Monday, 17 November 2014

Tesco Finest* Spaghetti Carbonara - a review

We're rather a picky family, none of us like onions so we have to steer away from any ready meals as they always seem to contain them.  Tesco's finest* range is no different and when we were asked if we would like to try one of their chilled ready meals I was a little wary and almost said no.

I looked online and discovered their is a huge selection.....

The Lasagne sounded really nice with it's "rich ragu of tender beef and outdeeor bred pork, Italian tomatoes and white wine. Layered between fresh, hand ruffled pasta and finished with tangy Northern Italian Grana Padano cheese" but yup, take a look at the ingredients ....... onion.

Aberdeen Angus Cottage Pie, "Minced beef in a vegetable gravy topped with fresh King Edward mashed potato and a shredded potato & parsley crumb".... mouth watering. ... but .... onions.

I can't go wrong with Meatball Pasta tho... oh no, of course, they'll have onion in won't they.

But I did find 2 dishes without onion.

Their Chicken and Bacon Pasta bake looked amazing with it's "3 cheese sauce topped with rosemary & sea salt focaccia & a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley"

or the Spaghetti Carbonara.

Their side dishes; Potato Dauphinoise, Chunky Chips and Cornish Butter Mash are also onion free.

After walking around the chillers in my large-ish tesco twice I discovered the tiny chilled Finest* range so I was a little limited for choice.  Fortunatly they did have the Spaghetti Carbonara, and on offer at £2.60 instead of £3.40.

Just on first glance it looks 'posh' and expensive.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself.... what IS the Tesco Finest* range of ready meals?

Tesco believe that only authentic flavours will do, combined with skill, passion and their own first hand experiences at home and away.  For example when creating their finest* Chicken Korma their chefs travelled to three regions of India to pick up the secret to an amazingly authentic chicken korma,  learning different spice blends and authentic cooking techniques.

Tesco believe in indulgence, their finest* Pulled Beef & Sweet Onion Mash is created by rubbing Scotch beef brisket with a smoky spice blend and slowly cooking for up to 4 hours until perfectly tender, before being hand pulled into strips.

All their potato dishes use their favourite British King Edward potatoes, as they have a light fluffy texture, perfect for mashing.

onto the Finest* Spaghetti Carbonara....

We make Spaghetti Carbonara loads at home, after all it's a cheap meal when you are feeding 4 hungry mouths.  Mine tho is never like this.  For starters we buy a lot of Tesco value products - value spaghetti covered with whichever carbonara sauce is on offer with a sprinkling of value cheese and ham (if they are very lucky the ham is replaced with bacon grill or sausages).

Finest* Spaghetti Carbonara is like another world tho.  It made me realise just how bland and boring my own version is.

Tesco market this product as being
"Crispy pieces of smoky roasted pancetta from Lombardy, with slky free range egg spaghetti in a creamy Sardinian percorino sauce.  Hand finished with tangy Parmigiano Reggiano (Cheese) and fresh parsley".

It's certainly quicker and easier to cook then from scratch.  It simply takes 3 minutes (in an 800w microwave) with a minute to stand.  

Techicnally at 400g it's really an individual portion but at 755kcal (17 weight watchers pro points if you are on that diet) I simply couldn't eat it all.  So I bought some tesco oven bake rolls and served it up in 2 portions with a roll each.

It tasted really rich and flavoursome and even hubby agreed that with half a portion each he wasn't hungry afterwards (this is a miracle in itself!).  Unfortunately for me it left a filmy texture to the top of my mouth but when I asked my husband if he was the same he said no, so it's probably suggestive of the food I am used to rather then any criticism of the product.

We will definitely be buying this, if it wasn't for the onions we'd be trying a lot more of the range... personally I have my eye on the mash for Christmas dinner!.

Have you tried any of the Finest* chilled meals range?  Which is your favourite?  what would you like to see them produce?

Disclaimer:  I was able to try this free thanks to the Orchard at Tesco programme.  The thoughts and opinions remain my own.

1 comment:

  1. This does sound nice and we often share one full size of a supermarket portion. Ready meals are good for convenience every now and then :)