Archive for the ‘Tomato Sauce’ Category

Red Baron 4-Cheese Pizza

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Red Baron 4-Cheese Pizza - Ad

Red Baron 4-Cheese Pizza

Looks: I still can’t get these pizzas to brown properly, even after following different advice I’ve gotten from readers: “Move it under the broiler”; “don’t preheat the oven”; “use a blow-torch.” None of it works. 4 out of 5

Taste: There is a definite quality scale of frozen pizzas: it starts with your Lunchables mini pizzas (ketchup and bread), then you have your Jack’s/Jeno’s/Totino’s, then up on the high end, you have your Digiorno’s and Freschettas – the “pizzeria-style” pizzas (if you believe their commercials). I would place this Red Baron above Digiorno, but below Freschetta. The cheese is thick, the sauce is zesty, and the crust is nice and chewy, but not as nice as Freschetta’s. This pizza has a good collection of herbs mixed in the cheese as well, and I think that is what really sets it apart from the Jack’s and Jeno’s. 4 out of 5

Marie Callender’s Old World Rigatoni Bolognese

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Marie Callender's Old World Rigatoni Bolognese - Ad

Marie Callender's Old World Rigatoni Bolognese

Looks: The noodles are right, but the sauce is all wrong. Instead of being a thick and hearty tomato sauce with chunks of beef, it consists of some dried-up pieces of meat and a scant amount of liquid. It really makes the difference in how edible the dish looks, wouldn’t you agree? 2 out of 5

Taste: The taste mirrors the looks: the noodles are ok, but the sauce is just meh. The different parts of the sauce never seemed to coalesce, but rather just separated into tomato and beef and liquid. Not only did the sauce not form one mixture, but the different parts of the sauce didn’t stick to the pasta, further separating the dish into “noodles and tomato and beef and liquid” instead of Rigatoni Bolognese. 2 out of 5

Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne - Ad

Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne

Looks: The chicken and tomato bits blend into the sauce much more than the package shows, and there was no melted cheese to be seen (although you could taste it). The sauce is thicker and coats the noodles more than expected, but the noodles themselves appeared as advertised. 3.5 out of 5

Taste: My wife claims this is her favorite of all the Bertolli meals, but I’m just not feeling it. (The Chicken Alfredo & Fettuccine and Chicken Florentine & Farfalle are both superior.) The noodles are fine, but I found the chicken a tad too soggy, and the sauce was underwhelming: it doesn’t taste much different than jarred Ragu. Definitely less than I’ve come to expect from Bertolli. 3 out of 5

Hormel Homestyle Meat Loaf & Tomato Sauce

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Hormel Meat Loaf - Ad

Hormel Meat Loaf

Bonus picture of the entire meatloaf, post-cooking:

Hormel Meat Loaf In Tray

Looks: I did not expect this to score any higher than a 3, but what can I say? Once it’s sliced, the meatloaf in the box matches the meatloaf on the box. 5 out of 5

Taste: While it’s not the best meatloaf I’ve ever had (that honor is tied between my mom’s meatloaf with cheese on top and the lamb meatloaf at Santorini), it’s surprisingly good for only taking four minutes to microwave. It was a little oily, and the meat grind was overly smooth, but I would probably buy this again if I’m ever in the market for pre-made meatloaf. 3.5 out of 5