“ Brand: Asda / Type: Sauces „
So tonight I got home from work and despite my resolution to try and cook I decided that I wanted something quick and easy. Cue the ASDA Smart Price Cheese & Broccoli Pasta & Sauce. Coming in the usual green and white ASDA Smart Price packaging, this product is sold in a sachet with a picture of a bowl of pasta on the front with what appears to be pieces of broccoli in it. The packet itself weighs in at 110g so it's relatively small.
The packaging says that the product is free from artificial colours, flavours and hydrogenated fat while also being suitable for vegetarians. It has the usual allergy advice on the back and states that it contains gluten, wheat and milk as well as may contain traces of various types of nuts.
Upon opening the packet you are faced with short little tubes of pasta and a type of dried powder coating them along with small apparently freeze dried pieces of broccoli. I tend to make mine on the hob and the cooking instructions for this is to empty the contents into a saucepan, add 150ml of milk, 300ml of cold water and 15g of butter or margarine. It then tells you to bring it to the boil and simmer for between 12-15 minutes while stirring frequently. I generally tend to make mine without the butter/margarine as I add other things such as cold meats, tuna or veggies to flesh it out a bit. Of course it does taste a bit more creamy if you add the butter/margarine but that is down to personal taste. I do find that adding things to it increases the cooking time though.
You can also make this in the microwave, with the only difference being that you use boiling water instead of cold water. Cooking time is then between 10-12 minutes depending on the power of your microwave with a recommendation to stir in between and leave to stand for 3 minutes after cooking. I personally haven't tried to make this in the microwave yet so can't really comment on this.
When it comes to the taste, texture and general hitting the spot, this product does fall a bit flat in the taste department. Now lets be honest, this is a cheap pasta meal and is great for adding to other things but on it's own it certainly doesn't have a cheesy taste to it. It certainly has something akin to broccoli in it and it fills a gap when you are hungry, but it's not the best pasta meal on the market. If you're looking for something basic thought then by all means go for this.
At a total cost of just £0.37 a pop, this is a real cheap meal but is not filling at all. Storage instructions are the same as for almost any type of packet meal, store in a cool and dry place. You can also purchase this both in-store or on-line and if buying in-store then it's generally found at the bottom of the shelf.
I have given the product 3/5 as it does what it's supposed to but it certainly doesn't have a cheese taste to it and it also really isn't very filling.
Please note that this review may appear on Ciao under my name.
I was looking for something quick, cheap and easy to eat for lunch yesterday as I knew we would be busy as it was a bank holiday and I wouldn't be able to stop for long to have a break. I always used to enjoy Batchelors Pasta 'n' Sauce with Cheese and Broccoli so I thought I'd give the Asda Smart Price version a try.
Price: I picked this up for just 33p which is a really cheap price; I ate nearly all of this to myself and would have polished it off if I had longer. For a light lunch or snack this could be shared easily by two people and accompanied by some garlic bread this would fill you up nicely. The Batchelors version of this is 84p so buying Smart Price will save you a bit of money.
Packaging: Quite simple really, a foil backed paper sachet which is easily ripped open to pour out the contents. On the front is the Asda Smart Price logo and a picture of the pasta in the bowl, this is the best was to eat it so that the sauce doesn't run all over the place.
Cooking Instructions: This is really easy to make and I'm sure it's a staple of many student diets, all you do is add a knob of butter to a pan and melt, then add 450ml of water to the pan my mum suggested milk to make this creamier which I may try next time I have these. Bring these to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes and until the pasta is soft, you do need to stir it quite regular otherwise the cheese and broccoli powder goes clumpy which is not nice!
Taste Test: I was pleasantly surprised upon eating these as they taste exactly like the Batchelors version and certainly have lots of flavour. There is a really nice, quite strong flavour to the cheese which goes really well with the broccoli, it's also really creamy and this would be heightened by adding some milk with the water. If you cook it correctly the cheesy sauce is thick too and coats the pasta nicely and as they are tubes you really get a strong cheese flavour in every mouthful.
Nutrition: There's 263kcal in half the pack but it's so yummy I could eat this all to myself, I suppose it's not too bad as you could eat this as a main meal and if you do share it then it's not bad at all especially for such a creamy, cheese flavour.
Overall I think these are really good, I was surprised by how much they tasted like Batchelors and wouldn't buy the full price version again especially seen as it's such a good saving. The flavour of this is really creamy and tastes more expensive than it is and it isn't that bad for you either. For a more hearty main meal for two, next time I cook this I'm going to add it to an oven dish after cooking and top with a savoury cheese crumble. For this you use 1 part butter to 2 parts flour and crumble the mixture between your fingers, you can also add grated cheese and cook under the grill until golden.
If you are looking for a quick and easy meal on a budget, then I would definitely recommend trying Asda smart price cheese and broccoli pasta. They are easy to make and great served with a slice of bread and butter.
When opening the packet you can smell the cheese sauce powder and it smells so nice.
The pasta takes around 12 to 15 minutes to make. It's easy to simple to make, all you need to do is melt around 15grams of butter (I just pop in a table spoon) into a pan a leave to melt, Then add 150ml of milk and 300mll of water. I find by boiling the water first it makes cooking the pasta faster. Once you have added in the sachet of cheese and broccoli pasta make sure you're regularly stir so they the power is evenly over the pasta and not clumping over the pasta pieces, as it does not taste very nice when that happens. You can also cook it in the micro wave mixed with the same amount of water, milk and butter for 12 minutes at 750w. I personally prefer to cook the pasta on the hob.
The pasta tubes taste so nice when covered with the cheese sauce and complemented by the broccoli pieces. This is a great combination that will satisfy your hunger needs. The cheese is thick and creamy and taste's very much like mild cheddar. There are very small broccoli pieces in mixed within the sauce. You may notice that some of the small pasta tubes (which are around 1.5cm long, a great size for children to have) have got clogged with sauce and as you pop it in your mouth you get a nice surprise of thick creamy cheese sauce explode in your mouth when you chew down on the pasta. I love it when this happens and it tastes so lush.
The pasta contains 263 calories in half the 110g gram packet and contains no artificial colours or flavours, and no hydrogenated fat.
You can either have it as a dinner by yourself or is great for a snack when shared with someone else. They are convenient for a child's dinner.
I used to purchase these priced at only 28p but they have recently been put up to 33p per packet, so much for Asda always lowering prices.
Overall these are a great quick and easy snack so why not add these to your shopping list.
I have always loved Batchelors cheese and broccoli pasta and sauce. When I first moved into my flat with my boyfriend we weren't in the best financial position and had to make cut backs wherever possible. So instead of spending 70p a packet I noticed Asda had this verion for 28p.
I'm all for trying anything once and from other Smartprice products I have used I have been impressed by most of them.
I love food that is quick and easy to prepare when I'm making a meal for myself or a lunch for myself and my 15 month old son.
Again it comes in a simple packet with a white background and a green label detailing the pasta. It also has a bowl of the prepared pasta on the front.
On the back there is the nutritional information and ingredients as well as use by dates and address to write to if you are in any way unsatisfied.
To prepare the pasta is so simple anyone can do it, I am no accomplished cook and when I started out I couldn't make beans on toast! You empty the contents into the pan and add 1/2 a pint of boiling water and 1/4 pint of milk. Butter/margerine is an additional option which I do use as I find it makes the sauce a bit thicker and creamier.
It takes around 10-15 minutes to cook and once prepared it can be used for 2 adults as part of a main meal or 1 as a snack or dinner. I have added ham and other vegetables to this or have served it alongside chicken and it makes a great addition.
The sauce is quite thick and the pasta soft. It has a bit of a strong smell but it tastes of cheese and has the broccoli pieces dotted throughout.
I haver to say that now I prefer the smartprice version to Batchelors and at half the price it's brilliant! My son has also had the chicken and mushroom one and loves that one just as much.
Retailing at 28p a packet, you really don't expect much from it. As a student, you are willing to try anything for food, especially if it's cheap and you don't get much cheaper than the green and white packaging that screams Asda Smart Price. Pasta is a core food for students and I love the Bachelors cheese and broccoli pasta but naturally any way to cut shopping costs was welcome and at 28p, if it was rubbish, I'd lost nothing. I gave it 5 stars based not on the fact that it is exquisite cuisine, but that for 28p it really is amazing value......
On opening the packet it was exactly the same as the Bachelor's one, pasta and powder, add 150ml milk, 300ml water (I pre-boil it as I have zero patience when it comes to waiting for things to boil) and it suggests a twist of butter, just shot a quick bit in, it really does add to the flavour. Cooking time is on average 10 minutes on the hob although it depends if you blast it like I do or if you are patient and wait for the water to boil on its own. It includes all nutritional information on the back of the packet, ingredients, etc as well as cooking instructions.
For the price, it tasted really, really good. Sometimes the flavour can be a bit mild; I like to increase the flavour with grated cheese, chopped ham or dried chilli flakes, but to be honest it tastes really nice on its own, not too overpowering; definitely add the bit of butter though. It has the recommended portion size on the back of the packed put just put in what you would put on a slice of toast, nothing too excessive. It has quite a pale colour and there are only tiny bits of broccoli in it, no distinct chunks or anything but for the price it is definitely worth trying for a comfort food or just a quick snack for a starving student, or anyone else for that matter! The paste obviously wasn't of the highest quality but for what you pay for it, it's lush! It isn't glue like and it doesn't fall apart, it has a nice consistency but obviously goes a bit mushy if you overcook it, but then so does all pasta, expensive or not. Try it, it's cheaper than a bar of chocolate and it fills you up for longer.
If you have no sensse of smell or taste, and the same goes for those whom you live with; and you don't mind the fact that they forgot to include most of the ingredients (I think it costs more to cook than it does to buy the sachet), then this product is certainly for you.
I foolishly bought this product assuming that it was inexpensive, convenient and at least vaguely pallatable.
Personally, I'm just grateful that nobody I live with knows it was mine and that I will never have to use that microwave again. I doubt the bowl will ever be the same again.
I am genuinely offended and appaled that this is classed as food and I dread to think what it tasted like before they "improved" the recipe.
Cheap, nasty and difficult to clean after.
There you go, 150 words of genuine honest opinion.
Shove your points
I love foods that are quick and easy to prepare myself with minimum fuss and/or effort. I'm not the worlds best cook and when I cook just for myself I really can't be bothered messing about for hours though of course I do appreciate decent food. Though not really being a meal person and more of a snackaholic I like to be able to fling stuff in the microwave and this when I saw it in Asda appealed to me because I really love pasta, cheese sauces and broccoli and I thought it had to be worth a try!
Not as depicted on the review photograph though this is the same product I just assume the packaging has been modified of late. So my packet is white paper and oblong in shape and silver foil on the inside of it. On the front in green and black writing I'm told it's Asda 'Smart Price' Cheese & Broccoli Pasta & Sauce 'Pasta tubes in a cheese and broccoli sauce mix' there is a picture of the cooked pasta in a bowl, I'm told it is an improved recipe and that it is suitable for vegetarians. On the back of the packet all in green writing this time I'm given a list of ingredients and given allergy advice, nutritional information and storage details are given, cooking instructions are detailed, contact details for Asda are there along with the size (110g) being stated and finally there is a bar-code on there. It's very distinctly an economy product to look at but does contain all of the information you could possibly need on it.
On The Hob:
Place 150ml (1/4 pint) of milk, 300ml 1/2 pint) of water and place 15g (1/2 oz) of butter or margarine in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Stir in the contents of sachet. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Empty the contents of the sachet into a large 3-4 pint microwavable bowl. Add 150ml (1/4 pint) of milk, 300ml (1/2 pint) of boiling water and 15g (1/2 oz) of butter or margarine. Stir, cover and vent. Cook on full power for 12 minutes (750W), stirring halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven, stir again, cover and leave to stand for 3 minutes.
Check product is piping hot before serving.
Do not re-heat.
Well I've had this product a few times in the past couple of weeks cos I simply can't get enough of it to be honest with you.. I love it!
I've cooked it both ways (on the hob and in the microwave) and really it doesn't matter how you cook it, it makes no difference to the overall taste but my personal preffered method is in the microwave as I don't have to stand around and watch it and sure I'm lazy as hell! lol.
So the product in the packet is lots of small, translucent looking pasta tubes all with tiny holes within them and lines down the sides. Yes they do have texture. The sauce is a creamy yellow powder containing really tiny particles of dried broccoli. When you add the pasta to the milk and water and mix it up it does all blend into a really wet liquid that doesn't appear too glossy (not too much fat in it), the pasta sinks to the bottom of whatever your cooking it in and bits of green float to the top of it. Then of course you cook it!
Whilst cooking it you can smell a faint waft of mild cheese, much the same as when you sniff it dried and I find in the microwave it really does take no longer than 12 minutes to cook or it dries up. It is important to use a deep dish if cooking this in the microwave cos as it cooks the liquid really does get hot and bubbles over making a real mess (trust me it really does lol). It's also important to stir it half way through cooking it or the pasta all glues itself together and appears congealed looking and soggy.
The pasta no matter how long you cook it for after time always is a little in the al dente side of things. Quite glutenous and soggy but not all that smooth it really does taste though it does taste of pasta to be fair to it though a little chewy. The cheese sauce is a pale yellow colour, nicely seasoned and gloopy and quite thick. The broccoli really tastes of broccoli though no big distinguishable chunks are in here and the whole thing has a nice seasoned taste to it, is quite creamy with a taste of milk and has a slight taste of garlic to the whole proceedings.
This really is a cheap and filling pasta dish. Sure I would concede this wouldn't be every-one's cup of tea and it sure isn't made with the finest ingredients but for some reason I just love it! I like the fact the pasta isn't cooked too well no matter what I do and the thick stodgy sauce fills my belly up and I find it really find it very tasty! At 28p a sachet it won't hurt your pocket to give it a go anyway and it won't kill you though my Mother says it will her indigestion and she hates it calling it cheap rubbish! lol...each to his/her own! Try it yourself and make your own mind up!
Contains gluten, milk and wheat.
May contain traces of nuts and/or seeds.
Nutritional Information....Per Half Pack.....
of which is sugars 1.6g
of which is saturates 5.1g
equivalent as salt 1.3g
Only available in Asda stores.