“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Sauces „
In an attempt to save a little bit of money over the summer months and being inspired by moneysavingexpert's advice about reducing grocery bills, I decided to give some supermarket own brands a try. Now, I have previously tried some Tesco own and value products - some good and some terrible, but I had never tried their pasta bake sauce.
I love having a pasta bake sauce in the cupboard, for an easy dinner, when you dont want to be stuck in the kitchen, and it can simply be tossed in the oven. I had always however bought homepride pasta bake in the past, and when I went to purchase some more over the summer, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try the Tesco own creamy tomato and herb pasta bake sauce, which currently costs £1.18, which is quite a bit cheaper than the homepride (when they are not on offer themselves).
Before buying I did glance at the nutritional information on both the homepride and tesco own bake, in case the money I saved would be at the mercy of health in terms of fat content etc of the tesco own sauce. I neednt have worried too much as there wasn't a lot of difference - where one may have more calories, the other had more sugar for example. This tesco pasta bake contains 125 calories per 100g as well as 9.9g of fat.
The sauce itself resembles the homepride version in virtually every form - the colour, smell, cooking times and preparations. So, it certainly felt as if I was using the same old homepride sauce.
However, when I was pouring the sauce into the pasta before cooking, I did think the consistency of the tesco pasta bake was slightly more watery than the homepride version.
Forty five minutes on and the pasta bake was ready. When it came out of the oven it certainly looked like the homepride sauce, and the consistency appeared to have become less watery and thicker. I did notice however the pasta was not as crisp as it is when using the homepride sauce, and yet I followed the instructions perfectly. I don't now if this was the pasta or the sauce.
All in all, the sauce tastes perfectly good, as good as the homepride pasta bake sauce. Even though its consistency is more watery at the beginning, it certainly thickens up when cooked. To get more al dente pasta, it would be advisable to leave it in the oven for longer than the instructions suggest. I do still prefer the homepride, and will buy it on offer, but when it is full price, I think I would definitely but this equivalent Tesco pasta bake again.
I picked this up the other day in Tesco for myself and my partners dinner. We have recently become big fans of Homeprides Pasta Bake, especially in the creamy tomato and herb version so I thought I'd give this one a go to see how it weighed up and also to see if we could save a few pennies as we have pasta bake at least once a week. To give you an idea of price, the Homepride version costs £1.33 for 500g (Tesco) and this costs £1.18.
I found this along with the other pasta sauces in the supermarket, I hadn't seen it before and the jar tells me that it is a new product. The jar is quite attractive, it looks exactly as it does in the picture with a clear jar to allow you to see the product and then a picture of the product and a short description. One of the first things I looked at was whether or not you needed to cook the pasta first as this is important to me and one of the reasons why I always buy Homepride over Dolmio.
So opening the jar I was greeted by a nice tomato smell, it was not too strong and instead smelled very appetising. I am not a big fan of tomatoes but have to say that this both looked and smelled lovely. It is a deep orange in colour and looks and smells exactly the same as the Homepride version.
The cooking instructions are very simple and easy to follow and the product must be cooked in the oven.
1) Pour the sauce into an ovenproof dish
2) Fill the jar to the top of the label with cold water and mix with the sauce
3) Pour dry pasta into the ovenproof dish and mix well ensuring all the pasta is covered
4) Cook for 25 minutes
5) Stir and sprinkle with grated cheese
6) Cook for a further 20 minutes
So in total this product takes about 45 minutes to prepare and serve, it is worth noting that it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare so is fantastic if you have other things to do. Taking it out of the oven I am pleased to say it looked absolutely delicious and smelled gorgeous. The cheese was melted to perfection on the top and I couldnt wait to tuck in!
The pasta bake tasted lovely, it was thick, creamy and had a subtle taste of tomatoes. The sauce had coated the pasta really well and the flavour was superb. It tasted exactly the same as the homepride version and I will certainly be buying it again.
Unfortunately, I have recycled the jar and cannot access the nutritional information online. However, I would imagine it is slightly higher in fat content than traditional tomato sauces because of the cream. If you are weight watching the pasta bake works just as well without the cheese so you can save yourself precious calories there.
Overall, I really enjoyed this pasta bake as it was very quick and easy and tasted lovely. It is just as good as the Homepride version and a few pennies cheaper, I will certainly be buying this again.