Saturday, 4 October 2014

Pasta Bake in a Jar -pros & cons

Hello honeys,
I'm undecided still about the subject of todays post.  How does everyone feel about ready made pasta sauces?  Now I do tend to use a jar of bolognaise sauce as one ingredient when making my own Beefaroni, Hubby's favourite Lasagne and Beef Bolognaise Bake (along with tomatoes, onions & herbs) but this is something different. 
tuna pasta bake sauce review
This jar of sauce is supposed to be, literally, dinner in a jar. All you need to add is some of your favourite pasta and a little grated cheese as a topping. 

I thought I'd give it a try because we all have days when there is too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all. So all too soon it's teatime and dinner hasn't been started yet :)
The first step is the one I felt oddest about if I'm honest.  The instructions say to add your pasta to your casserole or baking dish dry, or uncooked.  I had to read this more than once because it literally made me think "eh?" :)
I had never added a pasta sauce to uncooked pasta before, so deciding to go with the flow (there's always pizza delivery if it all went wrong :) into my dish I popped 225g of dry pasta :) I used spirals because they're one of our favourites (and I had them in the pantry) but I really don't think it would matter what type of dried pasta you use honeys. If you decide to give it a try, go with your favourite :)  
pasta, pasta bake,
 The instructions say to then pour the pasta sauce over the top of the dried pasta.
pasta bake, pasta sauce,
The pasta and sauce don't get mixed at this point though. Instead we take the jar and fill it to the point of the top of the label with fresh cold water, and add this to our dish.  We then stir (carefully I found oops :) until the sauce, water and pasta are well combined. 

At this point it's ready to go into the oven. I put it on the middle shelf at 180C/360F (160C/320F for a fan assisted oven) for around 20 minutes. Remove it and stir, be careful though remember it'll be very hot.  
The last step was to sprinkle a little grated cheese over the top.  I used cheddar because it was in the fridge, but again, you could choose your favourite :) The instructions recommend 100g but again, use what you'd like. If you like cheesy topping add more, if not so much, then use less :)

Then I popped it back into the oven for a further 20 minutes or so until the pasta is cooked.  While it was cooking I decided to raid the fridge for supplies to make a quick salad :) Iceberg lettuce, spring onions, tomatoes & cucumber make the perfect quick green salad for us, hubby loves it & I love hubby so it's our go-to dinner salad :) 
While chopping and mixing the salad I was actually thinking of other things I could make quickly to serve with the salad :) I wasn't too optimistic to be honest. I just couldn't get past the pasta having been dry when it went into the oven with the pasta sauce. 
Which, now that I'm thinking of it, is pretty silly really.  I mean it's possible to make lasagne with dried lasagne sheets and they go into the oven uncooked I suppose :)
Well honeys, as you can see from the photo below, it worked! It was also really tasty actually :) 

tuna pasta bake with salad
It was an eye opening, and interesting, experience. So would I make it again? Let's have a look at the pros and cons....


It's certainly a quick fix for a busy evening.  It took no time to put together & pop into the oven. While it was cooking I managed to whip together a lovely salad, so I could still have a nice dinner ready for hubby getting home :) Did I just heard an audible gasp from the internet? What about the sisterhood? What about equality? I hear :) I make no apologies for being a very happy homemaker honeys. He works really hard for us & having a nice dinner for him to come home to is important to me. I should also add that hubby knows where the kitchen is & makes me a lovely breakfast every Sunday morning :)

You don't need anything that you won't already have in the house already.  The jar of sauce itself, a little dry pasta and some cheese.

The cost.  The jar of sauce costs (as of now) 84p and even factoring in the pasta and cheese it's still a very inexpensive meal, especially since it's supposed to serve 4 people.


The only minus point I can think of is that it made me feel quite guilty! I really didn't feel as if I'd cooked dinner :) I know how silly does that sound? It's my nature I think, I've never been a fan of making things easy for myself :) My inner critic is telling me that if hubby wants a tuna pasta bake I should be making it from scratch. I know honeys... what's to be done with me :)

Would I make it again? Yes I probably would. Hubby enjoyed it and even took some to work next day for lunch. He also said he liked it cold too, so maybe that's another plus point?

I think the "ayes" have it with this one honeys. Maybe it's ok to cut corners (sometimes) when you're in a rush or have had a busy day. I think I would buy this sauce again but I don't think it would entirely replace cooking tuna pasta bake from scratch on days I have more time, but that's just me being me :)

Well honeys, I'm writing this at a little before 6am and the rain is seriously coming down outside, I hope it's nicer where you are, and that you have a wonderful weekend. Till next time dear ones, smile lots, be happy and stay warm, sending hugs xx

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