Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sacla' Review

Anyone who's known me for a while will know that I used to work in an Italian restaurant while I was at uni. You might think that would put me off, but I honestly still love Italian food, so I was very happy when my good friends at Sacla' got in touch to offer me the chance to try out some of their new ranges.

The day after getting back from our recent holiday, I was greeted by a courier with a smile and a box of yummies!  Look.  A jar of very essential pesto, and two of their newest products, a dried pasta & a big tub of Italian Tomato Sauce.  Wow.  I honestly don't know where to start.  How about the beginning?

The first thing I did, after getting very excited, was to make some home-made(ish) pizzas.  I'm not good at pizza bases, much to my former employers' disappointment, but I've always got a box of ready rolled pastry in the freezer.  Out it came, and I whipped up not one, but two pizzas, a classic cheese & tomato, with a little ham, and a pesto pizza, just for me!  (Squeaky and her Daddy like their pizzas red, and I can't convince them otherwise).  I'll post the recipes for these another time, but it's about as simple as it sounds.

The pesto was fresh & zingy, strong without being overpowering.  It makes a nice change to a traditional pizza, if you haven't tried it, give it a go!

The tomato sauce was a revelation.  You know how when you order a pizza or pasta meal out, it tastes really tomatoey?  And if you do the same at home, it's a bit flat?  Well, not any more.  The new Italian Tomato Sauce is more than just tomatoes.  It's actually a soffritto base - celery & carrots sauteed in olive oil, mixed with tomatoes, and it tastes like SuperTomato.  I've made plenty of home-made pizzas over the years, but this was the best one I've ever tasted, and the closest I've come to making one that tastes bought.  These were gobbled up in no time at all, and I need to go shopping for some more bases.

The pesto and the tomato sauce went into the fridge.  The tomato sauce is a really big tub, which apparently serves 10, and will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks after opening.  That's a relief, as I wouldn't want to waste it.  My only query with the jar is it doesn't say whether I could freeze it.  I'm guessing I can, so I may freeze some into ice cubes to throw in to later recipes.

Next day, and time to try out the pasta.  I'm so used to supermarket food being completely carbon-copy identical, it was quite the novelty to see that the bronze die-cut fusilli shapes had some variation, much more authentic, and better for catching hold of the yummy tomato sauce.  Oh yes, more tomato sauce.  If I'd had a little more inspiration, I could've added meat & made a bolognaise, but quick & easy was the order of the day, and I stirred through some more of the Italian Tomato Sauce to make a simple dinner for all of us.

Well, some of us had the pasta.  One of us prefers her Hello Kitty shapes, but that's another story.  A garlic bread from the supermarket & we're done.  Even the pickiest eater around tucked in.

On to day 3.  Meatballs!  I've never been a fan of that creamy sauce they sell in certain Scandinavian furniture shops, and much prefer my meatballs with a tomato sauce.  Sacla' to the rescue again.  Once the meatballs were cooked, I tossed them into a saucepan with some of the tomato sauce, warmed it all through, and hey presto, dinner was served.

There, a few days insight into our family's diet.  Honestly, I love the tomato sauce, and that's going to be a regular on my shopping list now on.  And if I'm running low on inspiration, Sacla' have a whole host of recipes on their website to help.

Sacla' also recently sponsored the Guild of Food Writers' blog of the year award, won by Emma Gardner at poiresauchocolat - a blog filled with incredible photography, and really mouthwatering recipes & descriptions.  Puts my photos to shame.  And right now, over at Sacla's website, you can enter a competition to win a luxury holiday to Italy (yes please!)

I was provided with the food items detailed free of charge for the purposes of this review.  I was not told what to write, and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme, and will not receive reward for their use..

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