As my partner works odd hours he is not always at home around dinner time and the thought of cooking for one is not something I like and I always feel creating a meal just for me is a waste and then the dread of washing up soon comes! So on the few evenings he is out I try and cook quick and easy dishes but something relatively good for me.
One thing I always have in my cupboard is a packet of Schwartz Tuna Napolitana seasoning mix. I find it provides a great tasting meal within 30 minutes which for me is a real bonus!
*** What Schwartz say ***
"An Italian dish with a delicate creamy tomato sauce mix with herbs. Simply combine the tuna and pasta with the sauce and enjoy a delicious meal."
*** Packaging ***
The tuna napolitana seasoning mix comes in quite a small sachet which is slightly under the size of a piece of A5 paper and because it's small and narrow it will easily fit into any cupboard! On the front of the packaging is the Schwartz logo together with a plateful of pasta and tuna looking incredibly tasty! On the back is the usual information of ingredients and nutritional information together with a list of ingredients you will need together with tips on what you could add to the dish.
*** Cooking ***
Well it isn't rocket science to open the sachet as your just tear it off at the top. Just make sure the mix is at the bottom of the packet so it doesn't go anywhere! The mix is a pale salmon in colour with a sprinkling of dry herbs and has quite a tomatoey smell to it.
You add the seasoning mix to a saucepan of 450ml of milk together with tomato puree (as much or as little as you want), 25g of butter (or if your like me a chunk of butter!) and a tin of tuna (make sure it is well drained). Basically that is all you need unless you decide to add a tin of chopped tomatoes to give it a bit more colour and texture. Just make sure with the tin of tuna that you get a fork and flake it out into the sauce mixture.
The seasoning mix needs to be stirred in well with the milk as when it first goes in a lot of the mix rises to the surface still dry which if left can cause lumps in the dish. To eliminate this I use a hand whisk for a few minutes to get rid of the powdery lumps.
The mixture doesn't take long to come to a boil to you need to keep an eye on it as this can impair the flavour. The mixture just needs to lightly simmer on a very low heat. To make things easy if you cook your pasta at the same time as your sauce then everything should be ready all at the same time unless you take the sauce off the heat and then re-heat when your pasta is well cooked. The sauce does go quite thick but this is great for pasta as it sticks well and isn't watery.
So as for the cooking process it is incredibly easy and takes around 10 minutes.
*** Taste ***
Well I have to say it tastes great! Because the sauce has quite a thick consistency it manages to stick to the pasta really well. The sauce also retains its heat well so doesn't go cold unlike some pasta sauces I have come across.
The sauce ends up quite a deep salmon colour and has a lovely tomato aroma which now has the mild smell of tuna to it. For fish haters this certainly isn't an overpowering dish and because the tuna is based around a sauce you won't be worried about that overly fishy taste let alone smell.
The sauce is incredibly mild and soft on the palette and for me it did require some seasoning which gave a bit more taste to the sauce but this is personal choice. I use full fat milk with this sauce as it makes the sauce quite creamy but is perfectly complimented with the tomatoes. The sauce has an incredibly smooth texture unless you decide to add in anything else like chopped tomatoes. The sauce is incredibly warming and definitely filling.
I find the sauce best goes with spaghetti or fettuccine but again that is just personal choice. The sauce can be put with any type of pasta and it's great for using the ends of pasta for quick dish.
*** Ingredients ***
Wheat Flour, Flavourings (contains Barley, Celery, Fish, Soya), Tomato Powder (12%), Fat Powder (Vegetable Fat, Lactose, Milk Protein), Salt, Modified Maize Starch, Maltodextrin, Onion Powder, Cream Powder (2%), Garlic Powder, Concentrated Lemon Juice Powder, Parsley, Shrimp Powder, Herbs, Protein Enriched Whey Powder, Black Pepper.
Not suitable for vegetarians.
*** Nutritional Information ***
Calories - 107
Fat - 3.9g
Sugar - 2.9g
Salt - 5.0g
The bad news to this great tasting sauce is that it isn't exactly healthy especially which such a high salt content but for an occasional quick and easy dish it certainly isn't going to do you any harm.
Allergy Advice: contains barley, celery, fish, milk, shellfish, soya and wheat.
*** Price and Availability ***
Each sachet contains 125g and will serve 4 people. I tend to make a portion for me and my partner will generally eat the rest and re-heat the next day for his lunch. Just note the finished product isn't suitable for home freezing.
You can find the sachets in Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrison's and costs around £0.82p.
*** Overall ***
A tasty but unhealthy pasta sauce! As I said above as an occasional meal it won't do you any harm and it will certainly fill you up. The sauce is warm and filling and really goes well with tuna. Schwartz suggests you can use chicken with the sauce but personally I don't like it with chicken. The sauce is easy to create and provides a great meal within a short space of time. Its great sauce mix to have in the cupboard for those rainy days or if your like me a great time saving meal provider!
So would I recommend it? Yes I would definitely (even though a homemade version would probably be far healthier) as it provides a great tasting dish for me. I just wouldn't recommend it for weekly use due to it not being the healthiest of meals!
My kids (just about grown up now!) love Schwartz Tuna Napolitana recipe mix. I think they would have it nearly every day, if offered. It would certainly make meal times easier, if eventually, not very interesting.
Scwartz make many food mix sachets- mixes for fish, chicken, chill, bolognese and fish. They really do a great selection and I have tried many of these and found them generally to be of a very high standard and usually better than stores own brand. Of course, they are often priced higher than stores own brands but at the moment Sainsbury's are selling a selection of Schwartz mixes at three for two pounds...well you can't go far wrong for that can you? Schwartz also sell the packets and glass jars of herbs and spices.
If you decide to try this recipe mix you can make a tasty nutritious meal with ease.This is all you have to do:
Assemble the following ingredients-
1 packet tuna napolitana mix
450 ml (3/4 pint) milk
3 tbs tomato puree
185g tin tuna
25g (1 oz) butter
275g (10 oz ) pasta
* To make this recipe healthier you can use skimmed or semi skimmed milk or, as I do, replace a little of the milk with water. Also if you use less butter or a butter alternative this dish will still be tasty.
I often don't have tomato puree in my kitchen so use tomato sauce as an alternative. As long as you obtain a pinky colour with the sauce it will be fine.
This is supposed to make four servings but in my house it would be more like three. I would have to use extra tuna and pasta and a little more milk/water for four or five servings.
Prepare pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water.
While pasta is cooking blend packet contents with the milk in a saucepan.
Add tomato puree or sauce.
Add butter and bring to the boil, stirring frequently.
Then add the tuna (flaked and drained) and heat through. I only simmer at this stage.
Drain cooked pasta and add to the sauce. Stir thoroughly.
This can also be cooked in the microwave but I prefer to cook on the hob. Instructions, naturally, are on the packet.
*Allergen advice: Contains barley, celery, milk, shellfish, soya, wheat.
The 30g packet shows all ingredients and nutritional information as well as giving tips, such as adding tomatoes to the tuna or replacing tuna with diced chicken or prawns. I think these ideas would work well.
This only really takes as long as the pasta takes to cook plus a minute or two to drain and stir the pasta into the sauce. My family often eat this on its own as a lunch or, if eating for an evening meal I serve this with a crispy salad, or a crisp French stick. I also grind black pepper onto it, which really brings out the flavour.
I find this recipe is also popular in the summer. It is nice if eating Al Fresco, and we have been promised ar hot summe! (Though I think last summer was supposed to be one spent largely in the garden)
*This product DOES NOT contain hydrogenated fat or added preservatives or artificial colours or added MSG
I am a big fan of recipe mixes like Scwartz Tuna Napolitana, because they are cheap, easy to prepare and perfect for when you don't want to spend loads of time cooking.
The first time I tried this was when I'd just got married and we had come back from honeymoon and my mom had made up a big hamper of food for us when we came back, which was really sweet. She had popped a couple of these packet mixes in as well, and I have been buying them ever since.
Scwartz Tuna Napolitana comes in a 30g packet which contains enough mix to make 4 servings according to the packet, although we are greedy and can scoff the lot between 2 of us if we are hungry! The pack has a picture of the finished product on the front, which is basically tuna pasta with a creamy tomato sauce.
The pack states that the product contains no Hydrogenated fat, preservatives, artificial colours or MSG, and apparently, the queen likes it, as indicated from the Royal crest on the back of the pack!
As well as the powder mix, you need several ingredients:
3 tbs tomato puree
185g tuna from a tin
It is very easy to prepeare on the hob or in a microwave. It only takes about 10 minutes to cook, so I like to cook it when I'm hungry and want something straight away.
The sauce itself is lovely and creamy, with a delicious flavour, and you can taste the delicious herbs.It is a really comforting food, which will warm you up on a cold day, and is appealing to everyone, young and old alike. It goes well with a salad and garlic bread and of course, the obligatory glass of wine!
The sauce is available for about 80p a pack, but is usually on multibuy offer in the supermarkets. the packets are perfect to keep in the cupboards for a quick meal, and will keep in storage for several years (although I have never tried it).
The packet also gives ideas for variations of the recipe, such as replacing the tuna with chicken or prawns, and it is easy to personalise the dish and make it your own.
The nutritional info per pack is:
So a bit high in salt, but still a really great family meal.
Lately I have decided to try and revamp my diet. I make no secret I have an eating disorder that from time to time rages it's ugly head and I have a poor diet of eating junk food or living on toast (I'm addicted to bread). However this type of diet really does make you tired and feeling down and I know my mood and emotions are controlled by not making the right food choices so I'm making a huge effort to change that and create a new me lol.
So the other day I decided to tackle this issue once and for all and took a look at my diet and came to the conclusion that the reason I can't think straight is cos I don't even sit and eat a hot meal I sit and eat crisps and junk food far too much etc and then feel unwell. So I went to Sainsbury's with a shopping list consisting of fruit and vegetables, wholemeal pastas and rices and basically 'feel good and energy releasing' foods! I wasn't looking forward to eating any of it but knew I had to try!
So when getting all my healthy bits and pieces I knew I needed some things that were interesting, still healthy but would make what I consider boring foods more interesting (after years of not eating them). Not only that after not cooking for myself years I wanted (and needed!) things simple and fuss free to prepare that would mean I wouldn't need a degree to whip meself something up! I saw this priced at 89p and thought it would go nicely with my wholemeal pasta I had already bagged and fish... well another good feel good and brain food! So I decided to try it.
30g plastic and foil packet in a square shape. There is a picture of the cooked pasta on the front and I'm told it is Schwartz Tuna Pasta Napolitana Recipe Mix which is new and improved and contains no hydrogenated fat or preservatives, and has no artificial colours or added MSG and that the packet contains 4 servings in total. On the back of the packet I'm told it is a creamy tomato sauce mix with herbs, I'm given a list of ingredients I need to make this up and directions on how to make it, hints and tips are given to make the basic recipe more interesting if desired, ingredients and allergy advice are given as well as a full nutritional rundown, contact details for Schwartz are given, the best before date is clearly stamped on, I'm told it is a product made in the UK, weight is stamped on (30g) and finally there is a bar-code on there. Simple, neat and informative packaging this is and easy to tear open too!
What You Will Need And How To Cook It....
1 packet Schwartz Tuna Napolitana recipe mix
450ml (3/4 pint) milk
3 tbs tomato puree
25g (10z) butter
185g tin tuna, drained and flaked
275g (10oz) pasta, cooked and drained
All you do is blend the packet contents with the milk in a saucepan and add the tomato puree, butter and then bring it to the boil whilst stirring it alot. When you've done that add the tuna to the mix and heat it through and then add the cooked pasta and mix it thoroughly before serving. Or alternatively you can follow the above instructions and cook it in the microwave for about 7 and half minutes.
Me making It And Eating It....
Making it up was easy enough and all in all only took me about 20 minutes from start to finish to prepare and cook it. I measured out all my ingredients and cooked up my pasta and away I went. Sure I needed quite a few things to complete the dish but luckily I already had them in!
So when I made the sauce up it had a yellowy colour and a bit of body in it opposed to being like water! It has quite a sweet herby smell to it which smelt to me like oregano and Italian herbs really and I added and blended the extra ingredients I needed to it. I must stress as well that I added skimmed milk and low fat spread opposed to butter and any other type of milk cos I don't have those in my diet!
When I boiled it all up my house smelt rather Italian and slightly garlicky and I added the other ingredients for a couple of minutes, my sauce evaporated into said ingredients but I was surprised at how much like a soup in appearance this looked. Now I have to be fair I have no idea whether it was actually my fault it was so runny or not, though I really did follow the cooking instructions to the letter. It may be cos I used skimmed milk and spread, I'm not entirely sure but in it's appearance I had pasta taking a swim through herbs!
Not to be put off though I ate it. The sauce had a tomaty base to it, was well seasoned but the more I ate the more I felt the mix was too highly sugared for my taste-buds and I found it a little sickly. There was a lot of dried parsley in it as well which make me fell quite thirsty too. It was ok and I liked the way that my tuna melted into the sauce and it was a filling meal but not my favourite dish in the world due to the overall sweetness of it and consistency!
Not bad and if I was to try it again I would definitely try the hint and tip recipe suggestion given to me on the back of the packet which is to try adding chopped tomatoes with the tuna or replacing the tuna with diced chicken or cooked peeled prawns and to top the lot with grated cheese and grill it all up till golden. Maybe in that case it wouldn't be so sloppy and messy to eat!
Barley, Celery, milk, Shellfish, Soya, Wheat.
Nutritional Information Per Pack (30g)....
of which is sugars: 6.3g
of which is saturates; 2.0g
Available in all good supermarkets etc.