30 January 2011

Giovanni Rana Rich Italian Bolognese Tortelloni (Sainsbury's ) [by @NLi10]

I'm a big fan of decent food that can be cooked fast and eaten as a snack so have been eating readymade ravioli style pastas for years. I've taken it for granted that the store own and Aldi/Lidl brands were representative of the bigger versions but just with cheaper ingredients. I've found them a bit dry inside and while they have had decent flavours and been filling enough I never really questioned that there would be advantages to buying other kinds. Not being an expert on fresh pastas I've never really known which would be big brands and which were smaller imitation brands.

In Sainsbury's they have different non-store brands that I don't see in my usual Asda/Lidl/Aldi/Co-Op circuit so I thought that despite the price difference I'd give these a try. After all the packaging looks very appealing with all the fresh ingredients and they boil in 1 min (the fry logo worries me a little - who would do that?!)

I have to say I was amazed by the difference. The sauce is still runny, the meat is recognisable and the flavours were fantastic. Far from being instant lunch fodder you could have served this to dinner guests and they would be very satisfied. I cooked the 2nd half of these up with some left over Gnocchi and they went superbly as a really scrumptious main meal with a few leafy greens. Even after being open a few days they were still great and I shall be trying to memorise the brand name Giovanni Rana so that I can explore some other flavours if they exist.

Just goes to show that sometimes price does equal quality, if you trust the supermarkets to choose for you.
by NLi10


Italian User said...

Hey! I love your blog!
I'm Italian and I just wanted to tell you that Giovanna Rana is maybe the most popoular brand for fresh and filled pasta in my country..
Here you go with the website:
And since last year, I guess, you can even find "Giovanni Rana's restaurant" in malls and big cities.
Thanx for your blog, is so nice to read! :)

cinabar said...

So glad you are enjoying the blog Thank you for your lovely comment, I had no idea Giovanni Rana was such a big brand over there. :-) Are the restaurants good?

Italian User said...

Hey there, lovely to read your response :)
The restaurants are quite good, the places are always nice, seems to be at "grandma's house", whit old style tables and chairs.. It's kinda expensive (like 4/5 euros for a pasta portion, which you would pay like 1,50 euro in markets for a whole pack) and sometimes pasta is not well cooked (there are chefs who cooks but the process is quite mechanical - the kitchen is open, so you can see everything) but i'd give to G.R.'s restaurant a good 7.5/10 to be a "chain" and not a regular restaurant as the ones you find on streets.
Keep the good work, it's always a pleasure to read your stuff!
Cheers :)