Perfect pasta inspired by pizzas
There are not many people who could say that they’ve never eaten at PizzaExpress.
The brand has become something of a high-street staple, with restaurants in almost every city in the country, and pizzas that you can cook at home on supermarket shelves. And now the company has branched out still further with a range of cook at home pasta. They haven’t strayed too far from their doughy roots however, with the new range taking inspiration from some of the most popular pizzas – Margherita, Pollo Ad Astra, American Hot and Sloppy Giuseppe.
All are made with free-range egg pasta and take less than two minutes to cook so they are absolutely perfect for a quick and tasty supper.
The Margherita tortelloni are (as you might expect) filled with mozzarella and tomato. The little parcels just melted in the mouth and the creaminess of the cheese and the tanginess of the tomato really came through making the flavour surprisingly reminiscent of the pizza. It’s delicious served with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan, but I think that a drop of pesto would work well too.
The Pollo Ad Astra is one of my favourite pizzas on the menu so I was excited to try the tortelloni which said it was filled with a Cajun chicken and sweet peppadew pepper filling. I could really taste the lovely sweetness of the peppers but the chicken didn’t quite deliver the spicy punch I was looking for. It was lifted by the addition of some chilli oil, and if you really like a kick to your food then a few chopped chillies sprinkled on top would definitely work well.
Sloppy Giuseppe tortelloni promised a hot spiced beef and pepper filling.
I cut one open to see if the contents bared any resemblance to what was described and I was pleasantly surprised to actually be able to see the meat.
It tasted good too – rich and with a whisper of heat. It could have been hotter but nothing that couldn’t be fixed by serving an arrabiata-style sauce alongside.
The only ravioli of the selection was the American Hot, filled with pepperoni and hot peppers. This was definitely my favourite and the flavours really delivered on what they promised. There was a slight smoky note from the pepperoni which added a lovely depth, and there was just the right amount of heat which built as the meal went on. It was good served with a smattering of cheese, but I’d also made a tomato and vegetable sauce which lifted it again, and added the tomato element that made it taste even more like the pizza!
I’ve had many very disappointing shop-bought fresh pastas, with bland, tasteless fillings, so I was pleasantly surprised by the PizzaExpress range. All the flavours that were meant to be there were there, and really did remind me of the pizzas.
At just £2.99 a pack they are great value and they are so quick to prepare they are just perfect for those days when you don’t want to cook. And everyone has days like that!
Available from Waitrose and Ocado or find out more here