“ Brand: Loyd Grossman / Type: Sauces „
Currently (26/07/13) Loyd Grossman Al Forno 'Tomato and Parmesan with Pancetta' is on offer at Sainsburys for just £1 per jar rather than the normal price of around £1.99 for a 400g jar. Hence it found its way into my canny shopping basket this week.
It is a reasonably creamy, orange coloured pasta sauce, speckled with tiny, chopped pieces of tomato, herbs and pancetta apparently - but I wouldn't have noticed this had I not read this on the label. It comes in a recyclable glass jar.
The nutritional values of this product look quite promising: Per 100g there are 106kCal, Fat 7.0g, Sat Fat 2.6g, Sugar 3.9g, Salt 1.0g. Consequently it is awarded 3 yellow and 1 green on the FSA traffic light system of labelling. The ingredients are Chopped tomatoes (35%), water, double cream, tomato puree, modified maize starch, sugar, sunflower oil, pancetta (1.7%), parmesan (1.5%), garlic puree, sea salt, ham bouillon (pork stock, yeast extract, whey powder, dried onion, parsley, salt, celery salt, sunflower oil), extra virgin olive oil, basil, concentrated lemon juice, ground black pepper, oregano. Pancetta contains pork salt, starch, milk proteins, dextrose, fructose, flavourings, acidity regulator, preservative.
Not suitable for people with milk or nut allergies. Once opened the contents can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Experience of the product:
Making the pasta bake is quite easy. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/200 degrees for fan oven or GM 6.
Using a shallow 1.5 litre ovenproof dish add 150g of penne pasta and 300ml of water. Use a spoon to pour over the sauce and stir the dish well. Bake for 25mins, stir again and top with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Bake for a further 10 mins and serve.
The dish is simple and the pasta sauce mix absorbs into the pasta. Adding your own cheesy topping makes it extra flavoursome. It is actually quite a tasty sauce - but nothing special. To me, it tastes not unlike mascarpone sauce with a hint of ham. I served it to my family with mixed results. My husband, myself and eldest ate it and thought it tasty enough; my youngest didn't like it, declared that it smelled like feet and left most of it.
I am giving it 3 dooyoo stars as I thought it was O.K but I wouldn't buy it at full price. Sorry Loyd.
Whilst this pasta sauce is pleasant enough I wouldn't say it was outstanding or quite nice enough to warrant the cost.
It cost me £1.89 for a jar from the Co-op, which I then used to make a tuna & sweetcorn pasta bake with. The sauce itself is quite a pale colour and it looks quite creamy. It certainly smells tasty enough when you pour it out of the jar and it looked very appetising and smelt lovely whilst it was cooking.
I was disappointed however by two things. Firstly that it wasn't quite as thick as it looked, I found it to be bordering on being watery and I would have expected a thicker sauce for the price. Secondly it had lumps of tomato in that were obviously used to thicken it up and add texture to it but only led to myself & my son picking most of them out. The reason being that some of the bits of tomato were a bit hard and some were slightly green tinged (suggesting they were not quite ripe when put in).
All in all the pasta bake still tasted nice enough, the sauce didn't ruin it but I just would have expected a slightly higher quality of saucewith a bit more taste from the Lloyd Grossman range at this price.
I've started to stretch my culinary skills to pasta bakes and it has become almost tradition for me to make one on a Sunday. On a recent trip to Asda I noticed that they were offering many of the different sauces from Loyd Grossman's range for only £1 so I stocked up on a few and recently tried this one for the first time.
The sauce comes in a 400g see through jar so you can immediately see the thick and creamy coloured sauce inside. The jar has a quite distinctive label across it with an image of Loyd Grossman smelling what looks like an incredibly juicy tomato on the front. The rear of the label gives the nutritional information detailing that per 100g the sauce contains 104 calories, 1.8g protein, 8.6g carbohydrates of which 3.9 sugars, 7g fat of which 2g saturates, 0.5g fibre and 0.4g sodium with the salt equivalent being 1.1g. For those interested in the allergy advice on the label, this product contains celery and milk and was produced in a factory that handles nuts and sesame. I don't think the calorie and fat content is too high with this product given that it obviously contains cheese and also contains double cream.
This sauce has 25% less content than the 500g Homepride sauces that I use predominantly. I have found however that I did not need to reduce the amount of pasta that I would normally use by 25%. The label instructs you to use 150g of penne pasta or any short dry pasta and to use 300ml of water. I used approximately 200g as I didn't think 150g would be enough for what I wanted and added approximately 400ml of water. I found that this worked fine and there was more than enough sauce, which was in no way weak, to cover a good amount of pasta.
On opening the sauce you are immediately met by a strong and mouth-watering cheesy and garlicky aroma. The label also instructs you to spoon the sauce out of the jar onto the pasta. This is different to other brands I have used where you can simply pour the sauce out and just goes to show how thick this sauce is.
The pasta bake is prepared by heating at gas mark 6 for an initial 25 minutes. When I had put the bake into the oven I had left the kitchen and did not return until the 25 minutes was up. When I walked in I was hit with an immense smell again with the cheese and garlic but this time it was so much stronger and even more appealing. On giving the bake a stir before returning to the oven for a final 10 minutes I was a little disappointed that I couldn't start tucking in right there and then! Before putting back into the oven I topped with a modest amount of cheese. The label offers a recommendation of using a mixture of parmesan and mozzarella cheese for the topping but I didn't have either of these so instead opted for a strong cheddar (usually my cheese of choice).
On tasting the food I was very pleased that the sauce tasted as good as it smelled. There were good amounts of tasty chopped tomato that combined well with the creamy, cheesy sauce and the pancetta. There was also a strong but not overpowering taste from the garlic.
I enjoyed this pasta bake with my partner with us having half each with a small side salad and some crusty bread. This was a good sized meal that left us feeling full afterwards. I also noticed there was also a very pleasant aftertaste.
At £1 (whilst on offer) I think this was very good value for money and I would say the sauce was slightly better quality than other well known brands that I've used. The usual price in Asda for this sauce is currently £1.74 in Asda. This is slightly more expensive than I might like to pay but I still think it resembles good value for money given the taste and the quality of the sauce.
I cannot find fault with this product and therefore will be giving it 5 stars. I will certainly be buying it again and hopefully it will still be on offer when I do my shopping again soon!