“ Brand: Asda / Type: Sauces „
In these tough economic times we all have to cut down on what we spend at the supermarket, but does that mean we have to cut down on quality as well?
Asda Smart Price Bolognese Sauce comes in a 440g glass jar and cost 39p, the labeling is slightly different from the one shown, it's now the standard white and green labeling that Asda has converted to for all their Smart Price range. The label contains all the usual information about ingredients, cooking information and calories. The sauce its self is an orangie/brown colour and is quite thin in consistency compared to other sauces but it still has a great taste, if a little sweet, you can definitely taste tomatoes and herds in it. To take away a bit of the sweetness I've added a dash to tomato ketchup or BBQ sauce which seems to enhance the flavour.
I've used this sauce with both mince and pasta and have found it works well with both, either together or seperately. I've even poured it over chicken breasts to perk them up a bit and add a new slant to an otherwise dull piece of meat and the result has been lovely.
So to answer my own question, do we have to cut down on quality, well the answer is yes, but not by much. Yes the sauce is a little bit thin and yes it's a bit sweet, but with a little tweeking this is a great sauce.
=== The product ===
This is a tomato sauce that is designed to compliment pasta and spaghetti bolognese. This is from the smart price range in Asda which is a range of no frills products that are designed to be a cheaper alternative and just have less fancy ingredients.
=== The packaging ===
This comes provided in a glass jar. There is a paper label stuck to the outside of the jar showing all of the usual nutritional information. The packaging is basic but once rinsed can be placed with my usual recycling which is always great as it means less dirty rubbish to add to landfill!
=== How to serve this ===
I tend to add this to my mince and vegetables once they have been fried and the fat has been drained off. Alternatively if I am not going to the effort of cooking meat or I am having a meat free day I will add this to some cooked pasta and then heat in the saucepan for a further few minutes before serving with some grated cheese on the top. This is incredibly simple to use and takes just a few seconds to pour out of the jar.
=== Ingredients ===
Tomato Purée (48%), Water, Tomatoes (5.7%) [contains Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)], Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Dried Onion (0.3%), Garlic Powder (0.2%), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Basil, Oregano, Ground Black Pepper, Fennel, Sweetener (Sucralose).
=== Where to buy this ===
This can be purchased from Asda stores and the Asda website for just 39p at present. This is for a 440g jar which I find is more than ample when cooking enough spaghetti bolognese for two or three adults.
=== Overall opinion ===
I am always looking for a way to save some money, particularly on food shopping, as things are just so expensive. This is why I am always willing to look at smart price, value or basic ranges in the big supermarkets.
This is a heavily tomato based sauce which has some herbs added to it including basil and oregano. I can tell that the majority of this sauce is made up of tomato puree and tomatoes because of the rich tomato taste and this is quite nice, especially considering the low price of this sauce. The taste is mild, there is no spice, but the herbs are a welcome addition and I can see flecks throughout the sauce even after it has been used in a dish.
I usually end up adding a little bit of water to the jar once I have poured out the sauce as I find that quite a bit is stuck to the sides of the jar and I do not like to have waste so I usually just add water, put the lid on, give a rigorous shake and then add this extra slightly watered down sauce to whatever I am cooking.
I am a fan of this sauce. If I am feeling adventurous I may add some more herbs to this but as I am cooking my mince with herbs and vegetables I find that this just adds an additional flavour rather than being the only flavour to my dish.
When it comes to pasta dishes and making a spag bol and things like that, they are really are things I like to eat.
When I'm making cut backs on shopping to save some pennies like for Christmas I will eat plenty of pasta and pop a sauce such as this over it and then grill some cheese over that for a tasty and filling meal. I have also used this to s spaghetti bolognese when again cos I'm watching the pennies and this at only 39p a jar this is the cheapest pasta/bolognese sauce I have seen in Asda....ever!
As always the packaging of Asda 'Smart Price' is once again cheap looking and very distinctive indeed. The jar holds 440g of the sauce and is made from see through glass and has a white twist on/off lid to the top of it. On the front of it with bright green and white labeling around its middle we are told that it is Asda 'Smart Price' Bolognese Sauce, that it is suitable for Vegetarians and the weight is given then on the back of the jar other information listed includes ingredients and allergy advice, how to use it, there is a full nutritional chart stated and contact details for Asda are given. Like I have just mentioned this is cheap packaging however it is informative as it needs to be to be fair to it.
The Sauce Itself:
Ok so first off how you use the sauce is up to you. You can of course do as I do and boil up some pasta and then drain it and then plop this all over it back in a sauce pan for a few minutes and voila......putting cheese on and popping it under a grill or into the oven is up to you. For a bolognese I simply fry off mince, onions and mushrooms and then heat this up when those ingredients are throughly cooked for a few minutes and then serve and of course you can heat this sauce in the microwave too if you'd prefer to.
The sauce is red with visible flecks of basil and oregano blended into a thickish, good consistency tomato based sauce. It is naturally sweet an tastes rather natural too with a hint of garlic to it, this is a smooth and glossy sauce, my only niggle with this is that it is heavily seasoned with fennel, a bit too much for me really but still...its nice enough.
This isn't a greasy or runny sauce and holds itself very well indeed. It doesn't taste cheap and/or nasty but does, because of the over flavouring of the fennel taste cheaper than other brands to me...which of course it is!
Not a bad sauce, not one I would avoid and it is a good base sauce that you can add your own ingredients to pep it up a bit to!
Nutritional Information Per 100g:
of which sugars 0.9g
of which saturates 0.2g
equivalent as salt 0.7g
Only available from Asda or from Asda.com
*~* The Product Itself *~*
Asda Smart Price bolognese sauce costs 36p for a 440g jar. It is a herb and tomato based sauce with sweetener and sugar. However, the product does not contain any artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fat, so this is a plus point. The jar states that the sauce serves up to four people and it can be cooked either on the hob or by way microwaving - easy peasy eh?
*~* Basic Nutritional Information (per 100g) *~*
2g of sugar
No saturated fat
It is apparent that this product is rather low in fat and would be suitable for those, like myself who may be trying to shed a few pounds and are watching what they eat. Nonetheless, there is a fair amount of sugar in this sauce, so this is a not so good aspect of this product.
*~* My Opinion *~*
My fiancé and I found this sauce to be very nice for the meagre price that we paid for it. Since we recently got a flat together money has been very tight and so I have been trying out many of the products from Asda's smart price range as we literally have an Asda on our doorstep, and I must say that I have been surprisingly impressed with the products that we have tested so far and have found them to be brilliant value for money.
Often I dislike many jarred bolognese sauces because they contain chunks of onions or tomatoes, but this sauce was perfect for me as it was simply just the sauce itself with some herbs. This therefore gives you the choice of adding in your own vegetables or leaving it as it is. Personally, I wish all sauces were like this as it means that I do not need to spend ten minutes picking out tomatoes at the start of my meal so that I can eat it. Usually I find this to be the case and by the time that I go through this rigmarole my dinner ends up cold.
The sauce gave off a really nice aroma whilst I was cooking it and my fiancé actually thought that it was a 'proper' brand sauce until I told him that it was smart price.
I used the whole contents of the jar between us and we both ended up with very decent portions, so I would say that the jar description is accurate in stating that this sauce serves around four people; although I do think that if you were to divide it between four then the amount of bolognese per individual may be rather small to be honest, as whilst our portions were fairly substantial they were by no means over the top.
Cooking the sauce could not have been any easier and trust me I am no culinary genius. I simply poured the contents of the jar into a saucepan, added some Quorn mince and then left it on a low heat on the hob for around eight minutes and voila! We were both really impressed with the scrumptious bolognese that resulted and thought that it was delicious.
The jar can be completely recycled. This is a major issue for me in selecting which products I buy, so this factor is very advantageous in my view.
*~* Overall *~*
Whilst this product many not be the best on the market or the tastiest sauce in comparison to more expensive brands, such as say Loyd Grossman, it definitely does the job taste wise if you are looking to cook a meal that feeds the whole family on a tight budget or even just to cook something substantial and tasty in a hurry.
This is one product that I will definitely be buying again in future and be using as a cupboard essential in case of any dinner emergencies that might crop up.
Anyone who has read some of my earlier reviews (thanks so much, I really appreciate all the reads, rates and comments!) will know by now that I am a big fan of the supermarket ranges which save me money by spending less on posh packaging.
There was a time when I would walk past the "cheap looking" brands, assuming that the ones with fancy packaging would be better. Since then, I have been pleasantly surprised by how good some of the items in these ranges actually are. The packaging only gets thrown in the bin, so does it really make sense to spend extra money on it? I think not - especially when we are all trying to save money and spend less. I prefer to spend my money on other things wherever possible!
I usually try to make my own bolognese sauce because it is so cheap and easy to prepare and tastes much better made from scratch. Mr Siamese recently picked up a jar of this when shopping and when we were in a rush one evening, we decided to give it a go.
A 440g jar cost me just £0.40 which is significantly cheaper than some of the main brands which retail for anything from £1.25 to £2. The packaging is plain and functional like all items in the range with a white label with green writing on it.
The sauce is thinner than the competing brands tend to be, but not so thin that it looks watery. It isn't particularly chunky but I like to add chunks of mushrooms anyway so this wasn't too much of an issue. To use, simply brown mince in a saucepan, drain the excess fat and then add the sauce. Simmer for around 25 minutes and then serve. I like to add a splash of wine before simmering too (red or white will do) which adds to the flavour.
The fragrance of the sauce is quite nice, it has a sweet tomato scent that is quite appetising. You can smell the herbs and by the time the bolognese is ready to serve, it looks rich and tasty. The taste is also surprisingly good, don't get me wrong, it isn't the best ready prepared sauce that I have ever had but for the price, it is much better than I had expected. The flavour of tomatoes and herbs are sweet and well balanced and you can also taste the garlic, though not too much so it isn't overpowering.
If you are looking for a cheap option which is also convenient and tasty then you can do a lot worse than trying this sauce, especially if you add your own mushrooms and wine for added flavour. Best served over al dente spaghetti with sides of salad or garlic bread and some parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top. Oh and with a decent glass of red wine too!
100g of this bolognese sauce contains the following;
To be honest I'm not all that experimental with my food, I do like trying new things but just don't have the confidence or the knowledge for that matter to be rustling up fantastic dishes at home - nor the time being a single mum so I stick to what I know. One thing I do know and like is a spag bol, I hadn't had one for ages and whilst in Asda yesterday I really fancied one, I think that was after I spotted a chunky block of parmesan cheese hehe!
The last time I cooked a spag bol I chose a jar of Dolmio bolognese sauce but have to admit I wasn't that impressed, it was too thick, garlicy and way too greasy so I really didnt know what to try this time. In the end I picked up two jars of Asda's Smart Price Bolognese sauce. Not the most appealing of jars mind you, it was in fact the price tag that caught my eye costing me just 36p for a 440g glass jar.
The jar you can find in the pasta sauces aisle of asda and seeing as it is the smartprice version it will be on the bottom shelf as of course they want you to spend your pennies on the more expensive stuff up top. It's a see through glass jar with the Asda Smartprice green and white sticker around it as well as a green lid. It clearly tells us it's bolognese sauce - a tomato sauce with onions herbs and garlic.
Opening the jar by screwing off the lid I was a little put off at how thin the sauce was, it really didn't look like it would make an adequate bolognese. It smelt beautiful though, tomatoey and herby, real mouthwatering.
I browned off my mince and put it into a saucepan and then added my bolognese sauce. Compared to the dolmio sauce it did remain quite a thin sauce and just loosely covered my mince. It did add a slight redness in colouring thanks to the tomato but dolmio was thick and dominated the mince when I used that. Using one jar was plenty for me but if you did want to bulk out the sauce a little you could of course add tinned tomatoes, perhaps from the smartprice range also.
I have to admit the sauce surprised me, it blended in with my mince meat perfectly and made an extremely tasty spag bol without me adding any extras to it. It tasted tomatoey, tangy and I could definitely taste the garlic and whatever other herbs have been added although I didn't find it as heavy or smelly as dolmio. I'm glad it was thinner than Dolmio I didn't find it so groggy, greasy and thick to eat, instead I could enjoy quality mince meat mixed with a flavoursome, light sauce.
Even if you do have a favourite sauce for your spag bol I'd recommend trying trying this if you wanted to try save a few pennies, it's a very flavoursome sauce at a fraction of the price of others!
After trying and really enjoying other supermarket equivalents of this product I put a couple of jars on my recent Asda online order.
A 440g jar of Asda Smart Price Bolognese Sauce costs 36p. The clear glass jar is wrapped with a green and white label with a product description, ingredients, nutritional information and cooking instructions. The jar lid is a sealed 'pop' lid.
When opening the jar the tomatoes, garlic, onion and herbs are all evident both from the smell and the appearance of the sauce. The deep red-brown coloured sauce is thick and spotted with green herbs. In this last week I have used this sauce as both a bolognese sauce and as a lasagne sauce and have enjoyed the dish each time. As the sauce already contains garlic and herbs I do not add extra of these, but always chop an onion in to the mix and tin of chopped tomatoes to bulk out the sauce and the dish. The sauce is full of tomato flavour with an adequate amount of garlic and herbs present.
I compare this sauce with the Tesco equivalent (Pasta Sauce with mixed herbs) below:
Kcals/100g 38 22
Fat/100g 2.7g 0.8g
After doing this comparison it is obvious to me which sauce I will opt for in the future; The Rivals!!. That said, the Asda sauce is very tasty and is a convenient product to have in your cupboard.