Chloe Tries || The New M&S Italian Collection

My love of a good pasta dish is no secret. I’ve recently found a couple of fab spots for dining out, but really, I love making pasta at home. It’s quick, easy and the simplest of ingredients can make a truly delicious dish.

M&S have some fab pasta deals, which I regularly keep going back for – it always pleases after a long day in the office. What’s more, it’s just £5 for fresh pasta, sauce and salad/garlic bread! And when the range is all sourced from traditional Italian family run businesses to bring authentic recipes and taste, you know it’s going to be good.

They have some fantastic new launches on their Italian collection, which I had to share. I’m slowly making my way through them – but there are so many more I need to try….

The Gorgonzola & Walnut Ravioli was delicious.

A blend of gorgonzola, ricotta, mozzarella cheese and chopped walnuts inside Italian egg pasta, it was creamy and mild, with a subtle blue cheese taste coming through after. It sure was one sophisticated, beautiful pasta.

M&S Italian Range

I’m addicted to fresh filled pasta right now. There are so many new flavours at M&S I’m excited about including the Pea & Mint Girasoli and Basil Pesto Girasoli. All of the fresh filled pasta from M&S is made in Verona, Northern Italy – so although I’m dying to go to Italy next year (for the food of course), I feel like I’m still getting to taste something pretty authentic!

There’s a new fab sauce in the range too…

…a flavoursome chunky vegetable, with smooth tomato sauce, red & yellow peppers, red onions and courgettes. It tastes rather autumnal, with chunky vegetables adding something extra to each dish too – Sometimes you need a bit more than just pasta and a creamy sauce!

M&S Italian Range

I do like shaking it up with the sauces, however I do LOVE the fresh pesto and the tomato and mascarpone which will always be my faves. I just toss through some additional veg to help with the five a day, and give some extra texture and juiciness/flavours.

The M&S pasta sauces are actually made by a small family run business in Calabria, Southern Italy! How good is it to know exactly where the products are produced, and that even the sauces are from authentic family run businesses too! They are classically made like you would at home with a soffritto base (vegetables slowly cooked in Italian extra virgin olive oil then combined with Italian tomatoes and fresh herbs, grown in the fields outside the factory) – here’s to family recipes. We all know how important and loved they are.

Salad or garlic bread…

That is the question. It all depends on the mood, and sometimes I like to do both…I just alternate between picking up salad and garlic bread, and stretch out the sides. Salad is great to add some green (which I always need with dinner), but garlic bread…mmm…now that’s what we’re talking about.

Of course there’s a new bread too…a cheese and pesto flatbread…

M&S Italian Range

It’s made using a slowly fermented dough, and is hand topped with basil pesto and mature cheddar cheese. It’s seriously delicious! So much flavour. A beautiful soft bread!

I love the garlic ciabatta sticks from the pasta deal too. Sometimes I add a little cheese, because who doesn’t like extra cheese?!

And for those super speedy meal nights…

There’s a range of ready meals. But not as you think you know them. Even the ingredients in these microwave and oven ready dishes are sourced from the same traditional businesses! So I don’t mind picking one up every now and then, when all I want to do is pop something in the microwave or oven.

There are several new meals in the range – so many delicious sounding (and looking) combos; from roasted mushroom risotto (Italian Carnaroli rice with earthy portobello mushrooms and a rich, silky true and mascarpone cream) to Crab Linguine (Italian linguine with sweet Atlantic crab, dressed with parsley and a chilli and shallot sauce and rocket). I tried the King Prawn Bucatini last weekend, and it made one fab lunch to help refuel for an afternoon of packing…

M&S Italian Range

Made with Italian pasta, marinated prawns, and chilli dressing, and finished with sweet Santarella tomatoes, it was packed with flavour, yet not overly saucy (just the way it should be). There were plenty of prawns too, which sometimes tend to be lacking in other ready meals. A great quick pick!

SUMMARY:

  • Quality: You know you’re getting good quality, and authenticity, as everything is sourced from traditional Italian family run businesses. The ones I’ve tried from the new collection so far, have all been fab – and that just adds to my usual choices (I love the filled pasta!).
  • Ease of cooking: Super simple to cook – perfect midweek meal!
  • Best bit?: Not sure I could pick. The Gorgonzola & Walnut Ravioli is SO good though!
  • Price: The pasta deal is £5 and includes a pasta, a sauce and garlic bread/salad, serving two people – bargain! The ready meals are priced between £2.75 and £4, which isn’t bad either!
  • Would I recommend trying? – YES! I tend to get this pasta at least once every two weeks! It’s super simple and always pleases – so yummy!
  • Availability: In store – I’ve found them in the larger and smaller M&S food stores so hopefully you shouldn’t struggle to get your hands on some!

What’s your fave go-to speedy, convenient meal for mid-week?

Chloe xx

*This post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer. All views my own. 

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