Giovanni Rana Fresh Pasta Sauce & Unfilled Pasta Review

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I love Italian food, well, let’s be honest I love most food! That means I am always more than willing to test and review products which are new to the market. Today that food comes in the form of a new range of Fresh Pasta Sauces and Fresh Unfilled Pasta from Giovanni Rana.

First lets start with the Fresh Unfilled Pasta, we tested out Fresh Spaghetti, there is also Tagliatelle, Fusilli and Penne shapes available.The Spaghetti had a slightly square shape rather than the completely cylindrical offerings you may be more used to seeing. I rather thought this made it look more upmarket, but obviously the real test is the taste. It also has a slightly rougher texture known as sfogliagrezza which allows the pasta to pick up more sauce and therefore more flavour. With a minimum of 20% fresh eggs the taste is pleasant even before you start adding additions. It also takes a mere 5 minutes to cook, which makes it perfect for a busy family. It’s pretty rare to find tasty food that cooks in a flash.

The Fresh Pasta Sauce range includes Parmigiano Reggiano (for filled pasta), Porcini Mushroom, Genovese Basil Pesto and Italian Bolognese Sauce. We tested out the Italian Bolognese Sauce.

You might well be thinking, Bolognese – that’s nothing new. In some ways you’d be right, but there’s a reason that this tasty tomato and meat sauce has become such a staple the world over, it’s good! In some respects though that might make you more discerning when you try out a new brand such as this.

Giovanna Rana’s Bolognese sauce is sweetened  with cherry tomatoes, this added a lovely light note to a sauce that can have a tendency to heaviness. The tomato tasted fresh against a satisfying meatiness. It wasn’t remotely greasy, another common complaint against Bolognese.

One small note,  I didn’t like the smell of the sauce when cold. Not a big problem obviously, but I mention it as it could put you off trying out this lovely little pot.

Personally I would have liked a slightly larger pot, but then we’re a family who like sauce, so again not a huge issue. Technically the Bolognese also contains  Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, I could taste it, but I still think a little freshly grated Permigiano sprinkled on top would really complete this dish.

Overall I really enjoyed the new Pasta and Sauce. It’s perfect for when you’re busy and tired due to it’s quickness. It seems to go down very well with adults and children alike and there’s not really much to dislike.


Giovanni Rana’s Fresh Pasta available in Penne, Spaghetti, Tagliatelle and Fusilli (RRP from £0.98)

Giovanni Rana’s Fresh Pasta Sauces available in Parmigiano Reggiano, Porcini Mushroom, Basil Pesto and Bolognese Sauce (RRP from £1.98)

Available in selected ASDA and convenience stores nationwide from May 2011. For more information on the Giovanni Rana range, as well as recipes ideas, visit

Giovanni Rana Fresh Filled Pasta Review

I posted earlier today about our love of Italy. But what about when you get back home? Can you really capture the spirit and taste of Italy in a UK kitchen?

I was recently asked if I’d like to try out Giovanni Rana’s new Fresh Filled Pasta Ready Meals. The new range includes:

  • Tortellini filled with Prosciutto Crudo in tomato sauce (with cherry tomatoes, spinach and Parmigiano Reggiano shavings).
  • Tortellini filled with Spinich and Ricotta in a basil sauce (with courgettes and cheese shavings).
  • Tortellini filled with Prosciutto Crudo in Alfredo sauce (with peas, smoked ham and Parmigiano Reggiano shavings).

For this review I tested out the Tortellini filled with Prosciutto Crudo in tomato sauce.

To start with the packaging is very appealing, it looks like a quality product which is something ready meals can lack.

After a few short minutes in the microwave I placed the pasta into a bowl. You can of course eat it straight from the packet, but as I was at home I preferred to use my own dish. It all looked very appetizing.

Down to the taste testing. To start with the pasta was perfectly al dente. I had worried it might be sloppy as pre-prepared pastas sometimes can be. But this was just right.

The sauce was very filling and the portion size just right for me. I love cheesy pasta sauces but they can be heavy and leave you feeling sluggish. Thankfully this wasn’t the case here, there was just the right combination of cheese with a cut through taste of fresh tomato. Everything looked and more importantly tasted fresh.

Would I recommend this product?

Yes, I was very impressed and would happily eat more of these. Ready meal pastas don’t often appeal to me, sporting tough/overcooked pasta with a heavy sauce. But this was as fresh and tasty as if it had just been prepared in a restaurant. In fact I’m sure you could pass this off as homemade if you fancied. As a ready meal for one person this is a very handy solution and with an RRP of £2.99 a very affordable choice.

Could it be improved in anyway?

Not this particular dish. But I would like to see more varieties added to the range and perhaps larger sizes if you wanted to feed more than one person.