* Prices may differ from that shown
Living on my own more often than not I buy frozen ready meals. Having done weightwatchers years ago if I'm watching what I'm eating and trying to be healthy I will buy them and very often I find the freezer meals at a cost of just £1.00, I can't complain about that!
This meal comes in a mainly purple coloured box and there is a photograph on the front of the spaghetti bolognaise and we are clearly told what it is and who it is by and that it contains 8 points (handy to know at a glance if you are following the Weightwatchers point system as I once did!) and that the meal contains 296Kcal and has 6.1g of fat then on the back of the box other information we are given includes being told a bit about the product, the ingredients are fully listed, full nutritional details are given as well as heating instructions, that the whole meal weighs 320g and contact details for the manufacturer are given. The meal comes in a black plastic dish with see through plastic that covers that and it is easy to remove.
You can oven cook this or microwave it and in the oven your looking at about 45 minutes, in the microwave (my preferred option cos I'm lazy!) it takes about 8 minutes.
So what do you get. Well I've had this is a number of times and its simply ok. You get quite a lot within the meal though most of that is spaghetti which is slightly soggy but like I say there is plenty of that. You get that mixed up with the bolognaise sauce and again you get a fair bit of that though that it is mushy and not as wet or saucy as I'd like it to be.
The bolognaise is made up of course of tomatoes and the juice of tomatoes, little bits (not enough in my view) of minced beef which can be a little on the chewy side, there are meant to be mushrooms in it (though I can never find them to be honest!) and tiny slithers of onions. Its seasoned well enough and I can taste garlic, oregano and basil within it and actually see the green herbs scattered through the meal.
Like I said earlier this is simply an ok meal but its nothing special. There isn't enough sauce in it, its a bit soggy and rather boring and when I'm eating this I wouldn't go as far as saying yum...I enjoyed that its just something to eat and it can be cooked from frozen quite quickly and lazily in the microwave which suits me.
Not awful but I only buy it if there isn't any other choice to be honest. Its widely available in all good supermarkets and the highest price I have seen this at is £1.75....not worth it if you feel compelled to try it grab it a quid!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Product: WW (Heinz) Spaghetti Bolognese
Price: ASDA: £1.68, Tesco: £1 (Special offer usually 4 for £5)
Nutrition Information (per pack): 306 calories, 7.2g fat, 2.7g saturated fat, 9.3g sugar, 1.7g salt.
Weight Watchers ProPoints Value: 8 ProPoints (per pack)
-- Cooking --
You can cook this meal either in the oven or in a microwave. Sadly I'm a lazy and impatient cook so I opted for the microwave as it's quicker. The intructions are on the side of the packet and for an 850W microwave you cook the Spaghetti Bolognese for 6 minutes and 30 secs then stir the sauce and serve.
-- Taste --
It smelled nice and I couldn't wait for the microwave to stop. It smelled so good that I had my face stuck at the microwave door watching it cook and I almost danced with glee when the microwave pinged announcing my dinner was ready.
Dissapointingly the taste did not live up to the meals delicious aroma. The pasta was all stuck together and hard, overcooked in some parts. The pasta also had a really weird consistency it was like soggy plastic and did not taste like normal pasta. The sauce was quite thin and watery, it had a rather bland taste of watery tomatoes and there seemed to be an abundance of sauce and hardly any mince. The little bit of mince that my meal did contain tasted like plastic and was quite chewy, not very nice at all.
The pasta was congealed in some parts and stuck together in hard clumps. The meal was not very visually apetizing after cooking and tasted even worse.
In my opinion the cooking times need revising and the meal may need to be cooked less. I actually felt sick half way through my meal and threw the other half in the bin.
I wouldn't waste any of my WW Points or money on this product again.
As some of you may be aware from reading my reviews, I had been attempting to go on a sort of slow diet! I have managed to lose a little weight but now I am really struggling and have broken my diet on many occasions; in fact I was horrified to find out I had regained 2 pounds in weight!!
However, when I was being very good with the diet I bought myself a few Weight watchers meals; I often buy Weight watchers food when dieting. I got this one from Iceland for only a £1.00. In fact for as long as I can remember Iceland have been selling Weight watchers frozen meals at this low price.
The meal is described as 'Minced beef cooked in tomato and red wine sauce with pasta'. The taste of the meal really is lovely. The sauce is excellent, tomatoey and with a hint of red wine taste. It is also the right consistency. Its not watery or runny and just the right thickness. There are also onions and mushrooms in the meal. I wouldn't say you get a huge amount of mince, in fact there isn't that much, very small pieces. However, in my view you don't need a lot with this meal. There is enough Spaghetti and enough of the meal. You don't expect to get huge amounts with a low fat meal and this dish is no exception. However, its ample.
I cooked the meal in the microwave. It only tales about 7 minutes and comes out great. The spaghetti cooks well and doesn't taste stodgy or anything. I personally cook the meal in the microwave for 6 minutes first; then take the plastic cover off and stir the food; I then put it back in the microwave for the final minute. It will depend on your microwaves wattage of course.
Cooked Spaghetti pasta (30%) ; water, Durham wheat Semolina .
Concentrated tomato puree
Diced tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato juice, Salt, Firming agent-Calcium
Red wine (2%)
Modified Maize starch
Basil & Garlic Blend (Basil, Vegetable Oil, Garlic puree, Milk, Oregano, Dextrose, Salt, Red chillies)
Flavouring (contains milk)
The product contains Gluten, milk & wheat
There are only 289 kcals in this meal (320g) and its also super low fat with only 1.9% fat per meal.
I highly recommend this meal to anyone who is dieting or trying to watch their weight. Its tastes great and is also extremely good value for money if you buy it at Iceland. You can't go wrong at just a £1.00 per meal. This dish thoroughly deserves the full 5 Dooyoo stars.
As I am working my way through all the ready meals on offer from Weight Watchers whilst I follow the new ProPoints plan I have tried yet another new dish, Spaghetti Bolognaise.
I haven't been a massive fan of Spag Bol for a while, since I was pregnant with my son and had a rather nasty tasting one, and its rarely a choice of mine, however as it was a WW meal and I was doing my weekly shop online rather than popping to Iceland for my WW meals I had limited choice and decided to give it a go.
I got my dish from Tesco online for the offer price of £1, and I beleive that Iceland also has it on offer at the same price. Full price at Tesco is £1.67.
The box describes the meal as 'minced beef cooked in tomato and red wine sauce with pasta' and has 'Enjoy!' emblazoned on it too.... Well I was hoping to!! Under the ProPoints scheme this meal will take 8 points from your daily allowance.
The first thing I will say is the spagetti was all cooked after the 7 minutes in the microwave, whereas I often find ready meals with pasta in either have the pasta going hard or its not fully cooked, but this one was which was a pleasant suprise. However there is good reason for this..... Its just so watery! The sauce contains lots of mince which was nice as normally ready meals are a bit stingey on how much you get, but the 'sauce' was just like tomato flavoured water! Very much a let down as I like my spag bols/chilli's etc to be rather thick. I think maybe I was expecting too much of a ready meal, but it was far too watery even for such a product!
The flavour I would only describe as ok... It tasted like spag bol, but it was just overpowered by the tomato water! I could taste the red wine it describes faintly at times, but I think I was too in shock at just how disappointing the 'sauce' was to really pay full attention!
Normally I give ready meals, especially low fat ones, a bit of leeway on their overall consistency but unfortunately this meal was just far too disappointing. There was positives in the spaghetti cooked well and there was plenty of mince, but the 'sauce' just let it down. That is why I'm giving this dish a rather poor 2 stars.
Now to face the fact I have another one sat in my freezer that needs eating!!
Sometimes when you just dont have the time to cook, a ready meal is the best (at least quickest) idea. When I buy Weight Watchers products, its not usually because I think it will help me with my diet or anything, but simply because I like the look of the product and something also very important that helps me make the decision is the pricing.
In Tescos, they usually have Weight Watchers products on offer or at least for a lower price than the other ready meals out there - of course not lower than their own no frills products.
This spaghetti comes in two bags, one for the spaghetti pasta and the other for the bolognese sauce. I find that these bags are quite small, but seem to make your plate look quite full once there.
When cooking the spaghetti, you need to pierce the bags to give them a little air. Then simply pop into the microwave for an allocated time depending on the power of your microwave. My particular microwave took approximately 6 minutes and then another 2 before allowing some time for it to cool before it was ready to eat. Not too bad I guess, but thinking about it you could probably make something more nutritionally balanced in that amount of time.
When the food is ready and you open the bagged contents and pour it onto your plate, it can be a little tricky, especially if you have pierced holes right in the middle of the bag. Guiding the spaghetti through the hole is one thing, but the sauce... wow you could quite very easily burn yourself.
They should tell you to cut the bags in the corner or something, but the again maybe you wouldnt get the same cooking effect. I dont know. So to summarize, it can be quite messy just getting the food onto a plate.
The food itself when you are eating it isnt actually that bad, except you kind of get the feeling that you arent filling up at all. You are eating, but it doesnt seem to do anything and before you have even noticed, its all gone. You dont get quite enough to fill you up! Is that why it is called weight watchers..?! Hmm. You might as well eat a packet of crisps, less fat content and quicker!
Overall I liked the taste of the actual product, but everything else around it, such as the packaging, the content and how satisfactory i felt after wasnt so good. There definitely wasnt enough of the actual spaghetti to even get me to nearly full never mind stop me from feeling hungry.
This is a product I like - but only for the taste and nothing else.
Because I work until 12am every weekday I can very rarely be bothered to cook when I get home so for the past few months I have been having ready meals. Over time this has taken it's toll and has started to make me gain a little weight so I decided to leave the standard ready meals behind and head for a healthier option.
When shopping the other day I came across a great 5 for £5 deal on Weight Watchers ready meals at Asda so I thought I would give them a go.
You can cook these in the oven, but because I didn't want to wait the 40-45 minutes, I popped it in the microwave for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
When it was ready, I transferred it to a plate as I hate eating them straight from the tray.
My first impressions were that it didn't really look very nice and I noticed that there was a little water coming from the pasta, but it did smell quite appetising. There also didn't seem to be that much of it.
When I began to eat, I was pleasantly surprised as it really was very enjoyable. The minced meat was very nice and not gristly at all which can be the case a lot of the time. There was a nice ratio between sauce and pasta, and the pasta also tasted nice.
The sauce is quite thick with a good amount of meat and mushrooms and whole pieces of tomato which were tangy and very tasty.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable meal.
For those who are interested, the ingredients are as follows:
Cooked Pasta (30%, Durum Wheat Semolina, Water), Water, Beef (15%), Concentrated Tomato Puree, Diced Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Salt, Firming Agent - Calcium Chloride) Onions, Mushrooms, Red Wine (2%), Garlic Puree, Modified Maize Starch, Sugar, Basil & Garlic Blend (Basil, Vegetable oil, Garlic Puree, Milk, Oregano, Dextrose, Salt, Red Chillies), Salt, Flavouring (Contains Milk), Basil, Oregano, Black Pepper.
It also contains Gluten, Wheat and Milk.
One pack of this is worth 5 Weight Watchers points. Not that useful to me as I am not following the WW diet.
Nutritional Information is as follows (per pack, 320g):
Energy - 306 kCal
Protein - 18.4g
Carbohydrate - 42.0g
(of which sugars) - 9.3g
Fat - 7.2g
(of which saturates) - 2.7g
Fibre - 2.4g
Sodium - 0.7g
Salt Equivalent - 1.7g
So, as we can see, not a bad bunch of ingredients and the nutritional information looks quite good.
I would definitely buy this again.
I recently spotted the '5 for £5' offer on Weight Watchers meals at Asda. I picked up a Shepherd's Pie to try, plus a few Beef Hotpots, and was left with one spot to fill. I decided to give it to the Spaghetti Bolognaise, as despite not being a big fan of this dish normally, I thought it looked nice from the picture on the packet.
The meal comes in a black plastic tray covered with clear film, which is inside a recyclable cardboard box. Normally it costs £1.43 from Asda, and it contains 320 grams.
If you are following the Weight Watchers diet you will be pleased to hear this meal contains only 5 points. For those of you watching calories, it comes in at 306 calories, 9.3 grams of sugar and 7.2 grams of fat. Therefore it is quite good with regards to calories but not so impressive in terms of fat and sugar.
The meal is easy to cook. It can be put in the microwave for a few minutes or cooked in the oven for 40-45 minutes, and doesn't need to be defrosted first so it doesn't require much planning ahead. I always cook these sorts of meals in the oven as I think they come out much nicer.
When the meal was cooked I thought the portion size was a bit measly, but surprisingly I found it filled me up more than many of the other Weight Watchers meals and was quite satisfying, even though I didn't add any extra vegetables or bread to it.
The taste was not quite so good though. The spaghetti was pleasant and well cooked and the sauce was ok if a little basic, but the meat was really gristly and I constantly tasted lots of little gritty bits in my mouth which was really gross.
The gritty bits in the meal which I assume were down to the meat would definitely put me off buying this meal again, though I suppose I might have it very occasionally in the future as a change from the other low calorie ready meals I get.
Well folks, this was the third Weight Watchers frozen ready meal which I purchased as part of the 3 for £4 offer in my local Asda and have been working my way through and reviewing on here, the other two were a chicken hotpot and the beef lasagne which so far is the best one of the three.
I tried this one only last night and suffice to say the first thing I need to comment on with this product is that this morning I am very tired because this product repeated on me throughout the night and made me feel rather nauseous. Not the best of starts for this spaghetti bolognese it has to be said.
This product is worked out as 5 weight watchers points for the portion which is pretty good for a main meal. In other nutritional terms it is 306 calories and 7.2g of saturated fat for this meal, the salt content is 0.7g of sodium which equates to 1.7g of salt so mid to high for this element although I did not think it tasted at all salty.
The product takes 7 minutes in the microwave and this was the way I chose to cook it although it can also be cooked in the oven for 40-45mins. I had read I Am Joys review of this item the other week and therefore was already a little dubious but needless to say it was hot all the way through after the 7 minutes in my microwave.
The pasta and sauce in my tray looked quite nice after cooking and when tipped into a bowl, the smell was also quite pleasing and smelt very strongly of herbs, basil I think was the overriding aroma and unfortunately remained the taste in my mouth for the rest of the evening!
Now, personally I thought that this dish was quite tasty while I was eating it although it did not taste like a spag bol that I would make from scratch, it tasted overwhelmingly of tomato and basil and the minced beef was in very small pieces and not in much abundance. Nothing particularly bad about it just not overwhelmingly good either.
Portion size looks pretty small on the plate but it is actually quite filling and left me feeling satisfied and not hungry. I think this is simply testament to the fact that what we perceive to be a standard portion size is actually too big these days.
Unfortunately an hour or so after eating this meal I began to feel a little sick and then had the horrendous repeats of the herby flavour going on intermittently throughout the night. This alone means I will definitely not be buying this product again as it is not a nice experience and means I am tired and a bit grumpy this morning.
This is the first weight watchers product which I have had this experience with and it is a shame because whilst eating it I did think it was quite nice and its low points value made it quite appealing, I just dont think I would want to risk another evening of still being able to taste my dinner hours after eating it!
This is horrible and I can eat any kind of spaghetti bolognese from my mums proper one to the tinned bolognese from Heinz. I don't know why this ended up in our freezer but it's in the bin now because it's a horrible meal.
It took ages to cook in the oven and smelled funny while it was cooking. I think it smelled too much like tomatoes and I could not smell any of the meat or herbs. On my plate it looked like a big pile of worms because the spaghetti was so thick and slimey.
It tastes horrible the spaghetti is too soft and tastes of water and the bolognese sauce is just tomatoes and a few bits of mince meat. I don't think it tastes like bolognese at all and made me feel sick after eating two small mouthfuls and the mince is gristly and bad quality.
I couldn't eat it because it was a funny tasting meal and didn't taste like proper food to me. The sauce is weird and tastes too sweet and like there are too many tomatoes in it. It might have been nicer if the spaghetti had soaked up some of the sauce but it doesn't and is limp and very slimey.
Some of the weightwatchers meals are ok but this one is horrible and I will never eat it again.
As with all my food reviews, I will focus solely on taste and how filling it is as the calorie type information is readily available elsewhere but a review of how nice it is, or not in this case, is not readily available.
First things first, the packaging, as with all of this Weight Watchers series is very nice and looks both appetising and filling, but that is simply not the case. Having followed the instructions on the box to a tea, twice, I have been left with something that looks nothing like the image on the packaging and it also tastes really odd. I'm not the biggest fan of spaghetti bolognaise as it is, but I can usually tolerate it, however, this just doesn't taste very nice at all. It is far too sweet for me and the other main problem is that it doesn't really fill you up at all and leaves you needing another meal in around 1 to 2 hours. That kind of defeats the object for me.
This is an OK microwave meal it's only a few points per meal but i find this to be quite dry.
It's ideal as for quickness but i dont find them filling maybe thats why there low in fat!!
I personnaly do not like microwave meals i am a much more of a homemade meal person.
I'd prefer to make my own spag bol with passatta and seasoning and wholewheat pasta with plenty of onions and mushrooms which probably will be less fastening, less salt, less calories and better for you.
Dont get me wrong these are ideal if you are on a diet and do not cook then they are handy for convience however they are very very bland.
I have followed the weight watchers diet before and they have a large extensive range of food available , some of which i stilol buy such as the bread, however i dont feel like they promote healthy eating and promoting these type of foods shows that
Another day and another Weight Watchers from Heinz review by kitschkitty. You know the score. I chuck my dinner in the microwave tell you what I can glean from the packaging and then you get to share my dinner with me as a scoff the lot.
Tonight is the turn of the 'new improved recipe' Spaghetti Bolognese which is described as 'lean minced beef cooked in a rich tomato and red wine Bolognese sauce, seasoned with Italian herbs, served with spaghetti pasta.' And since this is part of the Weight Watchers range of frozen ready meals, you can expect it to be relatively healthy as well. Their spag bol offering contains 300 calories and is less than 3% fat. For those of you counting your Weight Watchers points, this meal will set you back 5 points from your daily total.
As with all the other Weight Watchers meals I've sampled so far, this can be cooked in the oven or microwave. I prefer to bung mine in the microwave as it's far quicker and easier for the sake of a meal for one.
I like the fact that I can smell the Bolognese sauce whilst the meal is still cooking. The tomato and red wine aroma is certainly getting me salivating! The meal itself is looks like most Spaghetti Bolognese ready meals do and the picture on the box is definitely a fair representation. There is a fairly generous amount of spaghetti and enough sauce to coat all of the pasta. The portion isn't huge but I wouldn't expect to lose weight as part of a calorie controlled diet if it was. Incidentally, I have lost a few pounds since I finally got round to my diet so the Heinz Weight Watchers range do seem to do the trick.
So now it's time for me to tuck in. Well... The pasta is well cooked and despite being blasted for 6½ minutes on full-power, it is still quite firm. As for the overall flavour, it's a little bland really. It lacks the richness you would expect from a homemade spag bol but then again, it also lacks a lot of the calories and other naughtiness. You can taste the tomatoes and there is the slightest hint of red wine and maybe some herbs, but I think I might just be imagining those. I suppose that's the compromise you have to make if you want to shed some pounds.
Overall, the meal is just about big enough for one although I always add a portion of veg to these ready meals to fill me up more and to tick off another of my five a day. With the addition of some vegetables, it does fill you up and should hopefully make it easier to avoid snacking through the evening.
Whilst it isn't my favourite of the Weight Watchers ready meals, this Spaghetti Bolognese is tasty and filling enough to make it's way into my shopping basket again. I buy mine from Farmfoods for £1 and I believe Iceland sells them for the same but you can expect to pay more at other supermarkets unless you're lucky enough to find them on offer. So it's all finished now but don't despair, I have a Weight Watchers' Banoffee Dessert defrosting for later so you can all join me for my Friday night treat!
For my tea tonight I had to have a Weightwatchers ready meal because I have to defrost my freezer tomorrow so I did not have much in today. I don't like ready meals but my daughter had got me a pile in when I was ill recently, I have served most of them to my brother who pops in after work sometimes but I knew he wouldn't like this Spaghetti Bolognese so it was the only one left in my freezer this evening.
I didn't want it to go to waste so cooked it for tea. I cooked it exactly as it told me to on the packet but it still needed a further 15 minutes in the oven to get to cooked through properly. This was enough to make me instantly dislike the meal because if the people who make it cannot even give a good idea of how long it will take to cook then I think they cannot have put much thought into the meal.
When it was cooked I was surprised that it had quite a rich smell because it looked absolutely horrible. It smells of tomatoes more than anything but I would say Weightwatchers have at least used a good selection of herbs in this tasteless looking mush on my plate.
It doesn't look very nice at all. I am used to eating my own homemade bolognese or at a push I will use a jar of Dolmio, so when I eat bolognese it always looks fresh and full of natural ingredients and colours. This Weightwatchers meal is the opposite because the spaghetti looks pale and bloated and the sauce is gloopy and too thick looking. I cannot see many pieces of mince and what is there looks too fat and rounded to be of good quality so it is probably going to taste quite gristly.
I had a mouth full and not very many more than that. I tried to get some mince, spaghetti and sauce on my fork all at the same time but it is impossible because the spaghetti is so lifeless that it just slid off my fork taking most of the sauce with it. This Spaghetti Bolognese is the worst I have ever tasted. The spaghetti is more noodle sized in thickness but they have the same taste and texture as Heinz spaghetti hoops and feel slimey in my mouth. There is absolutely no flavour to these at all and I had to resist the urge to coat them with salt to give them a bit of something. The few pieces of mince I tried were full of gristle as I predicted and they didn't taste of very good mince at all. I like to taste the beef in my mince and this could almost have been meat-free mince for all the flavour it had.
The bolognese sauce is nothing like bolognese sauce either. I thought it was unpleasant and sticky and the taste of tomatoes is too strong, I could forgive them for this if it was a taste of fresh tomato but it is a very fake tomato based sauce and not very nice. I can't taste garlic, herbs or anything that should be in a good bolognese and even the herbs I could smell when I took the meal out of the oven were nowhere to be tasted. It had not got much taste at all and was very bland even with a load of fresh black pepper that I crushed over it.
There are 5 Weightwatchers points in this Spaghetti Bolognese but you could have a steak and salad or a jacket potato and piece of fish for this. I didn't have 5 points because I ate less than a quarter of this bolognese as even though I was hungry I could not force any more of the sticky mess down. The thing that annoyed me about this meal is there are 300 calories and nearly 7 g of fat in each serving so that is not very good for any diet so even though it is low in points it is still not good for me with all that fat in it. A Pot Noodle has less fat and they are the unhealthiest food i can think of. It only cost £1. 25 but I still don't think it was worth that but if you pay cheap money for something like spaghetti bolognese then you can expect to eat a horrible meal like this.
Weightwatchers Diets have been successful for a number of years now, having been launched by Jean Nidetch in the 1960s.
Heinz saw the potential and bought the company in 1978. This led to a number of food products being produced by Heinz designed in particular for people following the diets and others who would prefer a low fat version.
I am not actually on a WW diet myself but am trying to shed a few pounds so when I saw these meals on offer at £1 each at Morrisons I snapped a few up.
---QUICK LOOK GUIDE---
WW Points 5
Ingredients include GLUTEN, wheat and MILK
The Meals can vary and I have found the range to be anything from 87p to £1.74. I guess it is just a case of looking out for offers. This time of year is particularly good as many people are on a health kick.
On the outside is a cardboard box covered in all the necessary details you would expect such as Ingredients, cooking instructions and Contact info. It is mainly sporting the purple that identifies WW meals but also displays a picture of the meal that you would expect to find inside. Inside the meals come in a black plastic tray that is covered in film.
Like most ready meals there is the option of either cooking in the microwave or in a conventional oven. They recommend the latter as giving the best results. Normally I would agree as this method usually gives a crunchier result however as I do not like my spag bol crunchy opted for the microwave method instead.
For an 850W microwave you are instructed to cook on Full for 6 and a half minutes. As mine is 900W I let it cook for 30 seconds less, as from past experience I have found that otherwise the pasta gets cooked just that bit too much.
After piercing a few holes in the film, I placed it on the glass plate and set the time. Before I knew it the microwave was pinging away, and ready to be eaten.
At this point I was very impressed. Normally they say peel back the film, and then you spend the next ten minutes trying to get it off the edges. However that did not happen and the film came off very easily and in one piece. Ideal I guess for those that have overdone the dieting or exercise and have no strength left!
After a quick stir, I was ready to tuck in.
Being a diet meal I did not expect the tray to be overflowing. There is 320g in the meal, which to put in more realistic terms would probably half fill a cereal bowl. For some this may be enough, but for those who prefer a bit more you could easily add a mixed salad or if you really dare some garlic bread.
---Smell, Look and Taste---
I have a pretty bad sense of smell so I am not the best to judge here, but from the aromas I did get it was a pleasant Italian smell, just as you would expect really.
Amazingly the meal did actually look like the picture on the packaging, which really makes a change. The Bolognaise sauce itself was a good rich colour and not at all runny. I could clearly see tomato and mushroom and also a few bits of onion. There was also a good proportion of mince and spaghetti.
On tasting it, there was quite a mixture of flavours. One thing I often find with these ready meals is that they tend to be quite spicy. This one was not like that even though red chillies are listed on the ingredients. It has a number of herbs and garlic to add to the taste and a little red wine which gives a lovely kick to the sauce.
The pasta at first tasted strange. It was not a nasty taste, just slightly different to what I am used to. Maybe it is because the spaghetti is made from Durum wheat Semolina, where as I am used to the one with added egg for a richer flavour. But after a couple of mouthfuls it seemed no different. The mince taste came through quite strongly, which was nice as the meat is often skimped on in diet meals. The sauce, which had a rich flavour due to the wine also gave a good tang of tomato. Even the taste of the mushrooms managed to come through.
Due to the inclusion of wheat, gluten and milk in the recipe it wouldnt be any good to people with allergies but they have plenty of other meals to choose from and if they are all as tasty as this then you will not feel left out.
Altogether, both in appearance and taste it came across as very homemade. I guess the only difference would be the size of the portion. Nevertheless I was quite full after I had finished as pasta is one of those things that fills quite well. I would definitely buy it again, though perhaps only when on offer as the higher price would be the only thing putting me off.