“ Brand: Napolina / Type: Sauces „
I love lasagne, in fact, I love anything involving rice or pasta. Now, I have made lasagne from scratch, making my own tomato sauce, as well as the cheesy sauce, and I have also used the dolmio range of lasagne sauces. Making anything from scratch is time consuming, and my husband is not a fan of the dolmio lasagne sauces, though I am, because he insists it leaves the lasagne too runny. As a compromise, I regularly buy this napolina bolognese sauce for lasagne, which usually retails at £1.99 for a 350g jar, but it currently on offer in Tesco for 99p. I usually only purchase this when it is on offer, since buying both the tomato sauce plus the white sauce at full price is pretty costly.
This sauce comes in a tall jar with a black lid, and their is a photo pr some tomatos, herbs and onions on the front. On the back it states that this is 'a rich tomato sauce with conions and herbs perfect with all sorts of pasta including lasagne'. Now, I have never tried it as a bolognese sauce with spaghetti - only as a lasagne sauce.
The instructions for use are written on the back of the jar, however it is very easy to follow and similiar to other lasagne sauces in terms of making. This sauce should be combined with the napolina white sauce for lasagne, and further instructions are on the back of that jar.
I have to say that compared to the dolmio lasagne sauce, this really makes a good sturdy lasagne. When I say sturdy, I mean that the sauce is not runny, and sets very well in the oven, making a more solid lasagne that is easier to slice and serve out. The red and white sauce complement each other very well, and produce a really lovely lasagne. I do like the dolmio range of sauces for lasagne but there is no doubt that this makes a more solid lasagne that is easier to serve, particularly if you have guests. It is expensive when full price, but great value when on offer as it is regularly in Tesco, when I then stock up!
One meal which is often cooked in my house is lasagne. As I come from an Italian family this was something I learnt to make from an early age from scratch. However, I don't have the time or patience to create a lasagne from scratch anymore so I tend to opt for the easier options. The other day I was short of time and wanted to make something I could just put in the oven for a while. I went into Morrisons and found the Napolina range half price so I opted for their Bolognese sauce for lasagne and their white sauce (review to come shortly!). At 84p for each jar I couldn't really complain.
*** Napolina ***
The company is part of the Princes food group and distributes Napolina products (of which there are about 120) on behalf of the company. Napolina is a relatively new company and has been going for about 40 years. It was set up by Marino Landiorio and Napolina translates to "little Naples". The company is known for creating wonderful Italian products with the best of ingredients.
*** Packaging ***
The lasagne sauce comes in quite a narrow but tall jar and the label is incredibly simple (as are all of the Napolina labels). It has the Napolina logo (its name) in white on the typical black label. On the front of the label is a picture of fresh red tomatoes, garlic and basil. And of course Napolina's little Italian flag is depicted at the bottom of the black label. The jar is clear glass so you can see exactly what the sauce looks like. I like the fact that the label is so simple as it's quite effective.
*** Cooking ***
The sauce is incredibly easy to use! The sauce can be used the same way whether you are cooking a Bolognese or a lasagne. I simply brown off the minced meat (drain), add garlic, onions (personal preference) and then I simply add the sauce and stir it through ensuring everything is covered. It only takes a few minutes for the sauce to heat up and warm through. Just make sure you don't boil the sauce (if you are cooking it before the meat) as it will impair the flavour.
*** The Result ***
As soon as I opened up the jar I could instantly smell a rich tomato based sauce which has plenty of garlic and basil. Sometimes when you open up a jar of Dolmio all you can smell is tomatoes and mild ones at that but this was rich and had such a strong smell it was lovely.
I always add extra garlic, onion and tomato puree to my lasagne to give it a bit of extra flavour and I like a lot of garlic! The sauce has quite a thick consistency (unlike Dolmio) and it sticks to the meat well which is nice as you don't have a puddle of sauce left in the dish or on your plate! I typical lasagne should have the sauce sticking to the meat and this sauce does exactly that. The sauce is a rich, vibrant red and contains small pieces of onion and tiny shredded pieces of basil which is a nice touch as I would normally add my own.
Even though the sauce has a thick consistency it keeps the pasta and the meat incredibly moist. The flavour of this sauce is wonderful. I don't normally like sauces which are solely tomato based but even though this sauce is it is quite rich but has plenty of flavour from the garlic, onions and basil. It did need seasoning but that was just personal preference I think you could quite happily eat this without adding salt or pepper. For me this sauce has plenty of flavour and depth but it is quite rich certainly richer than Dolmio or Ragu but it provides a great tasting dish.
*** Ingredients ***
Chopped Tomatoes (40%) (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Acidity Regulator (Citric, Acid), Firming Agent (Cacium Chloride), Water, Tomato Paste, Onion (8%), Red Wine (6) (Contains Sulphites), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (4%), Sugar, Carrot, Garlic Purée, Salt, Modified Maize Starch, Worcester Sauce (Water, Spirit Vinegar, Salt, Tamarind Extract, Roast Malt Barley Extract, Onion, Garlic, Spices, Flavouring), Onion Powder, Concentrate Lemon Juice, Basil, Colour (Paprika Extract), Oregano (0.1%), Black Pepper, Bay.
*** Nutritional Information ***
Energy - 90
Protein - 1.7g
Fat - 4.5g
*** Price and Availability ***
The sauce can be bought in Tesco and Morrisons for around £1.59 but I managed to pick up a jar only the other day from Morrisons for 84p.
*** Overall ***
I really like this sauce and I'm glad that I bought it! It provides a tasty, rich dish which has plenty of flavour. You can really tell that quality ingredients are used because the taste is better than a lot of other jar sauces on the market. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a quick fix for either a lasagne or Bolognese!