QUICK REVIEW: Bertolli Al Dente Tortellini Margherita

Bertolli Al Dente Tortellini Margherita

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 10 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Marinara sauce has decent flavor. Lots of sauce. Good amount of filled tortellini. Good source of fiber, vitamin A, calcium, and vitamin C.
Cons: Chewy tortellini pasta is, perhaps, too al dente. With half of the tortellini I could taste the ricotta and asiago cheese filling, but with the other half, not so much. Marinara sauce isn’t very zesty. Mozzarella cheese sticks to fork like glue and came in clumps. The packaging recommends pairing it with a pinot noir, but I’m pretty sure that won’t fly in your workplace break room.

Bertolli Al Dente Tortellini Margherita Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 370 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1040 milligrams of sodium, 480 milligrams of potassium, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 16 grams of protein, 30% vitamin A, 30% calcium, 20% vitamin C, and 10% iron.

REVIEW: Bertolli Premium Champignon & Portobello Mushroom Pasta Sauce

While it’s impressive that it takes only 90 seconds to heat up the Bertolli Premium Champignon & Portobello Mushroom Pasta Sauce, having to wait 10-15 minutes for the noodles to be prepared pretty much defeats the purpose of the sauce’s quickness, unless you don’t eat noodles because you’ve been following the Atkins Diet religiously since 1999 and think that noodles are the devil’s pitchfork poking at your pudgy sides.

The instructions to heat this bag of pasta sauce was extremely easy. All I had to do was cut off one of the top corners of the bag to let it vent, stick it in the microwave for 90 seconds, dance during those 90 seconds, let it cool down for a minute and then pour it over my pasta of choice, which is either linguine or whatever that pasta in Spaghetti O’s is called.

But perhaps the instructions were too easy. I don’t know about you, but I like a little excitement when I’m cooking or warming up food. The chance of something exploding, me getting hurt or staining my clothing is quite exhilarating. That’s why my nipples get stiff whenever I see Benihana chefs go at some food with knives or when someone deep fries an entire turkey in a huge pot of boiling oil.

However I am thankful I can kick it how my grandma used to kick it and heat it on a stove. I won’t be able heat it up in 90 seconds, because unfortunately my stove goes up to 11 (Yeah, that’s right. I just dropped a Spinal Tap reference).

The pasta sauce was piping hot as I added it to my linguine noodles and there’s enough sauce for three servings. It was slightly chunky and there were small bits of mushrooms, but there weren’t huge slices like what’s shown on the front of the package. Even with all of those small bits of mushrooms, I could hardly taste them over the tomato sauce. Overall, it was a tasty pasta sauce, but I think if there was more of a mushroom flavor, it would’ve been even better.

The sauce may have been good, but I think I would prefer pasta sauce that comes in a glass bottle not only because it provides 2-3 times more pasta sauce than this product at the same price, but also because if I drop the bottle there is a good chance that I might get hurt, it will explode, and I will stain my clothes.

Oh! Just thinking about it almost made something else explode.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup (about 3 servings per bag) – 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 450 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 60% Vitamin A, 15% Calcium, 10% Vitamin C, and 10% Iron.)

Item: Bertolli Premium Champignon & Portobello Mushroom Pasta Sauce
Price: $2.50 on sale
Size: 13.5 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tasty sauce. Slightly chunky. Convenient and really quick to warm up (90 seconds). Danger in the kitchen. Can also heat on a stove. The pasta in Spaghetti O’s.
Cons: No big slices of mushrooms, only small bits. Light mushroom flavor. Pasta sauce in bottles provide 2-3 times more sauce at the same price. Champignon is not the same as champagne.

REVIEW: Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne Oven Bake Meals

Sometimes I enjoy kickin’ it old school.

Instead of using the couch potato convenience of a remote control, I’ll occasionally walk up to the TV to change the channel or mess with the volume. Once in a while, when I want to kick it Stephen J. Cannell-style I’ll bust out the typewriter and Wite-Out to write a review, and then bob my head to the click-clack of the keys as I type with only my pointer fingers.

Every so often, I get a thrill out of the pre-heating, moving of wire racks, and the orange glow of the heating elements of a conventional oven, because sometimes I don’t want to deal with the rotating plate, LCD digits, and radiation of a microwave oven, and because I can’t build a fire in the middle of my apartment when I want to kick it REALLY old school. It’s been awhile since I fired up my conventional oven, so I was glad to try the Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne Oven Bake Meal.

The frozen dish is made up of breaded white meat chicken breast cutlets with penne pasta in a tomato-herb sauce and a pouch of cheese. Creating the meal, which is either meant as a meal for two people or two meals for someone who has more than a dozen cats, is extremely easy since it only consists of six steps:

1) Pour contents of bag into a baking dish.
2) Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
3) Bake in conventional oven for 45 minutes.
4) Pull out dish and remove foil.
5) Sprinkle cheese on top.
6) Bake for five minutes more.

The packaging claims it has a restaurant taste and I’ve experienced the chain restaurant goodness that is Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Buca di Beppo so many times that I feel confident in saying that it doesn’t have a chain restaurant taste. The chicken was moist and the penne pasta was cooked well, but the sauce wasn’t as savory as I hoped. Another disappointment was the disproportional sizes of the two chicken pieces in the bag I bought, one of which was the size of a Chicken McNugget and the other was about three times larger. I’m pretty sure I was just unlucky with the bag I bought, but even the bigger piece of chicken seemed kind of small.

In the end, I wish the Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne Oven Bake Meal kicked it old school and put on some bellbottom pants, an afro wig, and a pair of rainbow suspenders. It wouldn’t make it better tasting, but if I were to play some disco music it would be a lot more fun to be around.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 package – 500 calories, 26 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1000 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein, 35% Vitamin A, 20% Calcium, 20% Vitamin C, 10% Iron, and 10 grams of kickin’ it old school.)

Item: Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne Oven Bake Meals
Price: FREE (via coupon from PR peeps)
Size: 24 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Convenient. Chicken was moist. No trans fat. Allows me to kick it old school. Typing on a typewriter once in awhile. Being mesmerized by the orange glow of the heating elements in a conventional oven. Smelling Wite-Out.
Cons: Sauce wasn’t very savory. Chicken seemed small. Doesn’t have an Italian restaurant taste. High in sodium. Can’t build a fire in my apartment. People who have more than a dozen cats. Smelling Wite-Out.