Carluccio’s first ready made meals for supermarkets were launched in July. I was sent a selection to review.
The Pappardelle con Ragù di Cinghiale (RRP £4) was good. The wild boar ragu was rich and generous in ratio to the pasta. I’m not sure if this is meant to serve 1 or 2; it’s on the small side for the latter. We had ours with a Pane all’Aglio (RRP £1.50). It was saturated in caramelised garlic and parsley butter, and delicious, though again, a little small for the price against much larger supermarket garlic bread baguettes.
The Lasagne al Forno (RRP £6) was the right size for 2 and we really liked the meaty beef and pork ragu and egg pasta. We could taste the chianti clearly. We might possibly buy this again, but probably only if it was on special offer; it’s the same price as the Charlie Bigham’s lasagne, which we really like, and the Waitrose own brand is also very good and significantly cheaper.
Where the range really fell down for us was the fresh pasta sauces, neither of which we liked much at all. These are priced at £2 each, plus the pasta, which is £1.80. I definitely prefer the Waitrose range of fresh pastas and sauces. One of them was unpleasant enough that I didn’t even finish it, and plugged the gap with a raid of the fruit bowl instead.
A mixed bag, then with some hits and some misses and even the best items are entering a market that’s already saturated with other brands and supermarket own. Whether or not they’ll find a following based on recognition of the existing Carluccio’s brand, I don’t know.
Kavey Eats received complimentary samples of the Carluccio’s ready meals range.