In this review I will be looking at the “Everyday” branded pasta from Tesco, I will do this by looking through a series of subjects that will help me come to an overall recommendation for anyone who is thinking of purchasing the product.
I will look be discussing the following area :-
* Taste and Usage
* Packaging and Storage
* Price and Alternatives
* Conclusion and Recommendation
The cooking of this pasta, like most pasta is straight forward per 100g of pasta I recommend you use 1 litre of boiling water in a pan cook, then at the highest temperature on your oven of for 10-15 minutes, I always add salt for flavour (sometimes butter). I tend to do a taste test to see if there cooked through before draining to remove excess water.
I recommend if you're cooking for for to use the whole bag as that's 125 grams roughly each, The full bag being 500g.
Taste and Usage
As a family we tend to eat pasta 2 to 3 times a week in various forms, I don't tend to find much taste difference between brands I found this pasta to be like most pasta very tasty and easy to cook. I once served this pasta to my mother who is a bit of a brand snob and she said she could tell the difference but conveniently couldn't tell me what difference was. In my personal experience I find that this pasta is pretty much the same as other packaged Penne pasta I have bought elsewhere.
They're also great for Pasta Crafts with the kids!
Ingredients as of June 2015 (Source Sainsbury's website 2015)
Durum Wheat Semolina, Durum Wheat Flour
As with all pasta they generally just contain wheat which is no different to this pasta.
For your Recommend Intake's a 100g serving would be the following :-
Total Sugars 2%
(Source Sainsbury's website 2015)
These are average for pasta and I have no concern when cooking these for my family.
Packaging and Storage
The packaging is covered in the “Everyday” branding and is fully plastic, once open has no resale option as part of the packaging. The only downside is once opened if you have nothing to put them they have the tendency to spill all over the cupboard. I wouldn't let the branding put you as the product is just fine.
As per most dry foods it's recommended you store in a cool dry place, which unless you're a mermaid it shouldnt be a problem.
Price and Alternatives
The price of this product is a very affordable 30p, and when your having 2 to 3 packets a week really helps the family shopping budget stay down.
*Tesco Whole Wheat Penne 500G 0.75p (Tesco Web Price June 2015)
*Sainsbury's Basic Pasta 500G 0.35p (Sainsburys Web Price June 2015)
*Morrisons Penne 500g 0.59p (Morrisons Web Price June 2015)
As you can see from the price of other alternatives these are a really good price and hard to turn your nose up at, unless your my mother who thinks you should buy everything from M&S.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In conclusion I find this pasta to taste fine, cook well, have the standard ingredients for my families tummy's and to have reasonable packaging (if you use the whole pack at once anyway.) but the main thing about this product is its fantastic price. As a recommendation because of all these reasons its a big thumbs up from me and I recommend this product.
Pasta can expensive from Tesco's so when I'm not buying in -say- Home Bargains I tend to buy Everyday Value and have done on numerous occasions. Value do two types of dry pasta, long spaghetti and penne both 500g which is the same size as most average bags (unless you're buying the large sizes); I generally buy penne. Their spaghetti costs only 20p and penne 29p so really cheap, especially when Tesco own can be a pound for the same amount (Napolina is half price until 15/4/14 but still 65p).
The pasta comes in a plain see through bag with the 'Everyday' rebrand depicting relevant pictures. The bag is no more likely to rip open than other pasta's I buy. Penne is inch long tubes with ridges, the pasta itself is slightly duller in colour than dearer pasta's but nothing to write home about. I wanted to know what was different about the pasta to warrant such a difference in price between brands so I looked up the ingredients: Everyday Value- Durum Wheat Semolina, Soft Wheat Semolina with 355 calories per 100g as sold. Expensive brand- 100% Durum Wheat Semolina with 362 calories per 100g as sold; so similar.
To cook you just put in a large pan of boiling water for 10-12 minutes then rinse in boiling water, I find it takes a bit longer than this however. The tubes swell up to twice their size and a 500g bag of this will feed four people in our house; five at a push. But what do they taste like? Pasta really, when covered in sauce you can't tell much difference between these and more expensive brands; although there is a slight difference (value have a stronger taste) but I only noticed this after eating expensive pasta. The tubes are also firmer in comparison- but that's not a bad thing.... I would recommend this particular pasta because at that price there's not much difference in taste really, only the fact they take a bit longer to cook and slightly firmer in texture.
I have used Tesco's value penne pasta for a few years now. It is available from their stores for only 29p, where you receive a 500g packet. I find that for two of us, the packet lasts for two meals, with half of a packet used each time. To cook the pasta, all it needs is to be boiled in a pan of water until it softens. Once softened, the pasta is then drained and served alongside whatever you fancy - we have ours with either tuna mayonnaise (when the pasta has cooled) or with mince and pasta sauce to make a pasta bolognese. Although it is cheap, it tastes delicious and is great for the simple meals that we use it for. For fancier dinner meals, I do sometimes purchase fresh pasta as a treat but for weekday teas and lunches, the value pasta is perfect for our needs. I have always found that it takes longer than most other pastas to boil up - I usually boil the kettle first, then use that boiled water in the pan on the hob so I'm not having to wait for the hob to heat the water from scratch but even doing that I find it takes about 12 minutes to get close to softening (fresh pasta I buy for weekends usually takes about 4 minutes). Now I know exactly how long the pasta takes to soften I can plan the cooking of the mince etc around it so it's not a big issue but it may not be the best choice if you see pasta as providing a very quick meal. I also find that water sometimes holds within the pasta after draining as it is tubular being penne, however this isn't particular to this value type, that is something I've found with the penne variety in general. I would recommend this pasta, it's a great food to have in the cupboard and one I use when I come home from work and need to produce a relatively quick meal for us. It tastes good and is very cheap too.
Last night I had friends coming round . Now normally we would have a takeaway but I'm taking part In a no buy month so I had to make do with what's in the cupboard. One of my friends would be described as quite a snob (only buys marks and Spencer's food) and quite actively moans about value or saver ranges. i finally decided to make a home pride pasta dish with some added cheese and chicken.The question was would my guests like it or would they talk me into a takeaway.
This comes in a clear plastic(non resealable) bag with the tesco logo on the front and the contents listed on the back. Not very stylish but hey its basic and serves its purpose. I would normally store pasta etc in jars anyway so not being able to seal the bag doesn't bother me
I followed the instructions for making a homepride pasta bake then i added in extra pieces of chicken.I have made pasta bakes before and the guests didn't think it tasted any different (maybe they didn't want to upset me ). I personally didn't notice any difference and i think with this type of dish the actual pasta used isn't that important because you are adding other flavors to it.I don't know if i would like it in a pasta pot style dish (like the ones you get from a sandwich chiller) I don't think the taste and texture is quite right.
**Guideline Daily Amount Summary**
Calories 265 -13%of your GDA
Sugar 2g -2%of your GDA
Fat -1g-2%of your GDA
Saturates 1g-2%of your GDA
**Price/where to buy**
Its a Tesco product and currently costs 29p for 500g.The asda version is the same price so i would say its good value,i can stick it in with a price promise shop and not have to worry about losing out.
I would recommend this for sauce based dishes but not sure how it would do in a salad. The pack size is annoying as it serves 2 1/2 pasta bakes but that's just me nit picking.
Everyone is trying to cut back nowadays and with a new arrival in the house even more so now. My son loves pasta and would probably eat it for every meal if I let him wherein lies my problem we get through bags and bags of the stuff. Although brands and supermarkets own labels aren't that badly priced I was buying more pasta than cat food a month! So a change was needed and after trying other basis label food I decided to give this pasta a whirl.
Like most basis food the packaging is not going to be winning any awards for innovation or attractiveness nor durability. I find that once opened it needs to go somewhere a jar, pot, box or somewhere. Unlike the more expensive packets there is no resealable sticker so once opened its open.
The penne once out of the packets looks like........penne pasta surprise surprise and there's no wave a magic wand and spin around dance in one foot jiggery pokery needed just get out the saucepan and add water and salt if that's how you do it or not if you don't and put on the hob. Once you think the waters ready add the required amount of pasta a feat I struggle with I tend to have extra left over portion control is brilliant but for this price that's not an issue and usually means pasta for lunch at work.
Once cooked it looks and tastes like pasta but then again unless spending a fortune on expensive pasta then you probably won't notice the difference we don't and my cupboard looks tidy with jars in it instead of half used packets.
If your a food snob avoid if your looking at cost cutting then give it a try and let it become a staple for your cupboard too.
I am really on a spending cull at the moment, and so in trying to live frugally I am trying Supermarket Basics/Value/Smartprice brand products to see if we can live with it. I was wandering through Tesco with my sister about a month ago, when I spotted this pasta and remembering our bag at home was almost finished I figured it would be worth a shot for only 29p!
The packaging has been updated so not as unaesthetic in appearance, as it is a clear packet, with the Tesco Everday Value label in the middle and pictures of pasta, bowls, spoons and vegetables in a brown logo so looks a lot less basic! A pack is 500g which is a decent sized bag for us!
The penne is dry, and made of Durum Wheat Semolina and Soft Wheat Semolina. Just looking at them through the bag, they do not look any less in quality than the Tesco Penne where 1kg costs £1.45 - a pretty big jump in price. The quills I would say are somewhat smaller, but they are all whole, there isn't a bag full of broken, squished pasta quills they are all a solid shape.
To make the pasta, it is quick and easy to do by boiling the penne in water for 10-12 minutes. Pasta is one of the easiest things to make, and this is no different, so when the water is bubbling I always add a splash of salt and pour in the required amount of pasta and leave it to do it's thing and voila! Dinner is almost ready.
I have used this penne to make chicken arrabiata, and also in pasta bolognese (when we are out of spaghetti) or even with a mushroom sauce and chicken and in all variations we have loved eating this pasta and not noticed any real difference! It could be because most dishes I cook mask the flavour of the pasta as there is always a meat and sauce to accompany it, but my daughter is rather fussy and always likes her pasta dry, so I tend to dish her dinner up with the pasta and then the sauce/meat on the side and she has wolfed this pasta down numerous times with no complaints!
On the whole, I really recommend this pasta as a cheap, perfectly edible pasta variation and I will now be seeking to try some of the others in this range such as the spaghetti. For tagliatelle/linguine I will most likely stick with the normal Supermarket brands but this is great for a cupboard staple that doesn't break the bank! A 500g bag at 29p which in our house has made at least 4 servings so far, with half the bag left makes the overall costs of our dinners really affordable and leaves lots of money leftover for the bills!
Unfortunately now I have an extra mouth to feed, I am having to find a few ways to stretch my money out further.
When doing the weekly shop a couple of weeks back, I was looking at pasta when my eyes fell upon this.
Tesco Everyday Value penne. At just 29p for a 500g bag.....
When you compare that to Napolina at £1.30, or even just Tesco regular range at 95p, that really is quite a saving. And the way I see it, how much difference can there be in dried pasta?
The pasta itself comes in a cellophane bag which unlike the pricier brands, does not have a re sealable sticky bit on it to keep the bag sealed. To be honest, that doesn't bother me at all as I tip the whole lot into a pasta jar anyway.
The pasta is not extraordinary in any way shape or form. It's just like every other dried pasta I have ever bought (except for the cheaper price!)
So once boiled in water, how does it taste?
Exactly the same as every other pasta I have ever cooked. Seriously. As I had expected, how much different can one pasta taste? It doesn't taste slimy or rough or grainy at all, in fact it doesn't taste any different from the more expensive brands I used to buy.
Of course the pasta isn't exactly "tasty" - it is of course a very bland tasting product after all - isn't that why we always smother it in sauce and cheese?
But texture wise this stuff is fine. Nice and springy and smooth.
I would recommend the switch to this cheaper brand to anyone. It tastes no different to any other brand but the coat saving is significant. And if you are a brand snob who doesn't like the Everyday Value range - go and buy yourself a pasta jar!
I eat pasta a couple of times a week - and when I do I have it in vast quantities. I'm not greedy - I just like lots and lots!
The Baron avoids carbs, so when I make pasta it is just for me - with the amount I eat there wouldn't be much room left in the pot if we were both having some.
I always have at least three bags of Tesco Everyday Value Penne Pasta in the food cupboard. The packaging, like all Tesco Value products, has been updated (I'm actually feeling quite nostalgic for those old distinctive designs!).
Penne is the name for little tubed-shaped pasta pieces or "quills" as they are often referred to. They have a little pointy "nib" at each end and lines all round the outside of the tube. It cooks easily in about ten minutes in boiling water on the hob. I know most people prefer their pasta "Al dente" but I like mine cooked right through. I find that the Value penne is great quality for my taste - perhaps if you did prefer your pasta al dente the quality might not be so good, but I can't tell as I've never cooked it this way.
The bag weight is 500g, and I find that half a bag does me for one good meal, plus a little bit left over to bring into work for lunchtime.
I usually have pasta hot with bolognaise, and I also have it with chilli instead of rice, because I like the way the little tubes fill up with sauce! Sometimes I just stir in some tomatoes and herbs, but try to avoid butter or oils - I eat so much quantity I have to keep an eye on some of the calories at least. I used it once or twice in a pasta bake when I had lots of people to cook for. I had no complaints, but although I like thoroughly cooked pasta, I found my pasta bakes very mushy and bland - this probably had more to do with my preparation than the quality of the Value pasta as I do hold back on those naughty things like butter and cream.
I also have it cold in a pasta salad - my favourite mix is low fat mayonnaise, chopped red and green peppers and sweetcorn. Again, like hot pasta I'll eat this by the bucket.
Tesco Everyday Value also has pasta available in spaghetti and in lasagne sheets. I often also buy these both: I like them all and I find the quality is fine.
As far as the calories go, 100g of the pasta as sold is 335 calories, so my portion (with the little bit left out for lunch) will have close to a scary 800 calories, so you can see why I don't indulge in butter or oils! I've recently got myself a lovely big pasta serving dish - but use this for my meal plate alone!
Currently the pack is priced at 29p, so it is great value, especially for me as I'm clearly going for quantity.
Maybe sometime I'll treat myself to a nice premium brand pasta and see if I can spot the difference.
However, just now the quality is fine for me, and along with a really tasty sauce (I make in bulk and stash in individual portions in the freezer) it's a cheap satisfying meal - and while I've yet to get the hang of portion control, at least price control is taken care of!
Thanks for reading.
Tesco Everyday Value Penne.
Made in Italy.
New packaging from the image above.
In a clear plastic bag which has brown and mustard coloured images of kitchen utensils and bowls of pasta.
500 grams and with a long shelf life - mine is up to April 2015.
It takes 12 minutes to cook in boiled slightly salted water.
75 grams per person which is equal to 265 calories.
1 inch long and with chiselled ends.
Contains wheat and gluten.
Suitable for Vegetarians.
Ingredients - Duran wheat semolina and soft wheat semolina.
Recipe suggestion on the packet - mine was for Penne Arrabblata.
Other Tesco's Penne is 95p for the same amount or £2 for Cooks Italian Penne.
Well I have often bought this inexpensive pasta, mostly for my son and his girlfriend who tend to go through a vast amount.
They are made of round tubes of slightly ridged pasta which are cut into one inch shapes on the diagonal to give pointed ends to each piece.
However I have not really been much of a pasta eater so hadn't tried it myself - though they ate it and never complained - so it couldn't have been that bad.
However recently I had some medical problems and was advised to go on a bland diet, so when ordering from Tesco I bought myself some of this Penne, as well as white rice and spaghetti.
The packaging is basic but adequate. the instructions are clear - just boil in slightly slated water for around 12 minutes. My pasta cooks fine in 12 minutes and i have been eating it on its own, with just a tiny sprinkling of salt and later on a little pepper.
Now you can imagine eating pasts in this way is not very inspiring but it does give me a great idea of what the pasta is actually like, as if the product was covered in a flavoured sauce it would be harder to for a proper impression of the Tesco Value Penne.
I found this pasta cooks well, is cooked without being too soggy and soft. Admittedly if does not have a lot of flavour when eaten plain, but then that is the nature of pasta and when I eat spaghetti it is just the same.
This Penne is great value and with a long shelf life is good to keep in your store cupboard and inexpensive meals.
My son eats this with just some grated cheese over the top or sometimes they make their own sauces or use shop-bought ones.
I have also over the years used half a tin of vegetable soup with a plate of pasts to make a quick and cheap meal - which is also filling - it can also be topped with cheese for even more flavour.
Although the bargain end of Tesco products I find nothing wrong with this Penne so do not see any need to buy a more expensive product.
Apparently Penne comes in two sorts - either smooth or ridged - this product is slightly ridged. It can be eaten hot or cold in salads. The ridges and hollow centre help it hold sauces.
The name Penne is derived form the Latin penna meaning "feather" or "quill" - as it has pointed chiselled ends as would have been used when people wrote with quills.
===Would I Recommend?===
If you consume a lot of pasta and resent having to spend over a pound for a packet that just gets eaten with no thought then consider trying this tesco value brand.
This pasta is slightly off colour, between brown and white pasta, this makes no difference to the taste however and if eaten with either a jar or homemade sauce you cannot tell that it is a cheaper brand.
It costs around 59p for a 500g bag, although I have seen a larger packet available in the bigger tesco stores. In one particular one I saw a whole sack of it! This could be a good option for those in larger families or students on a budget.
The pasta itself takes around 8minutes to cook when added to boiling water, add some salt to taste and then add your sauce and meat of choice.
The packaging is very plain with the majority of the bag being see through. The standard tesco value decorations of red and blue cover the front and there is also a brief description of the fats and calories on the front if you are interested in that information. I find that cooking for two people a bag of 500g lasts for 3-4 meals. It also tastes great in pasta salads the next day so do keep it in the fridge if you make too much.
The taste is worse than fresh pasta but compared to other dried pasta brands there is no real difference in quality. As it is a carbohydrate make sure that you dont just eat this and eat a balanced diet.
I have been using this pasta for a little over a year now, and this is the pasta I will always choose when I'm out shopping at Tesco. It's an absolute bargain! You get 500g grams of pasta in a bag so it's enough to do a couple of meals, and the current price on the Tesco's website is only 30p! You can't really go wrong with that, although I have noticed that the price of this pasta tends to vary week to week in store. I've seen it for as cheap as 16p, another week it will be 59p. Either way, it's always a super cheap option!
I tend to cook pasta a lot, and I'm a big fan of Italian food, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with this pasta. I genuinely can't tell the difference between this and some of the other more expensive and well known brands. It takes 12 minutes to cook, and I haven't noticed it sticking. I will generally give it a stir every so often though just to make sure. I think this is pretty tasty, and once you put your sauce on it, I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference.
The packaging is pretty basic, but who cares about that really when its going in your cupboard! It's not resealable but that doesn't tend to bother me to be honest. I think this pasta is ideal for students, people on a budget, or really anyone that doesn't want to waste money on a product that tastes pretty much the same as the more expensive brand!
A definite must buy!
Tesco own brand Penne Pasta is an okay everyday product if you're not wanting to cook something really special to impress. I do use if from time to time to feel my family because it's very inexpensive compared to other brands. A 500g bag of pasta (enough for a whole family) cost me just 59p from Tesco - and so throw in a little chicken, bacon, chilli and passata sauce and you have a pretty decent and inexpensive meal that is easy to prepare and good to eat. The bag isn't resealable, but as this is dried pasta it's not that important really and I would tend to transfer it to a Tupperware dish anyway if I wasn't to use it all in one go.
This pasta is dried and it needs to be boiled in salted water for approximately 12 minutes to have the pasta al dente. The pasta doesn't stick together and it remains a nicely formed penne pasta shape and it made out of wholemeal and so isn't bad for your health either. The pasta has an okay flavour to it, but it is clearly not as tasty as fresh pasta - but having said that, it is considerably cheaper as well. When it's mixed together in a sauce or in a bake it's a nice texture and there isn't really a lot to fault that I wouldn't fault about other dried pastas.
Overall, I would recommend this pasta for everyday use, but would suggest fresh pasta for something a little bit more special.
I love pasta. It is so easy to prepare and you can create lovely sauces to accompany it and it is easy to cook. Every store cupboard should have a packet! If you don't mind the fact that this penne comes from the Value range, then I recommend you try it.
I usually use penne for my pasta dishes as it is quite versatile, and I love the way it kind of fills with the sauce you use with it. It's great to stir into bolognais sauce and easy to make pasta bakes with.
Tesco Value pasta may be really cheap, but it is really good value for money in my opinion. At 18p for a 500g pack, it will make several family meals, so a really good buy.
This pasta only takes about 10-12 minutes to cook in boiling, slightly salted water after which you can use it in any which way you like. It tastes quite good, and if cooked correctly it has a nice texture. I usually use about 75g per person and find that is quite filling for most people, once you add whatever sauce you want. Stir-in sauces are easy to use for a quick meal, though I tend to cook my sauces from fresh.
This pasta is made from Duram wheat semolina and soft wheat semolina, so obviously if you have an allergy to this it will not be suitable for you. Not actually sure what the difference is between the two different types of semolina though. I'm not sure whether this pasta contains egg (some pasta does), though it doesn't list it on the ingredients. I have an intollerance to egg and have eaten this with no problems though, so I guess not.
Nutritionally, a 75g serving has 265 calories and only 1.1g of fat, so really quite healthy. It is very easy to store too and will keep for ages if you put it into an airtight container once opened.
I always buy this penne now and my daughter, who is at uni, so on a very tight budget, virtually lives off the stuff!
Really excellent value for money!
I get through a lot of pasta as it's an easy no-effort tea for weeknights. I use pasta for pasta bake (for baking in the oven with the sauce) and also for boiling on the hob, and this Tesco value pasta fulfils all these functions and tastes just as nice as the expensive stuff.
The packaging looks quite cheap, but the less snobby of us who like looking after our pennies don't mind the blue and red stripes that signify Tesco value products. Besides, once you've taken it home and poured it into your glass pasta jar it all looks the same so nobody needs to know! It comes in a clear packet with a red stripe across it so you can see the product inside the packet.
This pasta is excellent value, costing in the region of 18p for 500g. I use about half a bag each time I cook pasta, and this serves two of us, so we get two meals for two out of a bag which usually lasts us a week depending on what else we're having that week. The price does fluctuate between branches and at different times for some reason, I think my mum once bought it for 13p (and must have repeated this fact to me several times during the same visit!), but even so it's always the cheapest on the shelf so we tend to stock up and throw a few in the trolley when we're running low.
Penne is quite distinctive in shape, and I think this is the only shape that Tesco do in the value range, but for the price you can't be too fussy really! Pasta tends to taste the same to me regardless of brand or shape, I think it depends what you're cooking with it that gives the meal its taste so I don't see the point in spending more when there's no need.
It takes about 10 minutes to cook on the hob, and goes a slightly lighter colour when cooked. The texture is nice and soft and it's easy to chew which makes it easy to digest. It goes well with all sorts of pasta sauces, Bolognese etc and I think the shape of this pasta works with most of these kinds of meals.
The nutritional information per 75g serving (and percentage of recommended daily allowance) is as follows:
Calories 265 (13%)
Sugar 2g (2%)
Fat 1g (2%)
Saturates 1g (2%)
Salt - Trace
So all in all it's a good healthy accompaniment to whatever sauce you're putting it with, and a fantastic money saver
We often eat pasta in our house. I find it extremely filling. Its also ideal as Im a vegetarian and my husband is a big meat eater so I often make a vegetarian pasta dish and he has meat in some form or another with it. I've recently been buying Tesco Value Pasta but I didn't tell Mark at first because he always said he dint fancy it.
Tesco Penne is only 17p for a 500g bag making it much cheaper than Tesco regular brand.
It is sold in a clear cellophane bag with a red band across the middle with Penne written across it. The bag shows the Tesco Value logo and also gives the GDA's for a 75g serving. These are:-
The back of the pack gives the cooking instructions along with a more detailed list of nutritional information. There is a small piece of allergy advice to say that the pasta contains wheat and gluten and Tesco cannot guarantee that it hasn't been produced in a nut free factory. All of this information is repeated in 5 other languages.
Penne as I'm certain everyone knows are small pasta tubes with pointed ends, I always prefer using this shape because any sauce I make fills the tubes, although I don't know if Tesco actually do any other type of pasta in their value range anyway. I've only ever seen penne in my local Tesco. The pasta tubes look just like any other type of pasta except maybe the tubes are slightly smaller.
I use this regularly, it cooks nicely in approximately 10minuets depending on how you like you like your pasta, and personally I don't think it tastes any different to any dried pasta I've ever bought. It has a nice texture and flavour.
I make sauces and we use this value pasta for pasta bake or we have this cold in salads. What ever I've done with it the pasta has always tasted good, even if its a very quick snack of baled beans and grated cheese on top of it.
As I mentioned I didn't tell Mark I had bought the Value pasta and just served pasta dishes as normal. I used half the pack before I made my confession and he had to admit that there was no difference in texture or taste.
I would definitely recommend giving this a try, it really is very good for the price. It doesn't matter whether you are making hot pasta dishes with or without meat or cold pasta salad dishes for parties and BBQ's this pasta is ideal. It tastes nice and has a good texture. I agree its not in the same league as fresh pasta but compared to other dried pasta it stands up very well.