It’s about time for another product review, no?
So, as you know, I recently went to Unilever HQ and was set loose in the company store. Before leaving me, the Lipton Brand Manager, with whom I’d been chatting all day, pointed out the frozen case and said “Oh, the Bertolli frozen pastas are actually pretty good, you should give one a try,” and I obliged. I picked up this “pasta and sauce” – this one being mushroom ravioli in a mushroom cream sauce; skillet prepared in 10 minutes.
I needed a quick side dish with the salmon I made on Friday night (recipe to come!), so I took the bag out of the freezer.
I immediately ran into a problem here. The front of the bag, as you can see, under which is printed “Suggested Serving” (meaning, “what you see in the picture, that’s how we would serve it, were we to buy this bag and bring it home to eat”, as is my understanding), shows just the pasta, along with a glass of wine. No bread, no meat, just “This is how we would eat it.” Well, I wanted to eat this alone, and with some protein, which presented a problem, as the directions are strictly for making the entire bag. I didn’t want to make the entire bag, and then leave some in the fridge for who knows when. I’ll eat frozen foods, I’ll eat leftovers, but leftover frozen food seems a bit weird to me.
The bag said there were two servings inside. I wanted less than a full serving, since ostensibly, one serving (with a glass of wine, according to the picture) would suffice as my meal.
So I poured the entire contents of the bag out of into a bowl. I was going to count the ravioli and then take 1/3 or 1/4, but I decided that was too messy (and the ravioli seemed to be melting quickly at that point), so I just guessed how many would be good with a big slab of salmon. Since I’ve been in resturants that serve 6 ravioli as a full entree (!!!), I decided 6 would be okay (they looked a bit small). Then I decided two more wouldn’t hurt.
Popped it in a skillet and heated it with some of the sauce “cubes” until it’d all melted and heated through. Smelled really, really good… this was looking promising. Although, to be completely honest, it smelled like a certain company’s condensed cream of mushroom soup, something with which I grew up… and occasionally even will use to cook…
Plated it up, some parsley flakes for color. I don’t think I used enough sauce cubes.
Time for the moment of truth…
Kind flat, not much inside, huh?
Well, I found this inside one. Probably the stem from an herb they used, but a bit disconcerting to find within mostly soft ravioli.
The taste of the ravioli itself was alright. Nothing special or WOW about it, nor was it offensive in any way.
A few days later, for lunch, the BF and I were hungry and couch potato’ing, and too lazy to go out and get lunch or anything civilized like that. I remembered the partially-eaten bag of ravioli, and suggested we eat that, which he quickly agreed to.
Unfortunately, when I poured the entire bag into my pan, I discovered 14 ravioli left and a lot of sauce cubes. I guess my educated guess as to how many were in there was a bit off.
We each got 7 ravioli, a lot of sauce, and BF thought it was okay, though it wasn’t anything he’d want me to go out of my way to buy again. Eh. I thought it tasted better with more sauce, a bit plumper with the sauce coating it anyway.
Yvo says: Passable… barely. If I were really hungry, and this was in the freezer, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it, but I probably wouldn’t buy it again, either. It satisfied the hunger, but it was definitely nothing great. Considering I paid the low price of just under $2 for this, and it basically made up 3 meals (counting the BF as one), it’s a great bargain – I think in regular stores it’s probably $4-6? which still isn’t that bad. If you round out the meal with other stuff – garlic bread, maybe a piece of chicken? you’d do yourself well with this. I’ll have to check out other flavors to know if they’re good, but this one was only alright.
middle of the road