Product Type: Batchelors Pasta / Noodles
Newest Review: ... prepare the dish you put the contents of the pack in a pan with 300ml of boiling water and 125ml of milk. You can also put some butter i... more
Batchelors cheese, leek & ham pasta - A family favourite!
Batchelors Cheese, Leek and Ham Pasta 'n' Sauce
Member Name: geodougal
Batchelors Cheese, Leek and Ham Pasta 'n' Sauce
Advantages: cheap, easy to prepare and tasty!
Disadvantages: No ham and has some nasties in the ingredients list
When doing my weekly grocery shop I like to buy an array of foods, some that are quick and convenient for those days when your too busy to stand over the stove for hours(or just can't really be that bothered) and some that I can make fresh that make me think I'm being relatively healthy. Either way Batchelor's pasta N sauce packets usually end up in my basket/trolley as they are ideal for a quick snack or side dish to go with a larger meal. These pasta packets with sauce are pretty much a cupboard staple in my house as their easy to whip up.
Batchelor's have been creating food for Britain for over 100 years, in a short space of time it became one of the most successful canning companies in the UK. Batchelor's produce products such as the well known cup a soup, super noodles, savoury rice, pasta n sauce, mushy peas and more recently soupfulls.
~ Product and availability ~
Batchelor's pasta N sauce is available to buy at most major supermarkets such as Tesco's, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrison's as well as well-stocked convenience stores. They are available to buy around the 95p mark which is pretty reasonable considering you can get two side dish servings out of it or one main meal. You can nearly always find them on some sort of multi-buy offer though such as 3 for £2.50 (Tesco's deal at the minute) which is a saving of around 35p which isn't that major but I guess any saving is a good saving. They are only available to buy in individual 1-2 serving packets, however I think a 3-4 serving packet should be available. You can buy Batchelor's pasta N sauce in various different flavours including, mild cheese and broccoli, tomato onion and herb, chicken and mushroom, cheese leek and ham (the one I'm reviewing), tomato and basil and macaroni cheese.
~ Packaging ~
Batchelor's cheese, leek and ham pasta now comes in a different packet to the one Dooyoo is showing. It's still a blue based packet but instead of a bowl of the pasta there is a steaming saucepan filled with the pasta and a fork with a piece of the pasta on it. There is also a chunk of cheese and some leeks. The bottom half of the packet is an attractive lime green. The Batchelor's red logo can be found in the right hand corner, but it is quite small so you wouldn't know this was a batchelor's product on the shelf until you took a closer look. The words 'Pasta n sauce' are printed across the middle of the packet in big, bold white writing with the flavour stated underneath. Also on the front at the bottom there is a handy little bit of basic nutritional information. The packet is lined with foil to keep the pasta fresh. The back of the pack is laid out quite clearly giving you the nutritional information in more detail, along with a list of ingredients, a customer quality guarantee and cooking instructions.
~ Cooking and taste ~
Tearing open the packet I was hit with a very pleasing smokey meaty smell. Not many cheesy or leeky smells but at least the 'ham' smell was quite prominent which made it promising that this product was going to taste just as strongly of ham as it smelt. Reading the back of the packet I was told to heat 300ml of water and 125ml of milk in a saucepan (I chose to cook it on the hob, however a microwave instructions are also given). You also are given the option to add butter or margarine to the milky watery mix, however I don't feel this is necessary and I don't fancy adding anymore calories to the dish but for anybody who isn't bothered by this then apparently butter makes it tastier, but I think it's tasty enough already. Once the water and milk had been brought to the boil I was instructed to stir in the packs contents. Pouring out the pack you will find pasta 'swirls' and a powdery substance which turns into the sauce. At this point you will realise that even though you could smell the ham so much there are no actual pieces of ham; it's all flavouring in the sauce. Which in my opinion is disappointed as some slices of ham would have given it some extra bite. The leeks are supposedly the little bits of green herby looking things in the powder. Next I was told to boil gently and occasionally stir for about ten minutes. However every time I have cooked this pasta it has taken more than ten minutes to get an al dente pasta and a thick-ish sauce, so for anybody who likes soft pasta and a very thick sauce may want to give it longer in the pan. After about ten minutes the pasta has softened only slightly and you should notice the milk and water you added at the beginning has started to get a yellow tinge from the sauce. I have to say the pasta looks very appetising happily bubbling away and I usually can't wait to tuck in. After I've waited a little while longer and stirred it enough to stop any bits of pasta sticking to the pan the sauce has usually thickened to a nice consistency. Not too runny that it's like soup but not so thick that it almost dries out the pasta. If however the pasta sauce is too thick for your liking or dries up in the cooking process (happens from time to time) just add a bit more water or milk to the pan and stir.
Now most important of course, putting these pasta swirls onto my plate and tucking in you can definitely taste the cheeseyness without it being to overpowering considering I couldn't smell it and you get a nice hint of leek and ham (ham slices would still be a nice addition though). So it seems that the most prominent smell isn't the most prominent taste with this pasta. The pasta sauce is nice and creamy and the pasta has a nice edgey bite to it - I can't stand mushy pasta. The sauce compliments the pasta perfectly, a perfect combination in my opinion.
~ Other information ~
Each ½ packet prepared as instructed contains 259 calories, 4.4g of sugar, 4.3g of fat, 2.3g of saturates and 0.96g of salt. Each full packet weighs 120g.
Batchelor's pasta n sauce contains no artificial colours or preservatives. Mentions nothing about flavours though...
The main ingredients are pasta, cheese powder, wheat flour and creamer along with a lot of scary looking things. There is no mention of ham or leek...just flavour enhancers. (kind of wishing I hadn't read the back of the packet now....the things I do for you Dooyoo readers!)
Allergy advice: contains wheat, gluten, milk and soya.
There is no mention of it being vegetarian friendly so eat at your own risk.
~ Overall verdict ~
I really enjoy this pasta N sauce. The sauce is plentiful and I find it as a whole quite filling. The ingredients put me off slightly but at the end of the day I guess it's what you expect for a packet of pasta. I wouldn't recommend this pasta to anybody who likes 'sophisticated' food or is a food snob as I doubt this would be your thing, but anybody else go for it! This is a popular dish for the children in my household too, but I only give it them occasionally as it's not that good for them but I will always make sure it's served with veggies!
4/5 stars from me! Love the taste and it's very simple to prepare. Ideal for busy families! Lost one star for their being no actual prominent pieces of ham..only the smell of it. Are they trying to tease us?
Summary: Quick, easy family pleasing meal.
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