Wednesday 20 April 2011

Giovanni Rana Fresh Filled Pasta Creations meals review

Since being on holiday this week, I haven't stopped cooking from scratch - in fact, I can smell a delicious beef bourguignon simmering away in the slow cooker as I type ! -and I love the fact that I'm packing loads of fresh vegetables, meat and herbs and spices into each meal. I also know, however, that in a fortnight, when I'm back to work and I come home shattered from a long day teaching, then deal with the kids' homework/food/baths/bedtimes, I won't be able to face slaving away over a hot stove. That's when the ready meals and other cooking short cuts come back in.

I was therefore really keen to try out three new fresh pasta ready meals that the lovely people at Giovanni Rana sent me to try out. I'd already reviewed (here) some of the Giovanni Rana fresh pasta products, but this time, it literally needs zapping in the microwave for an instant tasty and balanced meal.

The packs come in three different recipes :
- Tortellini filled with Prosciutto Crudo in tomato sauce (with cherry tomatoes, spinach and Parmigiano Reggiano shavings)
 - Tortellini filled with Spinach 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)

I got to try them all out and they are all delicious and taste much better than you expect a ready meal to taste. As the height of laziness, we ate them straight out of the plastic tray (with a sprinkling of parmesan on top) but if you dished them up on a plate, with a hunk of crusty bread, you could easily pass them off as homemade.

As the picture shows, they have a generous amount of sauce and large, recognisable pieces of vegetables in them, which is very reassuring and appetising.

You need to heat them for four minutes in a microwave, which sounded like a long time to me, but apparently this is because the pasta actually cooks rather than just being reheated during the microwaving. That probably explains why it tastes so fresh and not at all soggy or, at the other end of the scale, totally dried out.

Nutrition-wise, each meal contains about 500 calories (between 488 and 588 depending on the recipe) and between 23.4 and 31.3g of fat. Each dish also contains between 1.14 and 1.40g of salt, which sounds quite high to me, but I'm sure this is no worse (and is probably, in fact, a lot better) than your average frozen pizza or takeaway, which are often the other quick-food solutions.

Taste-wise, they really hit the spot and are actually quite authentic. They are certainly of a much higher quality than the average ready meal, particularly of the frozen variety.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £2.99

Giovanni Rana’s Fresh Filled Pasta Creations are available in Sainsbury’s stores nationwide from March 2011, and selected ASDA stores from May 2011.

For more information on the Giovanni Rana range, as well as recipes ideas, visit

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. looks like a handy meal for a busy day!

  2. Hmm they look really tasty, I am looking forward to trying some soon.

  3. Looked great, sounded great, but was disappointed in the cheese tortellini 12 oz package. 3 cheeses never came through, pasta was nothing special. For 5 bucks it wasn't worth the price nor the effort.

  4. Has anyone heated this in the slow cooker with extra sauce?


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