“ Manufacturer: Dolmio / Type: Pasta „
I'm reviewing DOLMIO PASTA VITA ,Roasted Garlic and Tomato .(300g)
It is available in supermarkets at around £2, but mine cost just £1 on a special offer.
I won't list the ingredients, but this is sold as "suitable for vegetarians".
I tend to watch out for any offers on quickie meals and snacks that can be stashed away for emergencies or for lunches, and while shopping in ASDA a couple of months ago I spotted this Pasta meal on offer at just £1, so I picked up a couple to try them out.
***USING and MY OPINION***
This is a simple pasta meal for one.
It comes in two separate pots within a cardboard sleeve.
One pot contains the sauce and the other contains the pasta .
The pasta is fusilli (the little rope-like twists).
I used these a couple of weeks ago as a lunch for myself and husband. We had been painting and were both messy, tired and hungry so I wanted something that didn't require much handling in preparation. These fit the bill perfectly.
You simply peel the pot seals back a third of the way(but don't remove entirely) and put the two pots into the microwave . Cook on full power for a minute and a half in a 800w microwave. Adjust the time up a bit for less powerful ovens.
Once the time is up you pour the sauce into the pasta and stir it through to thoroughly coat the pasta in sauce.
So, what did it taste like ?
Lovely actually . The pasta was just the right texture, al dente, being firm but not hard and the sauce was flavoursome with some (albeit not many) bits of tomato evident along with onions and garlic.
The flavour is very garlic-y. Not overpoweringly so, but combined with the chilli hit in the ingredients most definitely noticeable.
Husband isn't big on garlic as a rule but says he did enjoy this pasta vita and we both found it filling enough to get us through another afternoon decorating without feeling a need to stop and snack .
A small yoghurt afterwards helped remove the garlic after taste .
I would class this as a lunch meal and definitely not sufficient for an evening meal unless as a stop gap prior to eating out later.
If your work environment provides a microwave then in my opinion this is perfect as a change from boring sandwiches.
Also if, like me , you have a small fridge with limited space then another plus is that these can be stored in a cupboard, so they needn't take up space in your fridge.
Would I recommend it ? Yes, all things considered .
I am pleased with this product and I will buy them again if they go on special offer, but because I need to watch the pennies I wouldn't pay the full £1.99 for such a small meal.
This comes in other flavours, mainly tomato based sauces it has to be said, but the creamy mushroom or Carbonara ones look rather nice if tomatoes are not to your taste and you want something milder. Unfortunately this was the only flavour available on the day I spotted the offer. I'd like to try the others.
I'm giving this a full 5 stars because I can't really fault it. The price is my only issue, but it isn't exorbitant, just not within my daily budget at present and is fair enough for the product content. So 5 stars it is .
Thank you for reading ~~~myloh.
On the same note as my previous review due to being a lone worker for a 71 bed hotel it can be hard to find a break. So I either have to take a packed lunch ready or purchase something that is easy and fast to heat up. Dolmio have brought out a new range of pasta ready meals which come in handy for a quick fix or a snack at work.
Dolmio Pasta Vita - Roasted Garlic and Tomato:
'Roasted Garlic & Tomato sauce with Fusilli Pasta - a delicious meal in two separate pots, giving you a great taste'
As doing my weekly shop in my local Asda store (Halesowen, West Midlands) they had an offer display of the new Dolmio pasta ready meals and also Uncle Ben's meals which are similar. As I liked the sound of them I stocked up on a few for my locker at work.
I just love pasta so was looking forward to trying this out, they do this in a jar sauce in the same flavour that I buy to make my own pasta bakes with so I was hoping for the same great taste.
Cooking these pots couldn't be simpler; however you do need to have a microwave! First off remove the cardboard sleeve and you will have 2 round plastic tubs. You need to peal the lids back half way and place both pasta and sauce in the microwave for one and half minutes (based on 800w).
Once microwaved pour the sauce pot into the past and stir in, when I opened up the microwave the scent of garlic was certainly in air! I allowed the pasta to cool a little before I dug in; there was plenty of sauce which I like when it comes to pasta.
My first mouth full was a garlic explosion, a rich tangy tomato sauce which had a spicy kick for an after taste. There were lovely chunks of tomato within the pasta sauce which certainly made it that little bit more filling.
You also had nice crunchy pieces of onion and as I love onions this was perfect for me. The pasta was wonderfully soft and just melted in your mouth really, for a microwave meal Dolmio have really done well here on ticking the boxes.
Once I had eaten the pot of pasta I was rather full despite not looking very much there, however pasta I always find to be rather filling. One thing I will say though make sure you have mints on hand after you have eaten this. The garlic really does linger quiet strongly afterwards so if you're working with the public talking with people grab the mints!
Per pot - 300g
Calories - 336
Sugars - 12.0g
Fat - 5.7g
Saturates - 0.9g
Salt - 1.2g
From a ready meal point of view this states are not to bad at all, I would normally have some fruit or a Alpro Soya dessert afterwards.
Price and Availability:
I only paid £1 each at the time, hence why I stocked up on a few. Sadly they are now back at original price £1.97.
Happy I purchased a few of these pots as they are handy for work, tasty, easy and fast to prepare and also rather filling. Personally I would have liked some more chunky tomato bit within the pasta but that is me being picky. For a ready meal this certainly gets thumbs up.
Four out of five stars from me.
Thank you for reading.
Suitable for vegetarians
Tomato and Roasted Garlic Sauce: Tomatoes (69%), Tomato paste (12%), Onions, Lemon juice. Sunflower oil, Sugar, Roasted garlic (2%), Basil. Cornflour. Salt. Garlic. Chilli paste (chillies. salt). Spices. Fusilli Pasta: Cooked pasta (water. pasta (durum wheat semolina, dehydrated egg albumen). sunflower oil).
UK: Freepost Mars Food UK Ltd
Mars Foods Ireland Limited
PO Box 3856
My work is incredibly handy in that it's 20 minutes away from the nearest shop on foot and they won't allow anyone to run the fully fitted canteen just in case they do something dodgy that makes my employer look bad. Being that we are all five we aren't allowed to work a toaster so all we have is a couple of microwaves and a boiler that is fixed to the wall. Lunch time means that you either need to be very well organised and bring a meal that simply needs heated up, or you'll get stung with the overpriced vending machine for chocolate or crisps, assuming it actually takes your money. As such I generally try and bring some leftovers from the night before in with me for lunch. As we were going out for Valentines Day the other week there were to be no leftovers so I made a quick trip to Asda to pick up something for lunch the next day. Since Asda apparently don't stock the noodles I had my heart set on I had to choose something else. That something else turned out to be Dolmio's Pasta Vita.
===When's your Dolmio day?===
Personally I don't set aside a day for Dolmio because usually I really detest bottled pasta sauce. I'm a firm believer in just bloody making it yourself because it's not difficult or time consuming. If, however, you do find yourself occasionally requiring a very quick fix, they may come in handy. Dolmio are a trademark of food Giant MARS of the same fame as the Mars Bar who also dabble in pet care products for fish and who are apparently funding a rather large campaign so that they don't need to tell people on the label if they are using genetically modified foods in California and also have been accused of animal testing and buying from farmers who use child labour. Overall a nice and friendly bunch then and most likely the company that will eventually plunge the world into zombie apocalypse. But they do good food so I'll forgive them for that.
If you wish to get in contact with Dolmio to question their ethics or tell them how much you love or hate the family of annoying puppets they use to advertise their products, they have a website at www.dolmio.co.uk (the box says .com but that doesn't work on my work computer and the .co.uk one does) with a "contact us" section.
If you prefer to give them a ring they have a phone number: 0800 952 1234
You can even write to them at the following address:
Mars Food Uk Ltd
Though they don't provide a post code so it's probably a well guarded secret as to where they are based known only by your local post man.
Pasta Vita is literally translated as pasta life or, depending on the translator you use, pasta waistline. I assume it is a nod towards the fact this quick meal is a fairly healthy one. This snack consists of two pots; one contains sauce and is small the other contains pasta and is the bigger pot. When you pick it up the two pots are bound together in a cardboard sleeve which has all the Dolmio purple and green branding on it along with all the cooking and nutrition information. Everything about the product you need to know is on this sleeve.
The first thing I noticed on the front was that it states the ingredients are 100% natural. After checking if that means anything I have discovered that the UK has set guidelines as to when statements can be used set out by the food standards agency. It can only be used when the ingredients are "produced by nature" and not "the work of" or "interfered with" by man. This can only be a good thing then. All hail living in the UK!
As they come in a few different flavours, the next thing you come to will be the brand name and the flavour emblazoned across the front above a rather good looking picture of some pasta in sauce hanging precariously on a fork next to a puppet hovering menacingly over a rather large tomato.
Still on the front of the package, there is a little symbol indicating that the snack is low fat (and not low fart as I accidentally typed three times just then) another symbol showing that the snack is enough for 1 person and another stating that it microwaves in one and a half minutes. Greatly informative. It also has all the guideline daily allowance stuff on the front so you can easily see what you are eating, but I'll touch on that in a minute.
===What lies beneath===
On the bum of the package you'll find the best before end date which actually is a fair bit away on my pot. I bought it on the 14-02-2012 and the BBE date is 22-08-2013 so this can last in your cupboard a while if you wanted to stock up on them for the odd occasions. You'll also notice that you can refrigerate this for up to three days once it has been opened or freeze it. All the contact details for customer care live on the bottom too, as well as the little symbol to say that the packaging is recyclable. Dolmio have also hidden the fact that this snack is suitable for vegetarians down here too which I though was a bit of a strange move.
===Back it up===
The back of the pack gives you yet more fascinating information on nutritional values and ingredients. It also informs you in very tiny writing that this snack constitutes one of your five a day! I'm of the opinion they should make that more obvious on the pack. I'll run through the ingredients now for those interested, if you aren't feel free to skip!
Sauce: Tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, lemon juice, sunflower oil, sugar, roasted garlic, basil, cornflour, garlic, salt, chilli paste (chillies, salt), spices.
Fusilli Pasta: Cooked pasta: Water, pasta (Durum wheat semolina, egg albumen dehydrated, sunflower oil) It also states that it "may contain soya"
So, not suitable for vegans and I'm certain that would have gluten in it too. Obviously you'd be best to steer clear if you are allergic to anything listed.
The nutritional values are all per 100g so as this pack is 300g remember to times the numbers by three for an accurate reflection. Alternatively you can simply look at the guideline daily amounts on the front which HAS been sensible enough to give the amounts per 300g. It's a one portion pack so I'm not sure why the back should be any different.
Starting with the all important calories, you will be eating 306 calories per snack. That's 15% of your GDA and is actually quite low compared to other snacks that I munch on for lunch. On the diet that I'm currently on (scottish slimmers) that comes in at 12 points which is the same as a lot of reduced fat ready meals you can pick up and it's a lot tastier than most! The sugar is sitting at 11.7g which is 13% of your GDA which isn't terrible either. Fat comes in at 5.7g being 8% of your GDA backing up the products low fat claim. Saturates are even lower at 0.6g (3% of the GDA). Salt is the only one that is a little bit high coming in at 1.2g being 20% of your GDA. Saying that, it's still not incredibly high; it's just higher than the rest. Huzzah that's all the boring stuff out of the way!
===Using a life===
So, to cook your pasta, the first step is to liberate it from the cardboard sleeve. The top edges have holes cut along them presumably to make this easier but it's not very well advertised so it took me a minute of trying to rip it open from various angles. Once you've ripped your cardboard to shreds, you'll probably want to check the cooking instructions. Each pot had a plastic lid that you need to peel back. It suggests to peel it back a quarter of the way across. A good way to judge this is to look at the pot. The rim of the pots are thicker at the bits where you hold them. Peel the lid back to the start of the thick bits and no further.
Once you've done that find an 800w microwave. Actually, you'd probably be best to find one before opening, but it really is up to you. Pop the pots side by side preferably inside the microwave and heat on full whack for 1.5 minutes.
When the microwave alerts you that it's done filling your food with radiation, take the pots out. If you peeled the lids back further than a quarter of the way, you'll probably notice a slight urge to drop the pot as the steam escaping from the sides sears your fingers. If not, kudos, go to the next level. Once you've settled your pots at the place you want to eat your food, pour the small sauce pot into the large pasta pot and then use a utensil of your own to stir the sauce through. The pot is very full at this point so you will need to do it slowly, but worry not, it mixes fairly quickly.
===Fork you nicely, Dolmio===
At this point, assuming you have realised you need your own cutlery before you took this to work, you will be ready to tuck in. If you haven't then you could probably try and pour it into your mouth but if you do I won't be responsible for any facial burns you receive in the process. Dolmio even warn you that the pots will be hot after heating, did you not pay attention?!
When you finally get to popping the pasta in your mouth, you will be pleasantly satisfied. As I expected from the flavour named on the front, the sauce is very tomato-ey and very garlic-ey. It has a sweet taste but not overpoweringly so. It tastes just like a nice bolognaise sauce. There is even a bit of a spicy aftertaste that leaves your mouth warm but again it is not overpowering. It's just noticeably warm without any tingling or burning. It smells just as good as it tastes too.
The pasta is perfectly cooked. I can't get my own pasta to turn out this well in the microwave. This pasta isn't chewy or tough and it's not soggy and falling to bits. It's nice and moist and the perfect consistency. The pasta to sauce ratio is also fantastic. There was just enough sauce to get all the pasta covered and not enough pasta to leech the flavour out of the sauce. The portion size was brilliant leaving me nice and full for hours afterwards and feeling like I'd eaten something substantial but not over filling me.
The pots are tasty and filling and even one of your five a day, but what about the Pennies? In Asda they are £1.97 and are currently on a 2 for £3.50 offer working out at £1.75 each. They are even cheaper in Tesco at the moment coming in at £1 per pot but that is a limited offer. They are usually £1.99 from Tesco. Even at full price they are a fairly decent price for what they are. I'd be hard pushed to make a meal for lunch for less than that.
I hadn't even wanted to buy this pasta pot to start with. Needless to say now that I've had it, I might actually consider stocking a few of these in the cupboards for those days where I simply cannot be bothered making something for lunch the next day. It really is delicious and fills you up as much as you need it to and all for a good price. The preparation time is speedy. The only downside I can see is that it doesn't include its own fork, but I can forgive it for that. I'll be giving it five stars out of five. Now go have a munch yourself!