Product Type: Tesco Pasta / Noodles
Newest Review: ... 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 ha... more
Tesco Value Penne Pasta
Member Name: Dryad
Tesco Value Penne Pasta
Advantages: Cheap, very cheap, tastes as good as it's nearest price bracket competitors
Disadvantages: Absolutely hopeless in pasta bakes. other than that none.
Having two children who love pasta I've been buying different types for some time - I don't have the energy, skills or time to make my own pasta, just as I've given up baking bread and cakes. On a huge budget drive for more than a year now I've tried the value brands of most of my regular purchases and Tesco Value Penne Pasta is a regular re-purchase.
This pasta is one of the very few budget brands that has actually gone down in price since I first purchased it, whilst most have gone up by about 30-40% this has dropped from an already excellent 32p for 500gms to 18p for the same amount. It is a smaller bag than I would normally buy, but at this price I can always buy a few bags and still come out better off.
The penne/quills are a nice size, pretty standard, being not the jumbo type but the 'aperture'/width does seem a tad narrower than other similar penne quills. The length is also a pretty standard at about an inch to an inch and a half long. On the (usual basic) value packaging it recommends that you add to boiling salted water and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, I must admit that I don't like my pasta al dente, and to get this pasta cooked but not soggy it takes a good 15 - 20 minutes. Not just longer than the instructions but longer than other similar products.
My girls really like pasta bake and I tend to use penne pasta to make it, this pasta is in my opinion pretty awful in a pasta bake. Every single time I have used it the pasta has failed to cook or absorb the sauce in the allotted time, the first time I used it for this I had to throw away the bake. I have tried adding a little more liquid and cooking for longer at a slightly higher temperature, but the results while only just edible were still very disappointing, to the point where I won't use this pasta for bakes anymore. For general pasta dishes where you can simply boil/simmer the product it is perfectly acceptable.
I wouldn't say the flavour or the texture is anything special, I may be a heathen but pasta to me generally doesn't taste of anything much (unless it is specifically flavoured), and is best as a carbohydrate base for delicious sauces, and this fulfils that function perfectly adequately.
It is what it is, a cheap alternative to a common everyday product, which does the job but has limitations. I will continue to buy it as long as it remains cheap, if the price rises close to other Tesco own brand pasta or a 'branded' product (as their value toilet tissue recently did, but in fairness the quality improved too) then I will jump ship without a second thought.
Ingredients are given as with most pasta:
Durum Wheat Semolina,Soft Wheat Semolina
Summary: A good budget price pasta that helps feed the hordes without breaking the bank.
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