“ Brand: Sacla / Type: Sauces „
I must admit that I had avoided buying Sacla products in the past because of how much that stupid advert annoyed me... you know the one - the man slamming the jar down on the kitchen counter and shouting "SAC... LA!" Arrrrgh, terrible.
However, I had gotten fed up with buying generic tomato sauces for pasta that promised flavour but always ended up tasting the same. Living alone and working full time, I like to make quick and simple dinners in the evening and pasta is an easy option for me. I had started buying the Sacla red pesto and adding olives to it myself, and so when I saw this new stir in already contained olives, it went right into my shopping trolley.
The glass jar is small and curvy, with a bright orange and red label that also features a photo of glossy black and green olives. The blurb on the back of the jar promises 'sun-kissed olives, vine-ripened tomatoes and just a hint of chilli'. Indeed, it contains chilli powder.
A lot of tomato sauces for pasta are runny or gloopy with a sweetish overpowering taste of tomatoes. This is different.
When you open the lid, there is a tiny layer of oil at the top which you can scrape off or mix into the stir in. The consistency is not really like a sauce, it is more like regular pesto. It is a rich red colour interspersed with the black and green olives. There are a lot of olives within, making it chunky and substantial.
This jar is for 2 people and all you need to do is mix it into your pasta. It coats the pasta well, clinging to every contour, as the jar says. I have used this on both penne and fusilli and it works fantastically well with both.
The taste of the tomato is rich and tangy but doesn't overpower the taste of the olives, which are chunky, salty and tasty. There is also a definite slight kick from the chilli but it isn't spicy enough to be off-putting.
I buy this product very regularly now and may try the tomato and mascapone next... although I would miss the olives!
I also find the little jars so cute that I have started washing these after use - they make quirky little vases to stick single stems of flowers in.
This product contains 186 kcal and 2.4g of saturated fat per 100g. It is around £1.99.
Its always handy to have one or two pots from the Sacla range in your store cupboard. They are a very welcome addition when you are in need of that extra something when making a tasty meal.
The range is so very versatile and usable and thats what is so very good about the Sacla Italia Stir Through Sauce in Olive and Tomato. It can transform even the most humble of ingredients into something special.
The olives in the sauce are fresh and juicy tasting and the tomato has just the right amount of zing. At around £2.30 per pot and often on a 2 for £3 deal in various supermarkets they are a reesonably priced way of making some thing out of nothing. The 190g, doesn't sound much I know, but depending on what you are making of course, you needn't always add the whole jar.
You could use the sauce as a stir through, for basic pasta or spaghetti dishes then add some freshly grated goats cheese or parmesan on top. For a quick fix meal this will satisfy and fill you up really quickly and cheaply too.
Add some tuna to the mix for a bit of variety and use twirly curly pasta spirals as they will hold the sauce really well. If you are not a pasta fan why not try the sauce mixed with some sliced mushrooms and onions and then spoon over chicken pieces, leave to cook in the oven and enjoy when ready.
Its even nice when mixed with a splash of white wine and used on top of pan fried salmon, to give it an extra tang.
The mix of ingredients includes both black and green olives, plenty of juicy tomato puree, capers, italian basil, onions and a dash of extra virgin olive oil, with hot chillis. Add red or white wine to intensify the flavours and play about with a mix of fresh chopped peppers, mushrooms, courgettes etc in order to vary the end result.
Other great Sacla sauces are the pesto mix, in both red and green varieties, spicy pepper and tomato stir through sauce, sun dried tomato and garlic sauce and tomato and wild rocket sauce. These are real time savers packed with great flavours.
Whilst I used to cook primarily from scratch, after having my daughter 6 months ago I now rely on more easy to put together ingredients. I was asked to try Sacla sauces by Bzzagent and although I wasn't initially that excited about them, I was really pleasantly surprised.
The sauce tastes really nice - not remotely artificial or processed. The olives are lovely and juicy and the sauce tastes both wholesome and authentic.
I've made a number of meals using the tomato and olive stir through sauce. Firstly I just tried it with some pasta on it's own. My husband, who's never been a fan of packaged foods really liked it and with a bit of bagged rocket and some Parmesan shavings it felt like we were eating proper food (as opposed to a ready meal.)
The second time I decided to add some chicken to the sauce which had been a recipe suggestion that came with the initial sample jar I received. It was simply stir fried chicken added to the sauce and pasta and the end of cooking. I did the chicken whilst the pasta was cooking so the whole meal took no longer than 10 minutes. It really was lovely and I was almost tempted to try and pass it off as my own creation to the friends we had over for dinner that night (no come dine with me style dishes in our house - the simpler the better!) but none of them would have believed me - they know me too well!
Overall I was really impressed with the sauce and it's fast become a staple for our store cupboard.
I'm not usually one for using ready made sauces and similar products in my cooking; I much prefer to make things from scratch so that I know what's going into my meals and because I like to use the freshest ingredients. However, I have been known to occasionally use Sacla products and have always found them to be tasty as well as convenient to use. I was delighted, then, when I was asked, as a Bzz agent, to try two new Sacla stir in sauces and pass the word on. The one I am reviewing here is the Italian tomato and olive.
Sacla say that the sauces can be used in all kinds of recipes; most obviously they are useful for stirring through pasta for a quick and easy dish but they also suggest uses such as stirring the sauce through mashed potato, or in the case of the Italian tomato and olive sauce, as a topping for bruschetta. I'm not really sure that the sauce has enough body to be used in bruschetta but I can thoroughly recommend it for use as a pasta sauce. Another Sacla suggestion is to dollop it onto circles of puff pastry, top with cheese and bake - I'll be trying this over the weekend so come back for an update!
The sauce comes in 190gram glass jars and it's recommended that one jar is enough for two people. I used half as I was cooking for myself only and, as advised on the packaging, I refrigerated the remainder and used it within three days. I was pleased to find that when I used the second half of the sauce, it came out of the jar really well and I didn't have to mess around scraping bits out of the bottom of the jar. The sauce smells really fresh and vibrant, very tomatoey with a hint of garlic.
Using the sauce is simple. Once your pasta is cooked to your taste and drained, you can either return it to the pan and spoon in the sauce or place the pasta in a deep serving bowl and add the sauce then before mixing well. The first time I used the sauce I was using linguine (slightly flatter than spaghetti) but the second time I used penne and while there was no taste difference, the penne proved to be better because some of the pieces of olive went into the tubs. When I used linguine I found that most of the olive bits just fell to the bottom of my bowl. The warmth of the pasta gently heats the sauce so there is no need to return it to the heat.
As soon as I opened the jar I could see that this sauce is crammed full of chopped olives, both green and black. They are chopped fairly small but still large enough to have a nice texture and be discernible. Although tomato might come first in the name of this product, the list of ingredients says that this sauce contains 52% olives which I think is pretty good. If you want more you could easily add them yourself but I was certainly not expecting to find so many olives. I was also surprised to find capers in the sauce but they are an appropriate addition to a sauce with Mediterranean flavours.
The tomato content comes from tomato puree but you can taste that it has been made from quality sun ripened tomatoes as the taste is rich and sweet. I was not expecting to find chili pepper in there but there's just enough in there to give a fair kick without overpowering the other ingredients. Although garlic is evident from the aroma of the sauce, it certainly isn't too heavy on the garlic which means the other flavours don't have to fight which is good because the hint of basil is delicious. You can taste the black pepper but there is just enough - I have had other stir sauces that I have found to contain too much black pepper and this has been one of the reasons I have been put off using them. If you want more it's easy to add it to your own taste. I love the taste of olive oil but don't like it to overpower my food so it's good that this product uses a mixture of olive and sunflower oils.
I have to admit that I wasn't expecting to be blown away by this product. However, I was impressed by the amount of olives and capers and I was pleased with the way you could taste the individual ingredients. The sauce coats the pasta beautifully and has a pleasing texture, moist without being too oily. I enjoyed it so much that I had to cut some bread to mop up the sauce that was left in the bottom of my bowl as it was too delicious to waste.
I have already been to buy some more Sacla stir in sauce to keep in my store cupboard. In the past I would have felt guilty about using a product like this but this is so tasty that my principles may (but only for Sacla) have gone out of the window. Sacla say their products contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives, or MSG. This sauce is also suitable for people who are unable to eat foods containing gluten or dairy products.
One serving of the sauce contains approximately 90 calories (of course you need to add the calorific content of your pasta) of which there are 8.8 grams of fat (1g saturated).
Sacla Italian Tomato and Olive Stir Through Sauce currently costs £1.99 in TESCO, and you can buy two for £3.00