As well as bringing you a fine range of hand-crafted, artisan pastas, Pasta mia also bring you a range of beautiful sauces to complete your dishes.
Crafted in New Zealand with local & imported ingredients.
• Red Wine
• Olive Oil
After not being too impressed with the Beef & Lemon variety, I was unsure how I'd feel about this one. It really is amazing how much a less than stellar meal can affect your idea on the brand (even though I loved the pasta itself). Well Pastamia can breathe a sigh of relief because this pasta sauce redeems it.
I decided to forego adding meat to this product this time, and judge it solely on its full flavours. I served this sauce on top of penne variety pasta, as I felt it would hold the sauce in better.
The sauce itself was reasonably chunky. I honestly prefer a smoother texture to my pasta sauces but I really enjoyed the flavours in this product. The bacon flavour accentuates the vegetables well and provides a flavour similar to those really chunky tinned soups that I love. So the flavour provided a bit of nostalgia for me.
The texture was slightly off putting for me. But that is just one of my quirks that very few other people in the world would also agree with. And if I was to have this again, I would certainly add some mince to hide the consistency of the sauce. But even without the extra meat, this meal was filling, and had all the flavours of a full casserole.
Time has not been good to my teeth. I lost them young and had to learn a lot sooner than many how to eat with no cutting, tearing or grinding ability. I was determined never to turn into one of those sad old sods who spend their meal times sucking on a straw or slurping soups but I wasn't going to be tearing into a juicy plate of pork chops and puha again either. Minced meats seemed to be the best I could hope for.
A friend actually mentioned these sauces to me a while ago. He saw them at some food show and said they would suit me well. Those that have meat in them are made in a way that the meat is very finely ground. He also said he thought I would enjoy the flavours, so when I was told I needed to head up to the Waikato to stay with some of the whanau up there while I had some treatments at the hospital, and I saw these were available for review, I was quick to get my name in for some. Glad I did!
This sauce was really nice - smooth, rich flavour, and obviously made with some really good quality ingredients. I was pleased to see no signs of preservatives, additives, or chemical-sounding things of any kind. I may not be long on this world, but I don't want to hurry myself off any quicker.
I had one small portion as-is to get an unadulterated taste of the sauce as it was made, but to bulk it out I asked one of the mokopuna to see what she could do. She added some ground beef and a couple of cups of well-cooked mixed vegetables and was going to add in a packet mix of some kind but I asked her not to, as I didn't want to bury that wonderful bacon and red wine flavour.
This was a great way to bulk out the sauce, allowing it to stretch from 2 adult portions into 4 adult servings, with enough left over for the youngest member of the whare to join in too. My serving was presented on top of the last of the fettuccine I had to review, while everyone else had theirs on mashed potato. I think I would have liked to had tried mine that way too, because the girl is sweet, but she doesn't know how to cook pasta properly.
The first thing I noticed when I saw the Pasta Mia Tomato, Bacon and Red Wine Sauce was the colour. It was the colour a real tomato sauce should be, an orangey red, not bright red like so many of the cheaper sauces made from tomato concentrate. Looking at the list of ingredients I could see it was all natural and the quality is reflected in the price.
The packet gave the option of heating the sauce on the stove top or in the microwave. I chose the microwave as I have a habit of catching sauces on the bottom of the pot. It also meant I could get potter around in the kitchen for the two minutes it was heating. When I opened the packet I could smell the tomato and bacon. Yum. As I poured it out I could see the chunks of tomato, another sign of quality.
I served it with the Pasta Mia Fresh Pappadelle. The two products worked well together and provided us with a quick healthy lunch on a cold winter's day. The price is less than we would have spent on takeaways for us.
I loved the taste of it. My daughters that hate onion didn't even notice the onion, carrot and celery in it. They did have a chuckle when I told them there was red wine in it. "But kids don't have wine," my 5 year old said. The dominant tastes were tomato and bacon. I could taste the red wine but it wasn't strong. I probably only tasted it because I had read it was in there. My husband and I both enjoyed the sauce but it was too textured for the girls. What a shame. All the more for us. It is really an adult's sauce. I will be recommending it to friends that want a nutritious meal quickly.
I make a lot of pasta sauce as well as eating a lot while living in Europe so as always unsure when purchasing sauces. I thought I would give this fresh sauce a go and see how it compared to sauces that I make or can already buy.
I liked how it came in a pouch as this makes it easy to get all the sauce out quickly and easily. I liked the list of ingredients and it was great to see that it had celery in it as this is a vegetable I love using in pasta sauces but is not very readily found in bought sauces.
This sauce was very easy to prepare by just heating it and I served it with a very plain fresh pasta. I had some smoked chicken in the fridge that I needed to use so mixed half the sauce with this as thought the smoked flavour of the bacon would complement each other.
The sauce straight from the packet had a very interesting taste. You could definitely taste the yummy celery coming through but there was an insipid aftertaste. I wonder if this was the red wine as sauces can sometimes have this taste when the wine has not been reduced enough. The taste improved a little with the added chicken but only slightly.
This is a sauce that I will not be buying again as although easy I have recipes that I make that are more of a hit with the family.
When we had this sauce for dinner, we had it with the pappardelle by Pastamia as well. I let hubby decide between the Tomato, Bacon & Red Wine Sauce and the beef sauce option. He weighed them both up and decided that he felt like the bacon and red wine flavour more. So I boiled water, cooked pasta and then checked the packet for cooking instructions.
There were two sets of instructions on the pack. I could either heat the sauce in a sauce pan. Or I could microwave the sauce for a few minutes. I weighed up the dishes and time factor and went with the microwave option. Into a microwave safe bowl, I added the whole packet of sauce, covered with a paper towel and nuked it for 2 minutes. The pasta was draining, the sauce was ready and putting the two together was so easy. For the kids bowls, I added a little down the side. In one bowl I did the sauce underneath - this was for my husband as he likes to have a choice about the amount of sauce he eats.
For my bowl, I rolled my pasta in the sauce. For all of the bowls I added a light amount of grated cheese and let everyone have a taste. The sauce was not a winner with either kid. I'm not sure why, but I think like many kids, if it isn't ketchup then they aren't often interested. My husband liked the sauce well enough, but had hoped I would add meat to it, so was disappointed that I didn't. I had bacon on hand, but I felt that adding it would not give us an accurate idea of the sauce's taste. In any case, you could absolutely add more meat if you wanted to. I personally loved the sauce and found it wholesome and hearty. It tasted homemade, which was amazing.
Because the kids didn't have much sauce, there was some left over and so with that, I added some grated cheese, scone mix and water. I then made some scones just in case anyone was hungry later on. These I served with butter and they were delicious too. They had a good burst of tomato and red wine flavour to them, though not as much bacon. I personally felt that the sauce was a good all-rounder for me and hubby. If we got it again, I would probably add some more bacon, but I think that's just a personal choice for his sake.
This is a top-notch pasta sauce... and it should be treated as such. That's why I have marked it down on "Number of Uses" - not because I think it's a bit limited, quite the opposite, but more because to treat this as a 'savoury tomato sauce' and use it in a lasagne or something similar would be bordering on blasphemy in my book.
While I think this would be a stunning topper for canneloni, or as a replacement for the 'can of tomatoes and a packet of flavour mix' that is the usual fare for fast savoury mince, I don't think I could bring myself to abuse it so... but that's me. Feel free to consider those options for yourself, because I know it would work wonders.
For my review trial, I chose to match it with the Pastamia fresh Pappardelle pasta and do it 'by the book'. The sauce has simple instructions - put it in a pot and bring it up to heat, or microwave it' to summarise. Because I was using my smallest pot to cook the pappardelle in, and didn't see the point in using a bigger pot to heat up about a cup of sauce - half the portion in the pouch - I popped it in a microwave-safe glass jug and gave it 90sec at 50% power, stirred it and let it sit for about a minute, then gave it another 90sec on 50% power. This resulted in perfectly heated sauce with no burnt bits, and also acted as a good time for the 5min needed to get the pasta cooked to perfection. (I had the pasta boiling for about a minute while I cut the sauce packet open and got the jug out of the cupboard.)
Overall, the result was amazing. Topped with a few strips of cheddar cheese and some freshly-ground black pepper, and it was a meal that I could really enjoy, savouring the various levels of taste as they unravelled in my mouth. A little too high on the price for it to be a regular meal for me, but certainly one to have on hand if you want to impress someone special!
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"I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?"