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Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce (original)

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10 Reviews

Brand: Knorr / Type: Sauces

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      05.03.2014 18:33
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      Helps create some tasty meals

      In our house we always have a jar or two of Ragu sauce in the kitchen cupboard as it is a firm favourite of the children. Every Wednesday we always have either Spaghetti Bolognese or Pasta and Meatballs and this is now a family tradition. I sometimes make the above from scratch but as a working parent this isn't always easy so when I don't get chance, I always use Ragu sauce as we have tried lots of others but have found this is a firm favourite of all the family.

      ~The Product~
      Ragu sauces come in jar sizes of 454g, but I have noticed in Farmfoods, they also do larger family sized jars. They do many different flavours such as original, traditional, tomato and chilli, and tomato and herb. We always stick to the original one. This is the same as the traditional one but much smoother and without the big tomato chunks. The sauce has a delicious tomato flavour that is just right. Not too weak and not too strong either.

      ~The Price~
      These jars normally cost £1.99 but you can often get them on a BOGOF offer or on a 2 for £3 offer. It is far cheaper to cook these meals from scratch with some tinned tomatoes amongst other ingredients, but these are much more convenient and really tasty too.

      ~Conclusion~
      Although I only use these jars for the two meals listed above, you don't have to stick to these and can use these sauces for many other tomato based recipes too. As a family, we love Ragu sauces and find them much tastier than other sauces such as Dolmio. In conclusion - a great sauce for many recipes and it gets a thumbs up from me and the family.

      Thanks for reading x

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        25.11.2012 11:05
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        A good value reasonable sauce; but not enough other flavours

        I love Spaghetti Bolognaise but what I find most annoying is that whenever I go out to Italian restaurants I do not get what I expect; the sauce is rarely that flavoursome and there is often very little Minced Beef if any at all! For that reason, I always make Spaghetti Bolognaise at home now!

        When making the sauce at home I sometimes just use Beef stock Cubes, Tomato Puree, Tinned Chopped Tomatoes, Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic and other herbs; however, more often recently I have been using a sauce like Ragu. Iceland sell very reasonably priced jars of pasta sauce and this Ragu original is one of them; my partner also buys the same. It only costs a £1.00 for a 500g jar; sometimes there is also sauce left over (This jar would usually be enough for around 4 people).

        The sauce itself is of course very tomatoey and it is after all a Tomato sauce for Bolognaise. It is also nice and thick. However, I prefer a mixture of the sauce and also an added Beef Flavour and this is what is lacking; the sauce is fairly good but a bit too tomatoey in flavour if that makes sense! It also isn't really seasoned enough for my liking. What I do now is use the sauce, add chopped tomatoes, Garlic, Mushrooms, Onions and a Beef stock cube; this way it tastes better in my view.

        *Ingredients *
        Water, Tomato puree, Tomatoes, Sugar, Onion, Modified corn starch, Garlic salt, Concentrated lemon juice, Basil, Oregano, Black pepper

        *Calories*
        For 100g of the sauce there are 43 kcals.

        This is a very quick and easy way to have a bolognaise sauce, but it just needs some added extras. Worthy of 3 Dooyoo stars in my view.

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        01.09.2012 19:33
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        A great kitchen cupboard essential for a quick, tasty meal!

        I love cooking and try to make as many meals as possible from scratch but as time is not normally on my side then I often have to resort to using some ready prepared meal bases. One sauce that I always have a jar or two off in my kitchen cupboard is a tomato based sauce, the sort used to make Bolognese. The last purchase of this type of sauce that I made was of the Ragu Original which is made by Unilever.

        The Ragu Original that I purchased came in a 500g jar and cost just £1.00 from Iceland which I thought was great value as it states on the jar that it is designed to serve 4 people.

        The Ragu sauce comes packaged in a clear glass jar with a metal twist off lid. There is a safety button feature of the lid which allows you to check that the jar has not been previously opened by making sure it cannot be pressed down. All the information about the sauce can be found on the paper wrap around label which covers the middle of the jar but still allows you to see the sauce through the glass at the top and bottom. It gives you full the nutritional information, ingredients listings and cooking instructions for turning the sauce into a Bolognese.

        To make this sauce into a Bolognese you simply need to brown 350g mince beef or quorn mince then add the jar of sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes. I also use this sauce to pour over meatballs as well and find it works perfectly. You could also use the sauce to layer with pasta sheets and white sauce to make a lasagne too.

        As soon as you open the jar of the sauce you will notice that it has quite a strong, powerful smell. You can certainly notice smell of Oregano and Garlic which are two of the herbs used to flavour the tomato sauce. You can also see the small pieces of herbs contained within the deep red coloured sauce. When you pour the sauce from the jar you will notice that it has quite a thick consistency which I really like as I prefer sauces to be thick rather than thin and watery. The sauce tastes really good too, it is quite a strong concentrated tomato flavour so I find that you only need a small amount. The herbs work well together and with the tomatoes, the sauce is not in any way too bitter or too sweet as I have found with some similar sauces in the past. I usually serve it made up as a Bolognese or with meatballs over spaghetti or pasta shapes and find that it coats the pasta well. As far as portion size goes I would say that a 500g jar made up as a Bolognese would serve 3 adults for a main meal or at a push 4 adults if serving side dishes too.

        Overall I think this is a great quality sauce which is excellent value if found on special offer and makes a quick tasty meal!

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        05.05.2012 02:10
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        It's a decent sauce.

        I eat pasta several times a week and my absolutely favourite pasta dish is simply chicken and pasta with a tomato and chilli sauce. I have tried many pasta sauces over the years, including Ragu Bolognese Original Pasta Sauce. This sauce comes in a glass jar and is recently cost me £1.93 from Tesco, although it is currently on offer at Tesco for just £1.00. I think that this is a really good price because one jar is plenty for a family of five people - just adding pasta and some onions and peppers etc. will make a quick and cheap meal.

        The original Ragu Bolognese sauce is primarily tomato based and it looks and smells very fresh. There are also onions and parsley in the sauce which lift the sauce a little, although I have to say that the taste is very tomatoey, to the point that it actually tastes too tomatoey to me. I know that may sound a little strange because, after all, it is a tomato sauce, but I feel the flavour is just too intense and I guess that I find it overpowering and that other ingredients added to the mix are difficult to detect. The way that I have found to get round this is to add some cream or some creme fresh as I find that this tones down the intensity and adds some creaminess to the sauce which is very welcomed.

        Using the sauce is easy - and literally needs to be heated and added to pasta and any ingredients of your choice. The sauce is thick and coats all of the ingredients well - which I feel is really important for a pasta sauce.

        Overall, I do think this is a good product, but I do think it needs tweaking in order to be at its best.

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        28.09.2010 15:56
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        Recommended for a quick and easy pasta meal

        For me, cooking is one of those things that has to be done so that I can sustain my body. I don't take a great deal of pleasure in doing day-to-day cooking for normal meals as I feel it's more like a chore. I like to bake as a hobby and consider that to be the fun side of cooking. I usually end up stocking up my store cupboard with basic essentials for making quick and easy meals. This Bolognese sauce was an accidental purchase as I had intended to buy lasagne sauce, but I guess it's practically all the same so went ahead and used it anyway. This Original Bolognese Sauce by Ragu costs £1.65 for a 500g jar from Tesco, and is often on special offer for around £1.00.

        Described simple as an "original tomato sauce for bolognese", this sauce looks very much like every other tomato based pasta sauce on the shelves. It comes in a clear glass jar and contains a generous 500ml of sauce.

        On first inspection it looked and smelled lovely, with a natural aroma and a slight hint of herbs. As mentioned, I was using this for the red sauce layer in my lasagne. I emptied the whole jar in with some vegetarian mince meat and chopped vegetables, and let the whole lot simmer for a short time. It smelled absolutely gorgeous as it was cooking and the aroma filled the kitchen quickly. Although the main ingredient listed is water, it had a reasonably thick consistency but was still runny and when I layered it into my lasagne it spread easily.

        Once the lasagne had cooked in the oven I was of course desperate to try some! This jar was large enough to make a "family sized" lasagne that provided 8 large servings. As soon as I tasted the lasagne I noticed a difference to how it normally tastes. The tomato flavour was really prominent and the flavours were much more rich than normal. It had a tangy, fruity taste that stood out and it made a lovely hearty and comforting meal.

        The nutritional content of this sauce is good, with practically no fat and only a small amount of sugar. Based on the flavour I was very impressed, and would be tempted to buy it again. I usually "make" my own pasta sauces using just tomato and a whole ton of garlic and herbs, so there are no hidden chemicals or nasty bits. I really liked the flavour of this Ragu sauce and would be tempted to buy it again just to add to a quick dinner when I'm short on time. I think this is an excellent item to have in your store cupboard and it cooks up quickly and conveniently.

        Nutritional values per 100g:
        Energy 181kJ 43kcal
        Protein 1.6g
        Carbohydrate 8.7g of which sugars 7.2g
        Fat 0.1g of which saturates 0.0g
        Fibre 1.1g
        Sodium 0.42g Salt 1.04g

        Ingredients: Water, Tomato Purée (34.3%), Tomato (3.7%), Onion, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Salt, Basil, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Parsley, Fennel Seed, Oregano, Flavouring.

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        17.03.2010 11:10
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        A fantastic tasty and low fat pasta sauce

        Every week in our house we have Meatball Thursday. This is a newish tradition I am forcing on the rest of the family because a) I love to cook meatballs and b) they are so darn tasty! As I am always on a diet and trying to eat healthy I normally make my own sauce to go with it. However last week I was feeling decidedly lazy and so went to the shop to buy a jar of sauce. I was still on the look out for which were the healthier ones and so I checked all the nutritional information at the back.

        I was felling pretty miserable about it after looking at a few which seemed quite high in fat and oil. Then I came across the Ragu jar and when I looked at the nutritional information on the back I nearly keeled over in Shock.
        Ragu has, per 100g, only 49 calories 1.1g of sugar and only 0.3g saturated fat. That's pretty darn good!

        The jars no longer look like the picture above, jthey are now a more funkcy shape, taller with a curve half way up them and a smaller label.
        So I was quite obviously already impressed with the sauce before I had even tasted it. But I knew the real test was still to come. I opened the jar and was impressed with how thick the sauce was, quite often healthy sauces can be a bit thin. But this was thick and a really appealing dark red colour. It covered the meatballs really nicely and we only needed half a jar between the three of us, so it was economical.

        Tucking into the dish was like a little taste of heaven, the meatballs of course were delicious but the sauce was the cherry on top. It tasted very tomatoey and rich, with a lovely thick texture to it. Even without the nutritional added benefits this was without doubt one of the nicest pasta sauces I had tried in ages.

        I would definitely recommend this to anyone and will definitely be buying this again, in fact I will be using it this Thursday again!!

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        10.03.2010 13:05
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        One of my favourite foods to make is Spaghetti Bolognaise. I have tried Cheaper Pasta Sauces, and they are certainly ok, but sometimes the brand is really the best. I guess it depends on what you are looking for, as the cheaper ones are a lot more simpilar tasting, which is what people often like.

        I normally go for a Sauce that has Onion and Garlic added. I like the flavouring of a Tomato Sauce with this added, but I ended up trying this the other month. I fancied a change and since Dolmio and Ragu have seemed to have changed their recipe a bit back I don't think it is as nice as it used to be.

        This costs around £1.50 but can be sometimes found on offer for £1, or 2 for £2. Don't have a jar to hand but this makes a good amount of Sauce for a 500g pack of Mince. The Sauce isn't dripping off, but just a nice covering on the Mince.

        The Jar is a see through jar which has a lastic label wrapped around it. Looks ok, and you can see the Tomatoes on the front. It looks bright and colourful enough. You can see the consistency of the Sauce as well.

        Once cooked this smells nice, but it was just too bland for me. I don't know if it is because I am used to the other more flavoursome ones, but this was just Tomato with a Herb taste in it. Pretty flavoursome, and seemed to be seasoned well, and the Herb was good enough too, but just too much rich Tomato tang to this.

        I will not be buying this again. The Sauce seemed the usual high enough quality, but just not that interesting in my view.

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          02.03.2010 22:59
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          A great sauce that can get you praise and make you look a great cook.

          Knorr's Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce is a great sauce, even if it makes you feel like a culinary cheat. Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce has all the great taste of a rich tomato sauce but with an added bite. The sauce and the added bite it has, means that Knorr's Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce a variant of uses in several recipes/meals.

          Cheat meal one, sorry, I mean recipe one, Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese for four people (or two guzzlers, he he). Brown 500 grams of mince in a large frying pan with a clove of crushed garlic. The extra garlic is only added because I love garlic. When the mince is browned, add a handful of dry spaghetti in to a separate pan of boiling water, (add one handful of spaghetti for each person you are serving for). While the spaghetti is boiling, add the Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce to the mince and let it simmer on a medium heat. Once the spaghetti is soft and tender to the touch, you need to drain the spaghetti and then dish out on to the plates. Top the spaghetti with your mince and Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce mix and then top with a tasty grated cheese. A tasty Spaghetti Bolognese meal fit for everyone. Last tip for this recipe, I found that when you drain the spaghetti, place it back into the hot pan. This helps steam out any extra moisture, otherwise, as I have found, you get excess water in the bottom of your bowl.

          Cheat/recipe meal two, Lasagne. Brown the mince with a clove of crushed garlic as in cheat meal one. Add the Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce as before and simmer. Once the sauce is hot, get a deep baking tray, and then layer the mince and Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce mixture with sheets of dry lasagne pasta sheets and Ragu White Sauce. Once you have put your last layer of Ragu White Sauce on the top of your dish, cover in grated cheddar. Place the whole dish in a medium to hot oven for thirty to forty minutes until the cheese is browning and crisp, the dish is bubbling, and the pasta sheets are soft. Serve and enjoy. (I would like to note that Ragu do make a Traditional Red sauce for making lasagne, but the Bolognese pasta sauce adds a richer and tastier outcome. This may be due to the better range herbs and spices already in the Bolognese sauce).

          Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce has many other uses for recipes and quick meals, such as, by just adding Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce to pasta of your choice you can create a quick and easy snack. Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce can even be used to create great pasta bakes with added meats, vegetables or cheeses of your choice.

          Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce does have a few disadvantages. The sauce is not as cheap as the supermarkets own brands, when the sauce costs the best part of two pound per jar, plus you need all the other ingredients for a meal/recipe. On the plus side, if you do look around, you can often find it in the buy one get one free section of a lot of supermarkets. In the scenario of finding Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce in the 'buy one get one free' buy several jars. They have a great best before date, such as dried pasta, and therefore, they make great jars to keep in your cupboard/pantry for rainy days when you are feeling strapped for cash or you have unexpected guest on the way. I will admit supermarket own brand sauces do have just as long best before dates on them, but they do not contain the great tastes and ingredients that Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce has, and this leads to boring outcomes when trying to impress guests with your cooking. I do warn you, you may feel guilty when recieving praise for your cooking, when you know, deep down Knorr did most of the work.

          In conclusion, fill your cupboard with two to three jars of Knorr's Ragu Bolognese Pasta Sauce. It's versatility of use is amazing; it makes cooking tasty pasta dishes quick and easy, and it stores (in its jar) for a long time.

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            09.12.2009 20:14
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            Worth having!

            ~*~ Ragu Sauce ~*~

            I think I could happily eat pasta every day for the rest of my life and not get bored. There are just so many possible combinations - cheese sauce, tomato sauce, cannelloni, lasagne, spaghetti, chicken pasta, salmon pasta.... Anyway! I always make sure I have a stash of pasta and a couple of jars of pasta sauce for when I have nothing else in the cupboards (which is about 75% of the time to be honest...). One of my most recent finds was Ragu pasta sauce, which I only actually tried for the first time last week!


            ~*~ The sauce ~*~

            The ingredients of this sauce include tomatoes, lemon juice, onions, parsley, fennel and black pepper. The sauce is thick and has a strong tomato taste, and does taste very traditional.


            ~*~ Cooking ~*~

            You use this product as you would with any other pasta sauce. I usually cook the pasta first, drain and then add the sauce a couple of minutes before the pasta is done to allow the sauce to cover the whole dish. You can also microwave. The instructions state to simmer for 5-10 minutes but I usually give it about 3 and that does nicely!

            ~*~ The price and availability ~*~

            Usually £1.65 for a 500g jar, which provides 4 servings, which is about standard for a branded pasta sauce. However! In Tesco at the moment you can get any 2 jars (a variety of flavours are on offer) for just £1 - that's 8 servings for a quid! What a bargain. You can't really say no to that, hence the reason why I have stocked myself up!




            ~*~ The taste ~*~

            This particular Ragu sauce has a distinctive flavour which isn't too overwhelming. The sauce is thick and very tomatoey but has a good mixture of other flavours. It is good on its own but due to the few ingredients can also be used as a mixture with other ingredients, for example spinach, salmon or chicken.


            ~*~ The nutritional information ~*~

            One serving of this product contains 58 calories and 2.1g of fat, which is good going. Added to 75g (uncooked) of pasta, you are looking at a 400 or so calorie meal which is definitely what I'd call low calorie. A serving also gives you 1.4g of sugar and 1.5g of salt which is the only drawback - this is 25% of your recommended daily allowance, so maybe skip adding the salt to the pasta's boiling water if using this sauce.


            ~*~ The verdict ~*~

            This has replaced weight watchers as my favourite pasta sauce! It is low calorie, cheap (especially if you purchase on this amazing offer at Tesco!) and very easy. Definitely worth having a couple stashed away at the back of your cupboard!

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              05.02.2009 08:13
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              A reasonable bolognese sauce for Italian cooking at home

              Until very recently it had been ages since I had cooked a spaghetti bolognese and on a recent shopping trip I was lured in to buying a jar of ready-made bolognese sauce by some clever supermarket marketing.

              ****The jar****

              The jar is pretty boring and uninspiring and consists of a typical clear glass, enabling you to see the colour and consistency of the sauce, with a small turqouise label on the front with a picture of a tomato on it.

              It was not the jar that attracted me to this product at all. It was the supermarket's own marketing ploy to sell this sauce that got me to pick up a jar. It was the bright yellow signs stating half price that lured me in and made me buy on impulse. Without this I would easily have walked past this sauce and not given it a second glance.

              ****Ingredients****

              As well as the usual ingredients (tomatoes, sugar, cornflour and the like) this sauce contains basil, parsley, fennel, and oregano. These are traditional bolognese sauce herbs and really enhance both the taste and smell of the sauce.

              The label on this jar claims that this sauce is made with 213g of tomatoes per 100g of sauce. I am struggling with the maths here and can only assume that quite a lot of the tomatoes is waste, especially when the other ingredients are taken in to consideration.

              The additional tomatoes used in this sauce (although not all of the goodness makes it) supposedly means that there's more lycopene, which is an antioxidant.

              The producers also claim that this sauce is free from artificial colours, free from artificial flavours and free from artificial preservatives.

              If all the claims on the jar are true then this sauce should be really good for you.

              ****Smell****

              This sauce smells absolutely lovely and you can really smell the tomatoes, basil and oregano. One thing I did notice was that there is a slight smell of vomit, which is a bit off putting.

              During cooking the vomit type smell did not disappear. In fact, it got ever so slightly stronger the hotter the sauce got.

              ****Colour and consistency****

              This sauce is a deep, rich red colour speckled with green (obviously the herbs). Given that the main ingredient is tomato, and there are herbs as well this colour is as expected.

              As you pour the sauce out of the jar it is a thick, creamy consistency that appears really good. It is much better than other spaghetti bolognese sauces I have tried in the past.

              Once you start to heat the sauce up it does tend to get a bit thinner but it does not go watery, unlike other bolognese sauces I have had in the past.

              ****Taste****

              This sauce tastes very good and you can really identify the tomatoes and the traditional herbs used. Whilst there may be a slight hint of the smell of vomit I could not taste this at all.

              I have tasted better bolognese sauces in the past but these are a lot more expensive than the Ragu variety and you really do get what you pay for.

              ****Nutritional information****

              Typical values per 100g of sauce are as follows;

              i) Energy - 49kcal
              ii) Protein - 1.3g
              iii) Carbohydrate - 7.1g (of which only 1.1g are sugars)
              iv) Fibre - 1.1g
              v) Sodium - 1.65g

              When added to 350g of mince this jar is meant to be enough to feed four people. It will stretch this far if all four people are:

              a) Children; or
              b) Very small eaters; or
              c) On a very strict and calorie controlled diet; or
              d) Wanting a snack

              In my experience a jar of this added to the recommended amount of mince will provide a 'normal' sized meal for three adults

              Considering this the nutritional values needs to uplifted accordingly.

              Looking at the nutritional information it appears that this sauce is not that bad for you and is pretty much the same as other sauces. One thing I do like is that this sauce does not contain loads of sugar, or salt, unlike many other ready made sauces.

              ****Price****

              The 500g jar of this sauce is currently on offer at Tescos. It cost 66p (usually £1.40). I think it is great value for money at this price and definitely worth a purchase. That said, I would not pay full price as I believe there are much better bolognese sauces out there for the same money.

              ****Cooking suggestion****

              Using this sauce makes cooking a spaghetti bolognese very, very easy and anyone can manage it. The simplest method is;

              i) Brown off some minced beef (although minced pork or lamb can be used beef is by far the best option), with some sliced onion (the coarseness is dependent upon personal choice), some finely chopped garlic and sliced mushrooms (to taste).
              ii) Pour over the sauce and add a table-spoon of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
              iii) whilst cooking the mince and sauce cook 300g (dried weight) of pasta. Once cooked, drain the pasta and put on a plate.
              iv) Spoon on some of the mince and sauce
              v) Sprinkle on some grated cheese

              The above is a very quick and easy meal.

              ****Conclusion****

              As far as bolognese sauces go this is not different nor is it original. It uses traditional herbs that really compliment the tomato-based sauce as expected.

              The vomit smell is a bit off putting and whilst I was hoping it would disappear when the sauce was heated up, it wasn't. I can only recommend pegging your nose and eating it since the taste is really good. Whilst there is a smell of vomit it can't be tasted.

              The consistency of this sauce is great and although it gets thinner as it heats up it is still much thicker than many other bolognese sauces and it does not ruin the final dish in any way.

              At 66p per jar you can't go wrong with this sauce, however, at the full price I would suggest buying an alternative.

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