Growing up on the Adriatic coast of Italy, known for its obsession with great food, Angelo Tredicucci learned the time-honoured skill of artisan pasta making.
The result is Pasta mia, a taste sensation of bronze-extruded pasta made from his family recipes, bringing the best of Italy to your table since 1994. Buon Appetito!
• Durum Semolina
• Wheat flour
• Roasted Red Capsicum
• Ricotta Cheese
• Macadamia Nuts
• Cream Cheese
• Parmesan cheese
• Olive oil
I have been in hospital a lot lately, and because of the bits they are chopping away at, solid food is not always allowed. When I am given the green light to stop eating baby food for a little while, I am grateful for something with some interesting flavours and textures, even if I have to gum it into submission because the buggers here lost my dentures somehow! (I think they have probably sewn them inside me and don't want to admit it until they have a chance to cut me open again and dig them out.)
When not staying in Waikato Club Medical, I am grateful to share a house with my hunaonga, because she is lovely and cooks up some great meals for me. She has kindly been cooking some of the review foods I received and she's as impressed as I am about them. When she found out I had a bunch of Italian foods she didn't know what to do, so the clear instructions on the packs are a godsend, and clearly can make these easy to cook even for those who don't cook much in the way of "fancy food" too.
These, she did up with a cheese and bacon sauce - a recipe I was given by the young man behind KIWIreviews when he handed these over. He suggested this would be a good sauce for me because he knows I like tomato but can't handle too much of it over a short period of time, especially undergoing bowel surgery.
The sauce was simple, but apparently was the toughest part of making the dish, because cooking these was so very simple, I was told. They tasted amazing too. Most of them held together nicely, but a few split during cooking and lost some of their filling. I empathise with them. But most of them stayed together and made for a very tasty meal. Soft enough that I could gum them without pain, but still firm enough that they didn't turn into mush and baby food.
Because of my condition, they did cause me a little discomfort, but my hunaonga also had some and she said they were "pretty choice alright!" which is really high praise from her. She's not easily impressed by food, especially pasta, so that gives me the proof I need to say "This is a winner!" I don't think I'll be buying more at this price, but if you can afford it and want something fancy, this is a good one to look at.
It is not often I make, eat and utterly enjoy a fully meat-free meal, but it just seemed wrong to eat Tortelli with a meat dish on the side... so, having recently decided to harvest the last of the silverbeet from the garden, and having some broccoli that needed to be dealt with before it turned, I figured why not. I can go one meal without meat, surely?!
Prepping the side dish was simple - it's a regular I do when I have any greens. The kids don't like spinach or broccoli, but even Little Mr Fussy will gobble it down if I do it in my special cheesy garlic bake style. But since this dish was for me alone, and I adore it... I added some extra cheese and garlic, and grilled it rather than baked it.
Cooking the Tortelli was as simple as the instructions make out. There was nothing to botch up really, though I did try a little trick to help prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pot, as pasta sometimes does. I buttered the base of the pot first, popped it in the freezer until the butter was rock solid, then put in the water, salt and a dash of rice bran oil. I can't say exactly why, but this seems to put a micro-thin coat of butter between the metal pot base and the pasta. Doing everything the same except for buttering the pot, and any pasta seems to stick in places.
As soon as all the Tortelli was floating, I turned off the element and left them to sit briefly while I dished up the cheesy greens, and carefully spooned the Tortelli into the plat with a slotted spoon, beig sure to give them a gentle shake and a few seconds pause to drain. Topped with a simple tomato and herb sauce... Delizioso!
As for the Tortelli themselves - they have a wonderful texture, rich and deep colour, and a flavour to match. I found the pasta itself a little thicker than I would normally go for, but the sheer amount of filling I think would justify a thicker pasta to be strong enough to hold it all in!
Overall, a real winner in my books! On a tight budget, they possibly wouldn't make it onto my shopping list regularly... but I dearly wish they could! Almost enough to make me considering dropping meat from my diet. Almost.
I love fresh pasta and when I first saw this product got excited. I reminded me of a shop I use to visit in France and order fresh pasta over the counter. The tortelli was a good great size and although not a lot in the packet was nice to have along with a salad.
Cooking this product was easy and I liked how it reminded you to salt the water. I found that I cook it for just a little longer than the recommended 4-5 minutes but this may of been due to the size pot I cooked it in. Secret to cooking fresh pasta is to use large pot.
This pasta was very tender and roasted capsicum filling was smooth in texture with just little bits of macadamia spread through. The flavour of both the pasta and the filling was divine. I was expecting a stronger capsicum flavour however it was very mild. Putting it with a tomato based sauce was a perfect match to the flavour.
This pasta and was a big hit with both the kids (aged 1 & 4) as well as my husband and I. I did feel that the price was a little on the high side for my family however am sure that I would find times that I would appreciate an extra special pasta.
As the vension pasta was such a success last night, I was not at all worried about serving this Roasted Capsicum & Macadamia Tortelli up tonight. I figured that they would be demolished. The only worry I had was that because there was no meat in the meal, I would get some complaints from the husband. This was quickly remedied by choosing to use the pasta as a side to another meat dish. I baked some chicken pieces and then put some salt and water on to boil.
Just as last night, I put the tortelli into the water to cook for the recommended time. This time, I noticed that the tortelli pieces were about twice the size. Once cooked, I saw that one or two of them had opened as well. I drained the water off them, and took 2 pieces out. I cook them into quarters for my pre-schooler. Then I put 4 pieces into another bowl for Miss 8. The rest I added a light tomato pasta sauce to.
The first taster was Miss 8. Unfortunately, she did not like it. She took a bite and while she finished that bite, she wouldn't eat anymore. Miss 3 took a small taste and also didn't like the flavour of the filling. So that was two for two, not enjoying the flavour. The mister said that the flavour was interesting, but he seemed to enjoy it. I think because although he doesn't like the texture of nuts, he likes nut butters and he likes the overall flavour of macadamias.
When I bit into a piece of tortelli, I found that the capsicum flavour was pretty instant. It was a good flavour match to the tomato sauce we had. The macadamia flavour was subtle at first, but it added a sweet nuttiness to the filling. It had a rough smoothness to the filling, and the obvious texture of macadamias too. I think if you were use to nutloaf and other vegetarian meals like that, this would be a good one for you (as long as you also eat eggs). I did enjoy this one, but I think the vension one was more of an all-rounder for my family.
I love capsicum and macadamias but have never thought of having them together. When I saw the Pasta Mia Tortelli with these two ingredients I had to try it. My family love what the kids call pasta surprises (filled pasta) and we will often have it as a convenient meal on a busy night.
The tortelli is stored in the freezer and had seven months until the best before date. This makes it very convenient to have a packet or two in the freezer to cook when you are in a hurry. The instructions say to take straight for the freezer into boiling water for 4-5 minutes. So dinner was ready less than ten minutes after getting in the door.
I served it with a basic tomato sauce so as not the hide the taste of the tortelli. Each piece of tortelli was a generous size and the filling was well sealed inside which meant it looked very appealing when dished up. The packet said it serves two as a mains but we found this to be two large servings which gave me leftovers for lunch the next day. It reheated surprisingly well too.
The capsicum and cheeses were blended to a very smooth consistency which make the texture of the macadamias stand out. I loved the taste and texture but unfortunately the rest of the family aren't big capsicum fans. All the more for me. I think the children also found the pieces a bit too big for them to eat. I reminded myself that this is designed for adults and I am probably their target market.
I would certainly buy this for myself (it would be easy enough just to cook up half the packet) when the rest of the family are having some rubbish takeaway although it would be hard choosing between this and the ravioli.
As soon as I mentioned to my family that we would be having pasta for dinner, they were very excited. We all enjoy filled pasta and it is a bit of a treat in our house.
The pasta came in a 300g bag and was frozen. I would imagine that the reason for it being frozen was that it would have too short a shelf life otherwise. There are no preservatives (or other nasties) in this pasta. The ingredients are real food and this means that if I had the actual recipe and the necessary skills, I could make it in my own kitchen. For the record, I do make my own pasta (generally fettuccine) and have tried to make filled pasta and it wasn't particularly successful! I found that it was quite hard to seal the pasta properly so that it didn't leak out during cooking. Pasta mia have done a perfect job of making the filling tasty and moist, with the pasta firm and sealed perfectly. I think I will leave that job to the professionals!
The cooking directions were very simple. I prepared some homemade white wine and garlic sauce in a pot(garlic, butter, white wine reduced down and then a little added parmesan cheese and cream). When the sauce was nearly ready, I took the pasta out of the freezer and emptied the bag into boiling water. The instructions said it would take about 4-5 minutes and that the pasta would float when it was ready. I didn't actually time the cooking, so I just waited until the pasta floated. I think this was approximately the time indicated on the packet. The pasta held together beautifully during cooking and it looks great when it was dished up into bowls.
The initial reactions from various members of the family were absolutely positive. In fact, even though we love pasta, I have never heard such reactions when we have had any type of pasta (including my beautiful homemade fettuccine, which is a family favourite). Wow...yummy...delicious.... were just a few of the words which came out of the adult's mouths. My palate was in heaven too! The children weren't that keen on it as I think it required a slightly more mature palate to enjoy it. The price of the pasta would, of course, lend itself more to a special adult meal anyway. I couldn't imagine making a habit of serving it as a family meal. I could see that it would make a delicious meal when you wanted to impress someone. A special date at home comes to mind as such an occasion.
Each piece of the tortelli had a generous amount of filling and it certainly gave us something to bite into rather than just pasta. We could see actual pieces of macadamia in the filling and it was quite noticeable when eating it as well. The rest of the filling was nice and smooth and extremely tasty. We found that the simplicity of my homemade white wine and garlic sauce worked perfectly with the flavours in the Roasted Capsicum & Macadamia Tortelli. I wouldn't recommend an overpowering sauce as it would take away from the flavours of the pasta filling. One of the other adults had some of the unwanted pasta from the kid's plates and it had homemade tomato sauce on it. She found that the combination of the tomato sauce and the white wine and garlic sauce worked well with the pasta as well.
This pasta was simply amazing and ticked so many boxes for me with regard to quality, flavour, ingredients, real food etc. The only issue for me is the price and while I totally understand that quality comes with a higher price than mass produced supermarket products, I would struggle to justify paying so much for a pasta. If money wasn't an issue and it was just my husband and I in the house, it could be a possibility more often. As mentioned above, I would consider this for a very special meal at home - maybe our next date night!
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Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)