Review - Tesco ’Italian’ Lasagne

Saturday 16th September, 2006
Those of you who know me personally will know I have a particular passion for photographing food.

Not because I'm a great photographer, but purely because I enjoy food and like to remember what I ate and when/where.

In the first of what will hopefully be a continual series of reviews, I take a look at Tesco's Italian Lasagne.


jaffa.gif


Found in the "convenience food" chiller cabinet of most store, Tesco's Italian Lasagne (Produced in the U.K.) is current part of their 3 for £4 scheme. This, to the man cooking dinner for one, represents excellent value - but how does it stack up?

Living in a one bedroom maisonette with a small kitchen for a decade, I ate a lot of convenience food and have learned to some extent how to sort the good from the bad. This Lasagne is certainly in the top 10% of pre-packed food. It can be cooked from the refrigerator or frozen on day of purchase and eaten within a month.

To cook, one simply removes the cardboard sleeve and film seal lid and puts it into a microwave of pre-heated oven. Instructions are given for cooking from frozen and this will take 35-40mins in an oven or 10mins in a high powered microwave.

There are some vital tips when buying pre-packed lasagne:

Firstly, ensure the package is kept level at all times. On top of the lasagne is a complete layer of bechamel sauce and, if the product is tipped up, this may get broken. Ensure you check the item before leaving the store to ensure it hasn't been tipped up on the shelf. Keep the product level all the way home and into the freezer drawer.

Secondly, microwave cooking may be preferable. Cooking in the oven is the traditional way but, especially on such a small dish, the corners of the lasagne can dry up and become a bit crunchy. I prefer mine a bit softer as it's easier in the mouth.

Thirdly, always, always, always season with freshly ground pepper whilst serving. These dishes can be very bland without.

I cooked the dish from frozen for 9mins in an 850W category E microwave oven and then let it stand whilst I opened the wine (review to follow).

Cooking was easy and the generous packaging size meant the lasagne didn't boil over onto the turntable (often a problem on convenience food). My only complaint comes from the film lid which was fixed on a bit tight and broke into bit when I tried to remove it. This isn't the first time this has happened, so it wasn't a one off.

After seasoning with black pepper I server the lasagne in the original packaging. Whilst it looks tacky, there's only me so nobody is going to take offence. The big advantage to this (tip 4) is that the original presentation is undamaged. Tipping it out onto a plate or into a pasta dish just makes a mess no matter how much you try.

Drunk with a glass or 2 of red wine I enjoyed this dish with the egg pasta being nice and soft and the bechamel sauce tasting authentic. The beef wasn't greasy and the tomato sauce reasonably rich. Only real negative is the lack of "mature cheddar cheese" that blessed the top. Grate some extra on if you have any in the fridge.

Overall, a nice dish with a good 400g portion which would suit very well alongside a couple of slices of garlic bread.

I'll give it a 7 Jaffacakes out of 10!

jaffa.gifjaffa.gifjaffa.gifjaffa.gifjaffa.gifjaffa.gifjaffa.gifjaffagrey.gifjaffagrey.gifjaffagrey.gif

Comments/Trackbacks [1]