommending this pasta to anyone; it is a staple in our kitchen.
Worth trying and if you don't like it you've only wasted 31p.
Asda Smart Price Pasta Shapes
As you have probably now noticed i have been being a bit cheap with food recently and trying a lot of tesco value and asda smart price food and products.
The asda smart price pasta shapes are just pasta plain and simple, im not to sure why they have been called pasta shapes as they are literally just pasta.
They tend to retail for about 30 to 40 pence and the packadging is the usual asda smart price type. Green and white displaying the smart price logo on the front, there is also a clear part in the bag so you can see the product inside.
The pasta itself looks ok in the bag however i was not impressed. The pasta itself does not seem to expand much when its being cooked so it tends to stay quite small, also no matter how well you cook it, it also seems to stay quite hard.
Not a great product and its worth the extra 40 pence to get some proper pasta