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Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Bite of the Week - Stouffer's Lasagna Italiano
Occasionally, I don't feel like making dinner. OK, this happens a lot. At these times you'll find me pulling the take-out menus from my take-out drawer, yes, take-out drawer, and grabbing the phone. But even this gets old after awhile. So sometimes I'll look in the frozen food section of the market to see what kind of family meals are available.
There are all sorts of ideas here. Family sized meatloaves, mac&cheese, sliced turkey, chicken and fish fillets and pasta dishes abound. And it was just those pasta dishes that caught my eye, specifically, the lasagnas. There are several brands of frozen family-sized lasagnas but Stouffer's caught my eye, not only because of name recognition, but because I've bought Stouffer's before and have always been pleased. They have the reputation of being a quality product and personal experience has found that to be true.
Now Laura prefers an all cheese lasagna while hubby prefers an all meat. What to do, what to do ? I bought the lasagna ITALIANO which contains both meat and cheese. I can always outsmart them both. lol
This particular package was 2lbs. 6oz. and contained approximately 5 servings ( in my house 3 ). It was made with fresh lasagna noodles, seasoned meat sauce, tomato sauce and real low fat ricotta cheese. It retailed for $ 7.99 at my local Stop&Shop. You can make it in the microwave in just 30 min. or you can do as I did, put it in the oven for 80 min. That's it really, just bake and serve, couldn't be easier.
VERDICT: Does it taste like homemade lasagna, of course not, nothing does. Does it make an easy, tasty, hearty meal....sure does. I was especially impressed by the pasta noodles. They tasted like real noodles and stayed al dente, just like you'd want them to. Most heated up pastas get very over-cooked and limp. These were great. There was just the right amount of meat sauce but a little more ricotta would have been nice ( we love ricotta ). The tomato sauce was the only failure. It was a bit too sharp and bitter, not nice and sweetly mild as I prefer. I think though, that sometimes frozen sauces have to have an exaggerated taste in order to sustain the flavor during the whole freezing process. That can be the reason most frozen foods taste,well, frozen. But that aside, this lasagna was tasty and I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again. Paired with a salad or veggies ( I made spinach ) and some nice hot rolls, you've got yourself a great meal here. So, pick up a STOUFFER'S LASAGNA ITALIANO or any of their other frozen meals, you won't be sorry . Plus you'll have some time on your hands for ............
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