“ Brand: Asda / Type: Sauces „
I really like Carbonara pasta sauce, but for some reason where I live it is quite difficult to get hold of! My local supermarket is Somerfield, but they very rarely have any in stock and even when they do the stuff they sell comes in a very small jar and is way overpriced. I decided to order a jar of ASDA's own brand online to give a try, although I obviously didn't read the description of it at the time or I might have thought twice...
When I came to use this, my first impression was that the picture on the front of the jar looks extremely unappetising (note mine looks different to the one pictured). They have shown a picture of the finished product poured over what appears to be green tagliatelle. The sauce looks very lumpy and odd, and had I seen this in store I think it would have put me off buying it.
Next, I read the description, which also didn't sound too good...'a creamy pasta sauce with processed cheese, smoked pancetta, reformed smoke flavoured ham, Grana Padano cheese and cracked black pepper.' I'm sure you will agree 'processed cheese' and 'reformed smoke flavoured ham' do not sound great. They may as well have said - a pasta sauce full of all sorts of rubbish, that comes from god knows where. Having already bought it though, I wasn't going to let it go to waste. As my mother says 'There's a credit crunch on, you know!'.
Even the appearance of the sauce is unappetising. it's a thick white sauce which is dotted with pink (presumably the pancetta and ham) and black speckles (hopefully the pepper). To use it, you simply need to heat it gently on the hob for 4-5 minutes.
When I poured it into the pan, I noticed that it had the most unusual consistency I've ever seen. It was almost like jelly - it actually wobbled! It didn't particularly smell great either - there was a strong cheesy smell, but it had a weird, almost sharp kick to the scent too.
Once heated the sauce started to take on a thick sauce-like consistency rather than the weird jelly it was before. The taste of this was quite strange, but not as bad as I had expected. I had thought from all my initial observations that it may possibly end up in the bin, however it was more edible than expected, although still not particularly great.
The sauce had a very creamy texture which was mostly smooth, because all of the tiny bits of pancetta and ham seemed to sink to the bottom of the dish. There was a strong cheese flavour, and although it was OK, it was tainted by this horrible smoky flavour which seemed to take over all the other flavours in the sauce. The ham pieces were chewy and tasteless, but as they seemed to have sunk to the bottom of the sauce, I just didn't eat most of them.
I thought it went quite well with pasta, although it is quite a rich sauce, and obviously pasta is quite filling, so it can be a bit too much.
A 310g jar (which I found big enough to give two uses) costs 96p from ASDA.
Nutritional Info (per 100g):
Needless to say, I don't think I will be buying this again. Some of the ingredients sounded a little suspect, and it didn't taste great because of this artificial smoky flavour that had been added to it. Certainly not recommended.