Sacla' have built themselves up an outstanding reputation as "The Pesto Pioneers" so, when they emailed me to ask if I'd like to try out some of their new products, I was expecting a variation on the theme of their usual delicious jars of pasta sauce. Well, they surprised me actually, because they've branched out and created a brand new product range - pasta. It's so obvious I'm surprised they haven't done it before !
We received a box of Conchiglie (or pasta shells, if you prefer, but it doesn't sound anywhere near as impressive !) to try out. The packaging is covered in interesting snippets of information that tell you all about the Italian heritage of the product. "Conchiglie, or shells, hail from the Campania region of Italy, and will cradle a sauce in their deep smooth bowls more than any other pasta shape. And they will trap and hold any chunks or vegetables too so you can enjoy every last mouthful." If you've ever fed Spaghetti Bolognese to a toddler, you'll know how messy it can be - I sometimes think it would be wise to put up an umbrella to save getting splashed with tomato sauce ! - so the Conchiglie are actually a much cleaner way of getting pasta and sauce into little mouths (rather than on their clothes, the tablecloth or the person sitting next to them !).
The pasta cooks up exactly like any other dried pasta. Sacla' say : "We think 100g of dried pasta is about right for one person. Cook for about 8 minutes in a big pan of bubbling boiling water - it should still have some bite (what we call al dente)." Well, they are spot on with the cooking time and I was impressed to see that there wasn't a great deal of starch coming out during the cooking process, often a sign of high quality pasta in my experience. As I was cooking for five, I used the entire contents of the 500g box but I did have some left over. That was for two adults and three kids though, so it may have been just the right amount for five adults.
Sacla' have remained true to their Italian origins. The box informs us that the pasta is made in Puglia, in Southern Italy, from Italian durum wheat. They say that it was selected by the Sacla' family for its superior flavour, texture and character and that this is "Real Italian pasta from a real Italian family" and "Put simply, this is pasta as it should be".
I have to say, I was impressed. It has the slightly firmer texture and almost nuttier flavour that I found in the other authentic Italian pasta brands that we have tried here on the blog, compared to the often bland supermarket own brands that have a tendency to go soggy.
A 100g serving contains 354 calories, 13g of protein, 72.2g of carbs and 3g of fibre. I love the ingredients list - Italian Durum Wheat Semolina, Water. That's it ! Sacla' pasta also comes as Fusilli or Penne Giganti.
If you're wondering what we served it with, come back tomorrow and I'll tell you about another new Sacla' product that I paired it with !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £2.19 for 500g
for more information : http://www.sacla.co.uk/products/pasta
Disclosure : I received a selection of Sacla' products in order to write an honest review.
Other reviews you may be interested in :
Sacla Italian Tomato & Olive Stir Through Sauce