“ Brand: Crosse & Blackwell / Type: Sauce „
When it comes to things that I can make up and eat fast without any fuss I am a big fan of them. I live alone and I love pasta and a quick look on the back of this sachet when I was in my local B & M store told me that in the microwave this could be cooked and served in 10 minutes flat and would only cost me 29p for a pack....well I was sold and actually bought a few packs of this as I knew this was cheap and it was from a brand I have heard of!
This comes in a bright blue, white and black paper style large flattish packet and on the front of it we are shown the made up pasta and we are told that it is Crosse & Blackwell Pasta & Sauce, Chicken & Mushroom Flavour and we are also told that it is low in fat and weighs 70g (dried weight) and then on the back of the pack other information listed includes cooking instructions being given, ingredients and allergy advice is given, a full nutritional chart is listed, the best before date is displayed and contact details for the manufacturer is given. Nice enough, easy enough to tear open and with minimal packaging this is.
What you get is lots of yellowish powder with dark green flecks running throughout it which is parsley and bits of yellowish, small pieces of pasta and not very many of them. Its easy to mix up and you are meant to use water and milk and some butter or substitute can be used should you want to. I pop mine in the microwave for 7 minutes, stirring half way though and then I leave it for 3-4 minutes which we are advised to do to allow the sauce to thicken up.
The first time I opened up my microwave and saw this pasta cooked through I was really surprised. I'd already been able to smell a very appertising, meaty and very chicken like aroma but I was greeted by really nice looking and loads of pasta! The little pieces of dried pasta had expanded into great big soft but not soggy pasta tubes, the sauce was creamy in colour with the parsley flakes still being visible and the sauce was really thick on it but not gloopy. The whole lot looked really nice and appealing to me.
Taste wise I really so like this. The pasta is tasty, the sauce well seasoned, I can't see on the ingredient list any chicken in this at all, substitute, dried or not..... however this does taste of creamy mushrooms however that is only powder so there are no actual mushrooms in it. It has a slight taste of onions in it but really all this is, is pasta in mushroom sauce with bits of parsley visible but its nice and it is smooth and very filling indeed!
This I eat alone or as an accompaniment to a main meal and with only 226Kcals and 1.1g of saturates per pack made up I think its great!
Available from all good supermarkets, I buy mine in an array of flavours from B & M....Google if you can't find it easily though!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
My sister introduced me to Pasta & Sauce one evening when we had returned from the pub after a few too many drinks. By the end of the evening, if i'm still standing i'm usually pretty hungry. At my house i usually have things like chicken wings and pizzas in for those kind of occasion but i was stopping over at my sisters house and she doesn't stock much finger picking food. What she did have was a Chicken and Mushroom Pasta & sauce. Now i was abit weary too start off with as i dont like mushrooms, but she assured me that there was no big bits in it, it was more of a flavouring thing.
So 10 minutes later i was sat there with a bowl full of pasta on my knee and a fork. And i have to say it was really very nice and my sister was right there was no actually mushrooms in there. On my way home the next day i popped into Morrisons to stock up on these delicious packets of pasta. They are 79p which i dont think is a bad price as its a full meal in itself. It does say on the packet that it contains 2 servings but i can manage to eat the whole lot myself.
The packet contains dried pasta tubes, cornflour, yeast extracts, wheat flour, skimmed milk powder, whey powder, onion powder, chicken powder, mushroom extract powder, vegetable oil, sat & dried parsley. There is no artificial colours or preservatives, no hydrogenated oil an its low in fat.
Calories 221 Fat 2.4g Salt 1.15g personally i think thats pretty good.
There are two ways of cooking the pasta, on the hob or in the microwave.
On the hob
Pour 120ml of milk & 280ml of water into a pan and bring to the boil, add the pasta & reduce heat. Simmer for 8 - 10 minutes until pasta is cooked and the sauec is too the desired consistency. Stir frequently.
To microwave (750/800w)
Empty packet into 1.4 - 2 ltr bowl, add 120ml of milk & 280ml of water, microwave on full power for 7 minutes stirring half way through. Leave to stand for 3 - 4 minutes to let sauce thicken.
I prefer to cook mine on the hob, which is quick and easy to do. I then pour it into a bowl and grate cheese on top of it ( i sometimes get a little carried away) this adds to the taste and makes it more enjoyable. The textures good & the pasta does cook through properly. The sauce is usually just about right, not too runny and not too thick. I do have to be careful though when i first start to tuck in as theres a good chance of burning your tongue. I really am going to have to be more patient in future.
The pasta sauces come in a few different flavours, Chicken and Mushroom, Cheese & Ham, Cheese and Broccolli. Morrisons also do there own pasta sauces which are just as nice as the Crosse and Blackwell and they are about 10p cheaper.
I am now addicted to Pasta & Sauce meals and always have a full stock in the kitchen of all the different flavours & of different brands. Theres nothing like a bit of variety.
Bought this yesterday in the midst of a nasty hangover and food always makes me feel better.
So when I finished work at 4m I ran (well walked fast) to Wilkinsons as I was having a bad craving for Pasta but couldn't be bothered cooking it all!
I chose to go to Wilkos for the simple reason that it was nearer than Sainsburys and I knew it was open till 4.30pm.
Went straight to the new food bit and these caught my eye, 79p each and buy 1 get 1 free, 2 meals for 79p? can't go wrong!
There were 3 flavours to choose from; Chicken & mushroom flavour, Cheese & broccoli and Tomato & herb. I chose the Cheese & broccoli and Chicken & mushroom, these were just 'flavours', I checked the packets and both were suitable for Vegetarians.
The 'Pasta in 5' is made by Crosse and Blackwell, so a tried and trusted brand name. I chose to have the Chicken & Mushroom flavour for my tea (having the other for lunch today) so this is the one I am reviewing.
The pasta is in a foil sealed pouch, this flavour is in a dark blue pouch with red Crosse and Blackwell branding.
According to the pack, one packet of pasta contains approximately 2 servings, now I'm only little and half a pack of this wouldn't do a thing to my rumbling tummy! I can easily manage a full packet.
The instructions were simple, either microwave or cook in a pan for 5 minutes, just add water and butter (optional) I really fancied something creamy so added half
water and half milk instead and this worked fine!
I decided to cook mine on the hob as feeling as delicate as I did I didn't fancy cleaning out the microwave if it overflowed everywhere.
I didn't add butter as I'd added the milk and didn't want it too rich just creamy!
So I poured the packet mix into the milk and water once it was boiling and was pleased to see it looked good, dried pasta swirls with bits of dried mushroom clearly visible.
The powdered sauce smelt good too a bit like mushroom soup and I was now looking forward to tasting it!
I kept stirring because as you probably know, any sauce made with milk sticks badly to the bottom of pans and again I didn't fancy working hard scrubbing pans! I guess if I'd just used water as instructed it wouldn't have mattered and I wouldn't have needed to keep stirring but I didn't mind as it smelt good and it was only for 5 minutes.
So 5 minutes later, the milk and water had turned into a thick creamy sauce and smelt and also looked gorgeous! I put it in a bowl and grated some cheese on to it (just to add more fat lol) and sat down to taste.
A really obvious mushroom taste, wouldn't say I could taste chicken (not that I've ever eaten chicken but I've had chicken crisps etc). The previously dried bits of mushroom had puffed up and tasted lovely, a great texture not rubbery like you can sometimes get from dried veg.
There were no other 'bits' in the sauce apart from a few tiny green bits of herbs which I couldn't really feel in my mouth but could taste.
Really thick and creamy, I'm glad I added milk though it would up the calorie intake for anyone watching their weight I do recommend it for the taste!
So the boring bit...Nutritional info:
Per pack: 568 calories (like I say probably more if you add milk)
22.7g of fat
73.4g of carbohydrates
1.2g of salt
So as you could probably have guessed, this isn't great nutritionally but what would you expect from a packet mix of pasta and creamy sauce! I only eat these when I'm being lazy and because I'm feeling better today I'll take the time to add some veg too but I just couldn't be bothered yesterday!
A great hangover cure though, It really did perk me up!
Defintely recommended and definitely at this price, I've checked Mysupermarket.co.uk and at Sainsburys and Tesco this costs around d 99p at the minute. Still a good price but much better offer at Wilkinsons at the minute so get your bums there if you like the sound of it and feel like being lazy!
Having just had this for lunch, I am going to give you a first hand account on my experience with this pasta. It was rather tasty but lacked a strong flavour to it. It cooked in a short time and was very easy to make and filled me up.
The pasta comes in a paper packet, which is coated with a shiny layer on the outside that has all the design on it. With the lack of foil insulation, the pasta isn't kept as fresh, but it is dried anyway and well-sealed. The front of the pasta has a large picture of a bowl with the pasta in it. It is the first thing that catches your eye, and looks lovely causing you to pick it up. It does actually look like the pasta after you cook it, but not as saucy. Surrounding the picture is a blue shiny part with the Crosse & Blackwell logo along with the largest letters that read 'Pasta in 5!' Below is the flavour, being chicken and mushroom along with a short description: 'Great tasting pasta spirals in a chicken and mushroom flavour sauce mix'. In a red section to one side, which has a shiny appearance too clarifies the 5 minute cooking time by saying 'Microwave in 5 minutes... just add water and butter'. The front has quite an eye-catching design and looks rather tasty.
Turning the packet over, the colour scheme as changed to a non-shiny light blue colour. You can easily read the cooking instructions from here whether you cook it on the hob or in the microwave. On the right are the ingredients along with the nutritional information. It mentions that the pack contains 2 servings, but I would say this is as a snack or part of a main meal. Each packet can serve one as a main meal for lunch of dinner. You must store in a cool, dry place. The best before end date is also printed on the back, and shouldn't be eaten past this date. Considering that mine says April 2009, it gives plenty of time for you to eat it in.
The pasta itself is reached by just ripping off the top of the packet. It comes as dry pasta in small spirals mixed with a powder that gives it the flavour, as well as bits of dried mushroom to add to the taste. There is no reason why you can't add your own ingredients to it.
This pasta is very easy to cook, whether you microwave or do it on the hob. On the hob is a bit slower, but easier to keep an eye on and less likely to overflow. When you do it in the microwave, it still needs to be covered and kept a close eye on or it tends to bubble up and overflow, which causes a mess and ruins the pasta. Having timed it, it took me almost 6 minutes on the Hob to cook. However, from eating it I found that it could have done with a bit longer although the sauce had all been taken up. I even put in over the guideline of water, but it still wasn't enough to cook it, and left me with a few drier bits of pasta. Below are some easy steps to cooking it on the hob, which is recommended over the microwave:
1. Place 375ml of water and around 15g of butter in a saucepan
2. Bring to the boil
3. Tear off the packet at one end, making sure you have shaken it to get the contents to the bottom
4. Pour into the boiling water and shake and tap the sides to get all the powder in
5. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
6. Turn off the heat/remove from heat and leave to stand for 2 minutes
7. Stir well and serve immediately
The cooking instructions are easy to follow, and it is very easy to cook. One thing I would advise is to add way more than 375ml of water. Try around 400ml or a bit more, because it doesn't do any harm and all it does is soften the pasta a bit more. With around 390ml, I still had dry bits of pasta in there that weren't fully cooked! It is very quick to cook compared to other pasta sauces, and requires no real washing up as all you need is a saucepan and wooden spoon to stir with.
It was piping hot, even after standing for 2 minutes when I served it into a shallow but wide bowl, which is ideal in case it is saucy (which mine wasn't). It had a somewhat creamy taste and you could taste the slightest essence of what you could call chicken. To be honest, it didn't really taste of chicken much, but you wouldn't expect it to. The stronger taste was of the mushroom that was in there, and this was probably helped by the bits of mushroom as well as the powdered flavouring. One thing to make sure you do it stir it well when cooking it, to prevent powder getting stuck in the spirals, which somehow doesn't dissolve and ends up on your plate as a hard piece with an intense taste, which isn't nice. This happens with all pasta in sauces like this, so you can't really complain. Considering it took just over 5 minutes to cook and 2 minutes standing time, it wasn't bad at all and was hot and filling. I would also suggest adding more water than 375ml if you want your pasta properly cooked or a bit softer, as 390ml wasn't even enough for mine.
The pasta contains a lot of calories and fat per packet, which isn't very good for you. I wouldn't recommend having these on a regular basis as you will just get fat, and they aren't very healthy.
PER PACK (Cooked):
Energy - 568kcal
Protein - 17.6g
Carbohydrate - 73.4g
Of which sugars - 12.8g
Fat - 22.7g
Of which saturates - 14.4g
Fibre - 9.6g
Sodium - 1.2g
This provides over a quarter of your daily guideline amount of calories. Over 73g of carbohydrate is an extraordinary amount, which will just provide extra fat storage for you, so it really isn't good for you. Over 22g of fat is a lot too, with over half of that being saturated which is even worse for your health. With 1.2g of sodium too, this is almost at your guideline daily amount, and considering that all foods have sodium, it is a large amount to have in one meal. For a lunch, it is very bad to have regularly, but perhaps once every week or two for dinner isn't terrible.
I bought my packet for 89p at Tesco. The price isn't bad considering it can easily be had as a main meal at dinner time, or even for lunch it isn't a bad price. They are very cheap and I like to buy quite a few to keep in the cupboard for emergency meals!
This pasta is very filling and is a great emergency snack or great for lunches and even dinners. They are very easy to make and only take just over 5 minutes to make and serve. They taste rather nice, but the cooking instructions may need to be adjusted to get your pasta just right. They lack flavour, don't come in a foil insulated packet and are very bad for you with extreme amounts of fat and carbohydrate in them, making up over a quarter of your daily guideline amount. They are good as a treat now and then, but not recommended to be eaten regularly as they will just pile on the weight!
Thanks for reading,
- Recon -
A meal in a packet??? What a great idea!!!! I first tried a meal in a packet whilst I was at university and went through the 'I can't be bothered to cook' stage of life. I first bought pasta and sauce in a packet because my mates recommended them and tried many different brands but I have to say that the Crosse & Blackwell range are probably one of my favourites. This review focuses on the Chicken and Mushroom flavour product which I have tried on many occasions.
The product comes in a large paper packet which is lined with foil to keep the contents dry and fresh. It has the brand name and flavour in huge letters on the front and the packet is red in colour which makes it pretty easy to find on the supermarket shelves amongst all the other pasta in a packet products. The packaging also contains the cooking instructions as well as the nutritional information and the company are keen to point out that this product contains no artificial colours, artificial preservatives or added MSG. The pack I bought recently contained 180g for the price of 120g which is approximately 3 servings.
There are two ways of cooking this product, either in the microwave or on the hob. I personally prefer to cook the product on the hob as it is easier to keep an eye on how its cooking although the microwave method is quicker if you are rushed for time. When cooking the pasta you also need to add 180 ml of milk and 420ml of water and an optional 22g of butter or margarine (It tastes much better if butter is used in cooking). The mixture need to be allowed to simmer for about 10 minutes before serving and should then be left to stand so that you don't burn your mouth (Which I have done on several occasions).
Nutritional Information (Per 100g)
Energy - 484KJ (114kcal)
Protein - 5.3g
Carbohydrate - 20.8g
Of which sugars- 2.5g
Of which saturates - 0.2g
Fibre - 1,9g
Sodium - 0.3g
Once cooked the products looks really tasty with the sauce looking quite thick and the herbs in the sauce add a nice bit of colour. The smell is gorgeous and really gets your tummy rumbling and unlike many products like these it actually smells of
chicken and mushroom.
The Taste Test
The meal tastes pretty good considering that the minimum amount of effort was put into making it. Obviously its got nothing on freshly made pasta and sauce but when you are rushed for time it is definitely and eatable option. I always have a few of these in the cupboard just in case I find myself short of time and need some food quickly. One problem of the product is that sometimes the powder that's makes up the sauce gets trapped in the pasta tubes and when you eat it you may find a load of powder inside a tube of pasta which isn't too pleasant.
This particular packet cost me 89p which I think is pretty reasonable since you get three servings out of a packet. Compared to supermarket own brands this is a little more than the average price but you pay for what you get and it tastes pretty good.
I really like this product mainly because of how easy it is to make and how cheap it is. It tastes really nice and is probably a lot better for you than other packet meals such as a pot noodle. The other bonus of the product is that it can be used to accompany other foods and you can add real chicken to it for a more chickeny taste. For anyone who has a hectic lifestyle or just can't be bothered cooking I would definitely recommend this product.