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Discussion in 'Italian Food and Drink' started by pwarbi, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Here in the UK and no doubt all over the world there is all sorts of 'just add pasta' sauces and quick meals that you can buy, that claim to be made from'authentic' italian recipes. Most of these are obviously ready meals and are aimed at people that some times wont have time to cook right from scratch and want somthing that can be made in a matter of minutes that tastes good.

    But just how authentic are these pre packaged sauces and meals? Are they the next best thing to italian cooking or do they insult the traditional italian recipes they claim to recreate?
  2. Well, from scratch always tastes better, right! Still, I think you can take a sauces, add to it, and create something delicious. Now, when it comes to pre-packaged, I have yet to ever taste any meal that would compare to a homemade meal, no matter Italian, or not! ;)

    If, someone has a suggestion on a pre-packaged that tastes great, would love to hear it! I think, thus far, it is simply an advertising technique. By the way, just had some frozen lasagna from a box for lunch and it is was blah!
  3. Your certainly right there, fresh ingredients and cooking from scratch can't be beaten, especially not by some ready made, meal for one, out of a box dish. But surely there must be some Italian based ready meals that taste alright? That are good enough for a quick lunch at work?
  4. I think they are a bit of an insult to Italian food to be honest, and one of the most famous "Italian sauces" you know the one with the racist advert, is made right here in the UK!
  5. No, quite honestly, I know of no meal out of a box that is more than just okay. Now, if you add to the box, it could have more of an Italian flair. If someone has a delicious favorite frozen dish idea, I would be open to try it. lol Well, as long as, there is no meat in it. I do not eat meat. Do you have a favorite?
  6. I feel the same really, I work strange shifts and so sometimes cooking from scratch isn't an option so I'm constantly looking for quick meals that might also taste good. Sadly, I'm still looking as they all seem to be a bit bland.

    While it's not exactly a frozen meal, I have found some of the sauces in jars to be ok, not brilliant but certainly edible! And that's a good start, haha
  7. I agree. You can't expect something that's been mass produced and boxed up to have the same level of quality as something made from scratch. It's just not doable.
    sallymarie and pwarbi like this.
  8. Well, there are some stores that make their own fresh sauces. There's one where I live and the sauce they make is delicious. Stores like that might be hard to find, though. They're not exactly supermarkets.
    sallymarie and pwarbi like this.
  9. Although I've heard of stores like that before, sadly there's none around where I am at the moment so I guess I'm having to stick to the dolmio, sauce out of a jar types of meal.

    Well its either that or McDonald's!
  10. Eh, you can get boxed pasta and make your own quick sauce pretty easily, or you can do a carbonara.
  11. Oh, you are too funny bringing up Mc Donalds after we have been talking about them in another thread!
    If you are looking for something quick and easy, OliveOil has the best suggestion, go to the local deli section with Italian food, or order take out Italian food from a restaurant! I do that sometimes! I even eat from a box, but it is a disappointment!

    or do as sammien94 suggested!

    pwarbi likes this.
  12. I actually had a pre-package meal that tasted nice just one time, and it was one of those 3 or 4 bucks microwave meals that have a special structure for maximal heating qualities or something. I think it had pasta with cherry tomatoes and chicken. Was actually not too bad. But I don't really buy those kind of frozen meals anyway, from scratch is cheaper and better.
    sallymarie likes this.
  13. Hem.. if authenticity is the topic, anything with pasta and chicken in the same dish can't be called authentic.
  14. Oh, you made me laugh aloud with this observation. Well, I suppose, today, authenticity, similar to beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Since, I do not eat meat, this chicken and pasta dish would not be on my plate, anyways. But really no need to get technical. At the same time, touche. ;)
  15. Although you can buy a jar of pasta sauce and create a pretty decent dish out of it, I can't say that you can count on it being authentic. Italians take pride in the freshness of their food and sauce out of the jar is not very fresh. I can't say that I have ever found a prepackaged frozen meal to be tasty.
    sallymarie likes this.
  16. Pizza hut then?

    Seriously though, you'd have thought that food manufacturers would have by now come up with a way to make convenience food that actually tastes good.

    People these days are living busier and busier lives and a lot don't have time to freshly prepare and cook a meal during the week, so you'd think making quick meals better would be something they'd be working on.
  17. The only good ready items are pesto and by that I mean the authentic ones from a deli and not a generic supermarket one. They are often as good as making it yourself, but can be pricier.

    As for other sauces, I prefer to use tomato puree as a base for a sauce and that is from Italy or a passata. They really save time and are authentic as they are used to help make the sauces rather than be used as a sauce alone.
  18. Pizza hut, funny. I find their pizza to be so rich! But, I must tell you, I am actually getting ready to order a pizza from on eof my favorite places down the road. Yep, made by an Italian couple. Not only is the pizza delicious, they are just so friendly. We have a few Italian pizzeria's we frequent. Of course, they love our Italian last name, too. hehe

    I find organic delis to be a good place to get some decent pasta. Yes to the tomato puree. Husband taught be to use that, too.
    pwarbi likes this.
  19. That's actually quite interesting, I was referring to the ready made meals, you know like the saddo meal for one's, but now you've mentioned it, items like tomato puree, pesto and passata can be classed as short cuts when your cooking I guess?
  20. Can be classed as authentic shortcuts. Oil packed tuna too.

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