“ Type: Sauces „
I shop at Aldi every week to pick up basics and at least twice a month I will pick up a jar of their own brand pesto. It is surprisingly good! I have tried a couple of varieties but the pepper and crunchy almond variety is my all time favourite. On first appearance when you scoop a spoonful and add it to your pasta, it does seems a little oily, however when you read the ingredients you realise this is just the olive oil content - plus a little goes a long way. I can't remember exactly what these cost - something tells me they're around the 80p mark, so I think they are pretty good value. Most of the foods in this range (the slightly more upmarket Aldi product is called 'specially selected') has been supposedly put together by the chef Phil Vickery, so who knows if he has had some input into the exact breakdown of ingredients in this pesto range, but when you read the label, there are some good things in there and it is pretty free of preservatives and rubbish, something not all supermarkets own brand pesto style sauces can claim. It is instantly recognisable in our local Aldi as they are short round glass jars with black lids and a round black label. There are approximately 4 varieties - two tomato/pepper based and a greeny and yellowy coloured variety (sorry as I don't buy those particular varieties, I'm not sure what they are!) But they are great for those times when you want something a little more exciting on your pasta than a plain old tomato sauce and really haven't got the time or inclination to make something from scratch.
Specially Selected Italian Pesto Sauce Description: Several styles of pesto to enjoy! I love pesto sauce, I always buy the original green pesto (though there are a few different varieties to choose from in Aldi so if you want a bit of variety then give them a shot) and have tried loads of different brands. When buying pesto sauce from the supermarket, the cheapest one tends to cost around £1.10. This jar from Aldi costs just £0.99 and I can honestly say, it is the nicest one I have tried. The sauce comes in a clear glass jar with a black lid and the label on the front. The pesto inside is a rich and luxurious green colour which looks really natural and appetising. As soon as you open the jar, you can smell that distinctive pesto smell, which makes my mouth water. I usually eat it in the same way. I cook pasta according to the instructions and chop and gently fry some bacon. Then just stir the desired amount of pesto (I like to use around 4 tablespoons for 2 people) into the pasta, add the bacon bits, stir again and serve. I also like to make bruscetta toasts, simply slice french bread thinly and spread pesto on one side. Top with chopped parma ham, sliced mozarella and sun dried tomatoes then pop into a preheated over for 5-10 minutes (check while cooking to make sure you don't overcook). This pesto has a gorgeously rich taste and a great colour with lots of crunchy chunks of pine nut through it. The ingredients are not too finely chopped so that instead of being smooth, the sauce has a really nice texture. I am not sure of the exact nutritional value for this sauce, but pesto in general usually contains the following per quarter of a cup; Amount Per Serving Calories 230 Calories from Fat 189 % Daily Value* Total Fat 21.0g 32% Saturated Fat 3.0g 15% Sodium 720mg 30% Total Carbohydrates 6.0g 2% Dietary Fiber 1.0g 4% Sugars 2.0g Protein 3.0g So unfortunately, this isn't particularly good for you, but it is incredibly tasty and so simple and convenient to use that I will continue to buy it - I highly recommend this brand, it is the nicest pesto in a jar I have had. Yes making your own is better, but if you don't have the time, treat yourself to this one instead!
I must admit that, in the past, I have been a bit of a food snob, preferring well known brands and shopping at main stream supermarkets, however, after recently having a baby and returning to work on a part-time basis, I realised the household budget had to stretch a bit further. And I've discovered that Aldi is a revelation! I've tried two of these Italian Pesto Sauces (the tomato one and the olive one) and they have been really tasty, full of flavour and not skimpy on content - all at a great price. Add them to some simply cooked pasta and serve up with a nice green salad and you've got a quick, nutritious week night supper. My other favourites at Aldi are the cold meats (particularly the little cooked chicken rounds which my 13 month old loves) and they are selling punnets of gorgeous cherries for 49p at the moment. The equivalent sells for £4 in M&S. I must admit I still prefer to buy my meat/chicken from the butcher as Aldi doesn't have a huge range of free-range, organic, but for a lot of items, Aldi is a great addition to the supermarket run.
Several styles of pesto to enjoy!