Tuesday 11 January 2011

Sacla' Risotto Range

Sacla’, best known for their pesto (which I reviewed here), have recently launched a range of  risotto sauces, currently available in two flavours - Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash & Parmesan - and they asked me if I'd like to try them out. They explain that "the idea is to make it as simple and speedy as possible to prepare a tasty risotto without having to plan ahead or possibly be fazed by how to get it right". Sounds right up my street !

Sacla explain : "Risotto has long been a favourite of the Italians who create this delicious creamy rice dish with oodles of passion and all sorts of combinations of fresh and yummy ingredients and whilst many of us do order risotto when we go to our favourite local Italian, many of us steer clear of making it in our own kitchens. Is it because we think it’s too time-consuming, or complicated? Or simply not on our regular menus? " Well, let's find out if it's about to become a regular addition to the Madhouse Family diet !

I decided to start off with the mushroom sauce, simply because it's the flavour I instantly think of when I hear the word risotto. They say it's simple to use and it certainly is. You just empty the sauce into a pan with 200g risotto rice, 600ml water (which is the equivalent of three empty jar fulls - how simple is that ? Plus it means you get to use up every last scrap of sauce out of the bottom of the jar !) and a stock cube, stir and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes. That's it !

The photo above comes from the Sacla' website but my version genuinely did look just like that. As they explain, "We've chopped the vegetables, poured in a little local Italian wine and finally thrown in generous handfuls of our favourite wild mushrooms." I love the chunky mushrooms, the creaminess and the authentic taste, that I've now come to expect from all Sacla' products. Definitely a big hit all round.

Now the other recipe sounded a bit more unusual. Butternut squash and parmesan are two ingredients that I wouldn't have thought of putting togther, or in a risotto come to that. But the clever people at Sacla' obviously have more imagination than me and it does really work. The resulting dish is very mellow and almost sweet so it was a big hit with the girls - it would therefore be a great way of getting picky eaters to eat vegetables.

My one very slight criticism is the size of the jars. Containing 190g, they are designed to make "a main meal for 2 or 3 lucky people". We made just enough for two adults, two kids portions and a tiny taster for Pierre but we'd have liked a bit more, and I'm sure other families with older kids (or even those who want seconds !) would agree with us ! But I suppose it all depends if you're using this as a stand-alone dish or as an accompaniment.

Sacla' have some advice about this too. "So, having got the keep-life-simple risotto sauce, what do you serve with your creation? Plenty of carbs’ in risotto, so probably avoid the bread? There seem to be plenty of views on this one when you scour the wonderful foodie offerings on the web. Lots of people suggest serving risotto with a simple green salad, or a rocket salad, whilst some favour roast veggies, or steamed green beans. Fish is another popular accompaniment, and roast chicken features regularly."

Whatever you decide, Buon' appetito !

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £2.49

Other reviews you may be interested in :

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