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Being a student, I have to budget my money quite carefully and plan out my meals so that I don't waste money. Pasta is something big on my shopping list as it is filling and easy/ quick to cook. However, I only really like carbonara sauce or a cheese based sauce with it. One of the best carbonara sauces out there is the Dolmio Creamy Carbonara Stir-in Sauce. I have tried many of the supermarket own brand sauces and nothing quite compares to Dolmio. Dolmio also do other stir-in sauces but I haven't tried any of them.
The sauce comes in a 150g plastic pot which roughly costs £1.75. At the time of writing this review, Tesco have them on offer for 2 for £3 which will save you 50p. The tubs are slightly more expensive than a jar of pasta sauce but this way, it saves waste especially if you are only cooking for yourself like I do. The plot is made from clear plastic and has a foil lid which pulls off easily. Around the tub is cardboard packaging which gives the product name, nutritional information and it also has on it the Dolmio logo. The pot of sauce says that it will serve 2 people.
The cooking instructions on the packet say to cook the pasta first and then stir in the sauce. The sauce can also be microwaved. However, the packet says nothing about heating up the sauce before stirring it into your pasta. I don't like the idea of putting cold sauce onto hot food so I always heat it up a little bit in a pan before adding in the pasta. I then leave it for a couple of minutes to make sure that everything is hot.
The taste of this sauce is lovely. The sauce is creamy and you can quickly taste the blends of different cheeses. There are also chunks of cooked ham in the sauce which gives a nice contrast to the creaminess of the sauce. There can sometimes be too much ham in packets or jars of sauce and I find it to be too much but this pot seems to have the right amount. There is also black pepper mixed in with the sauce but not so much that it overpowers the other flavours. That, mixed with the cheeses and ham is what gives this sauce a lovely smoky taste.
This pasta sauce has the right blend of everything for me which is why I like this one more than other brands. I do try to buy it on offer as much as possible though otherwise it can become expensive.
Each 150g Pot contains:
Of which 10.0g are Saturates
Dolmio make a great Carbonara sauce which comes in a little 150g pot with a foil lid and it's only £1.35.
Carbonara is one of my favourite pasta sauces as its so creamy. Its basically cheese, ham, parmesan cheese and cream which you just pour over your ready cooked pasta.
I have used other Carbonara sauces but I personally think this one is probably one of my favourites. Its a good brand and one I trust. I have tried Tesco and Asda own shop brands but I do like Dolmio the best of them all as I find it just tastes so much nicer and a lot creamier.
You just cook your pasta and then spoon this over the top and stir it in. I then add chopped herbs to my pasta (fresh ones) and mix this in too and the overall taste is great.
It is quite a rich sauce and possibly people might find it a bit heavy on the cream and a bit salty but it suits my tastebuds.
I usually use one pot at a time, although if you didn't use it all it wil keep for a while in a fridge as long as you cover the foil back over the top when you store it.
Now that I've started working in London on a daily basis it has meant we have needed to find quick and easy meal alternatives for week nights. There are some nights where my wife and I aren't in until well after 7 and on those nights the last thing we want to do is spend 40 minutes cooking and so one of the alternatives we have found is Dolmio's stir in Creamy Carbonara pasta sauce. We tend to cook up a batch of pasta and pour the sauce in meaning our meal is ready a lot quicker than if we were to have something like Spaghetti Bolognaise.
The sauce comes in a 150g clear plastic tub with a small piece of cardboard wrapped around it to display the product name and instructions. Each 150g tub contains enough sauce to feed 2 people based on a reasonable sized portion of pasta. The sauce is has a very creamy consistency as you would expect from a Carbonara sauce and also contains small pieces of ham to add to the flavour. This provides a nice base for the sauce and it looks particularly appetising in the pot.
The whole principle of this sauce and the reason we find it so ideal is the fact it doesn't need to be cooked or even heated up. Once you've cooked your pasta for the required time and drained it off you simply open the pot of sauce and stir it into the pasta. Once you've done this it is ready to serve, it really is as simple as that, which makes it an ideal solution for a quick meal.
Tasting The Pot
One of the first things I noticed about the sauce as I opened the small pot was the scent of cheese. The scent isn't overly strong but rather welcoming and starts to really appeal to your senses. We tend to use these sauces with Fuseli pasta as our local Tesco has a mini bow version that take just 5 minutes to cook. Once we've mixed the sauce in it gives a good covering over the pasta and the quantity of ham within the sauce on appearance looks about right.
From the first taste of the pasta the cheese is very prominent. It doesn't overwhelm the senses though and the blend of the different cheeses with the ham and the pasta seems to sit quite nicely. The consistency of the sauces is quite creamy as it first appeared and the scent of cheese is still quite evident. I think the most important aspect though is the blend of flavours. There is no one cheese that stands out more than any others and by getting this right they have created a very appealing, creamy sauces that doesn't take long to prepare a meal from.
Within the sauce the initial cheesy flavour is soon replaced by the ham, which gives it a slightly smoky after taste. This combination of flavours really works well and the introduction of the ham, whilst a little chewy at times, takes the edge off the sauce and perhaps makes the taste a little more palatable than if it had solely been a cheese based sauce.
For a quick solution to an evening meal this sauce does work really well. Obviously this sauce has been designed specifically for people who need to prepare something quickly and Dolmio have ensured that whilst it delivers this quick service, they haven't compromised on taste. The sauce is available from all major Supermarkets and there are also a number of additional flavours in the range. We have this one on a regular basis though and find with the speed of preparation and the fact you can add little extra items such as frankfurters to the meal without impacting on the flavour of the sauce that it fits our requirements perfectly.
The 150g pots are available for around £1.20 - £1.35 depending on where you shop but with the flexibility and the taste they provide it is certainly worth it. We have tried a few mix in sauces in the past and so far have yet to find one that can compete with the Dolmio Stir in Creamy Carbonara. If you are short of time in the evenings I'd certainly recommend it as a viable alternative to preparing an evening meal.
Each 150g Pot contains:
Of which 10.0g are Saturates
Recently my fridge broke down, so I've living off take-aways and stuff in the cupboard until I can get saved up to buy a new one . Now, Pasta is probably one thing I always have in my cupboard - masses of it in fact, and why not - it's dirt cheap, filling, and can be stored in a cupboard for ages .
Obviously, pasta plain is just -plain . It needs a sauce, a topping or coating to give it a little extra flavour . Dolmio is probably one of the bigger brands of stir in sauces, (although some supermarkets are now launching their own versions) and they have a wide range of flavours, including Roasted Tomato and Garlic, Smoked Bacon and Tomato, Spicy Pepperoni , and the flavour I used today, Creamy Carbonara.
These sauces cost about 1.25 in the local supermarket, but are often on offers of buy one get one free, or 2 for 2.00, which gives a nice saving, and is worth it if you use a lot of these sauces . They come in a little plastic tub, with a foil lid, encased in a card sleeve (in this case, a nice cream and pale green colour with pictures of some lovely pink ham, some cheese and cream, and the Dolmio brand logo across the top .
Slipping off the sleeve and opening the sauce is easy . Each tub contains 150g, enough to cover paster for two people - but if you're only cooking for one, don't worry - you can stick remaining sauce in the fridge for up to three days after opening . And if you're not planning to use the sauce for a while, it has a long enough shelf life for you to keep it in the cupboard for months - this pack has a best before date of 26/08/10, so almost a year .
To use you just cook some pasta as normal, then drain it, and stir through the sauce to coat the pasta . You only need to stir it for a few seconds just to warm the sauce through - everything in the sauces is already cooked!
So, after opening the sauce, I can see that its a pale yellowy cream colour, with some tiny chunks of onion and some very small chunks of ham. It's smells mildly cheesy, a combination of cheddar and parmesan, and this smell gets a little stronger when heated through. It takes only a few stirs to coat the pasta evenly,and then its ready to serve . I like to sprinkle a little cheese on top of mine sometimes too .
I'd recommend using a shaped or ridged pasta with these kinds of sauces, as the shapes hold the sayce better . Eating it, it's quite creamy and mildly cheesy, although I find the chunks of ham far too small, and rather more like bacon in that they are pretty dry. Overall, it was nice, but bland, and rather lacking in texture - I felt I needed lumps!
It's nowhere near close to a good home made carbonara, with juicy chunks of pancetta bacon on thinly sliced smoked hams, and a rich eggy sauce . But it IS quicker, and certainly much more doable with no fridge . Plus, it only takes on pan to cook and then coat the pasta so not too much washing up .
Unlike the tomato one, which my daughter hated (she hates anything tomato based) she really liked this one too, which I was pleased with as she's usually a fussy eater, and because it meant I wasn't going to have to waste half the sauce through having no fridge to store it in .
I've always been a big fan of Dolmio stir in sauces, an even bigger one in my time without a fridge . This isn't the most flavoursome variety in my opinion, but that is balanced out by the fact that my daughter absolutely loves it, so I'll still be buying it again, but perhaps adding a little bit of fresh ham or some mushrooms for a little extra flavour and texture.