Monday, December 08, 2008

Bertolli Pasta and Sauce: Spinach & Ricotta Cheese Manicotti

Bertolli's Spinach & Ricotta Cheese Manicotti sounded good to me on a recent shopping trip. So into the cart it went. After all, I like cheese, spinach and pasta. What's not to love about that ? I probably would've put the bag back if I'd noticed the romantic, J. Peterman-ish story on the back of the bag. It was about an Italian artisan and how he gathered his fresh ingredients, from his cheesemaker friend and various places. That should've been a red flag.

When I got home, I poured the bag's contents into a pan. My reaction was "Huh, there's not much pasta. And what are these other chunks ? Carrots ? Oh, duh, it's the sauce." In total, there were nine 2 inch x 1/2 inch pasta tubes. The servings promised was 4 cups total. Yeah, right, Bertolli. The picture Bertolli has of the manicotti is deceptively large (see the link in the title). The giveaway is that the fork is bigger than the manicotti.

I will give Bertolli credit for the sauce. That aspect was rich and delicious. It was not too chunky or acidic. The filling, on the other hand, was just average. I considered the shells to be too soft (almost soggy) and missing any oomph.

At $4+ a bag, this was not a good buy. Nine tiny pasta tubes is not enough for three people at dinner. I can make better manicotti shells and filling from scratch myself.

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