Out of all the wonderful Italian-esque foods which are popular in the UK, Lasagne (sometimes referred to as 'Lasagna') has to be my favourite - even tastier than pizza in my opinion. That said, there's Lasagna, and then there's Lasagna - the first being the authentic dish perfected over generations, and the latter being the cheap supermarket ready-meal version which comes in a box. 'Tesco Italian Lasagne' is obviously the latter - but is it at all reminiscent of the delicious pasta-and-meat baked wonder?
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Available form the majority of Tesco supermarkets throughout the UK, the 400g size Lasagne is available for £1.50 - 'surprisingly good value for a meal' you may think - but how does it taste?
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The lasagne contains;
British or Irish Beef (22%), Tomato (16%), Milk, Cooked Egg Pasta (15%), Water, Mature Cheddar Cheese (4%), Onion, Whipping Cream, Cornflour, Tomato Puree, Celery, Red Wine, Carrot, Wheat Flour, Butter, Garlic Puree, Vegetable Oil, Parsley, Basil, Black Pepper, Bay, White Pepper, Nutmeg. Cooked Egg Pasta (Durum Wheat Semolina, Water, Pasteurised Egg). Tomato (Tomato, Tomato Juice).
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To cook the Lasagne, you first need to remove the outer packaging and film lid, and then place on a baking tray in an oven for twenty-five to thirty minutes at 190C. Alternatively it can be microwaved at full power for around six minutes. Although the microwave option is quicker, the oven-cooked method undoubtedly results in a tastier outcome.
Appearance and Taste
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When taken from the oven, the Lasagne doesn't look especially appetising (well, I suppose it depends on how hungry you are!) - but the smell is pleasant and fairly inviting. The layer of béchamel sauce is a little too thick and runny for my liking, and unless you cook the dish for around five minutes longer than the recommended time, you'll probably be faced with what amounts to a wet slop as a topping. The egg pasta sheets are al dente however, and the beef is nicely flavoured and quite garlicky. The overall taste isn't bad at all, but it's far, far short of restaurant quality Lasagne.
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For a cheap and easy to make meal, you can't go too far wrong with Tesco's Lasagne offering. It's one of those meals that you can stick in the freezer and forget about, using it at a later date as an emergency dinner. If you're in any way a lasagne aficionado however, steer clear!
Nutritional Info Per 100g
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Saturated Fat: 3.4g
Tesco Italian Lasagne
I very rarely buy ready meals and lasagne is one of the meals I have always preferred to cook from scratch. However as everyone knows there are times when there is a complete lack of time and we have to resort to a quick fix alternative on occasions.
One of my emergency meals in my freezer was this lasagne from Tesco and this is the 550g which is supposed to be suitable for one person. However if added to something else it can quite easily make two meals as I only have a third of it anyway and hubby has the rest.
This product comes in a black plastic tray with a cardboard green sleeve that slides over the black tray. The outer cardboard sleeve tells us that this is a good source of protein and also gives us the nutritional values at the bottom of the sleeve. These are as follows:-
Calories ~ 707
Sugar ~ 10.5g
Fat ~ 35.8g
Saturates ~ 18.7g
Salt ~ 3g
The allergy advice tells us that it contains milk, wheat, gluten, egg and celery. It says that it cannot guarantee to be nut free although it is produced in a nut free factory.
On the reverse of the sleeve we are given the ingredients, the cooking instructions and the storage instructions.
There are two ways to cook this product the microwave or the oven. My favourite way is always to oven cook as I do believe that the microwav impairs the flavour.
To oven cook simply place on a baking tray in the centre of a pre heated oven and cook on gas mark 5 or 190 degrees for 25-30 minutes or 35-40 minutes if from frozen.
To microwave first pierce the film lid and cook on full power in an 850w oven for 10 minutes and leave to stand for 1 minute or in a 750w oven for 15 minutes.
Once cooked and served this lasagne is really quite tasty. The beef is nice and soft and not at all chewy and the pasta although it tastes nice is a little on the sloppy side. The bechamel sauce again is very sloppy and the cheese on the top crisps ok as long as you leave to cook for an extra few minutes. The tomato in the bolognese sauce is very tasty and quite tangy and you can taste the herbs in the sauce which gives it a lovely authentic flavour. I serve this with a baguette of garlic bread, Jersey new potatoes and a tasty green salad, ....... very nice!
All in all this is a very pleasant alternative to the real thing. It tastes really quite nice although the texture of the whole thing is not pleasant for me as its a little too sloppy in my opinion, but for the cost and convenience it is a good standby to have in your freezer.
If there is one major complaint it is that this product is very high in calories, fat and even salt, and is therefore not a meal that should be bought and eaten on a regular basis, as it really is quite unhealthy.
These lasagnes are available in Tesco and come in 3 different sizes. An individual one 400g at a cost of £1.50, a 550g size at around £2.25 and a family size of 950g at a cost of £4.00.
Thank you for reading my review!
What does a lasagne mean to you? To me, a good lasagne is deeply layered, crispy on the surface with a cheese sauce that sparks furious excitement on the tastebuds. Trying to find a decent shop bought lasagne is tough business. I came close with the Jean Christophe Novelli one, which had a great cheese sauce, though was more designed as a snack. Tesco produce a few lasagnes, including a very expensive finest version. For those on an inbetween budget, this lasagne serves as an option. You can buy it in a couple of sizes.
I bought the larger family version, which actually only did for two people. Baked in an overn for about fifty minutes, it starts to bobble and froth at the top so that you know it is time to take it out. On appearance, it is impressive and the cheese looks very inviting. I was disappointed that there was a lack of crunch to the top layers though, despite leaving it in for longer to try and get that crispiness.
The taste is alright, but failed to ignite my senses. The meat has a pleasant and aromatic meaty beef taste, though the bechamel sauce was weak and tepid. I would have liked a much stronger cheddar to have been used. While this might thrill younger children, those who have a more discerning palette will be unmoved.
The texture is middling. There are a few sheets of pasta, but the meat is a bit bitty and not substantial enough for me. It tended to be a bit like eating a pile of pasta and slop! Despite this, it was filling and worked well with peas as a dinner.
Would I buy this lasagne again? The 950g pack cost four pounds so I would consider it, without rushing to buy it again.
I love italian food especially lasagne so you could say I have tried a few. I bought this one from tescos as they where on offer at the time and I needed something quick for after work one night. The price was reasonable. It was when i got home to eat it i was so shocked by the amount of saturated fats in this tiny little meal! Over 10grams!! So for anybody health conscious I wouldnt go near it. Despite the initial shock I still put in the microwave for my dinner, it was cooked within ten minutes. The lasagne as a whole was quite dissapointing. With three layers of pasta and only two layers of 'mince meat' which was more like a meaty sauce the pasta was quite overpowering and there was far to much white sauce making it all taste like a sickly watery pasta shell. The portion was also very small once cooked mainly made up of this awful mixture of runny gloop. Did not satisfy my tastebuds I can now understand why the meal was on offer in the first place.
Layers of egg pasta noodles smoothered between minced beef and tomato sauce, topped with bechamel sauce and mature cheddar cheese.