Friday nights have traditionally (for a few years anyway) been where I’ve had no real evening meal.
I would come home, relax, watch tv, and eventually about 9.30ish get hungry enough to need food. I would then snack on toast, chocolate, biscuits, or sometimes just go to bed and skip dinner altogether.
This very evening for example I got home just before 6, had a twix ice cream, a cup of tea, and a large vanilla and chocolate cookie I got from the bakery this afternoon.
So tonight I thought I’d break that habit with the second new meal of the week for me.
I went to Tescos a couple of days ago and picked up what’s described as “Carbonara Tortelloni” or “pasta”.
The reason I went for this is because I never used to like Chicken Pies when I lived with my parents. Now I like them a lot.
I’ve tried pasta before and not liked it.
When I say this to people, they normally ask “how can you not like pasta?”. I don’t know.
I’ve tried noodles (excuse my terrible cooking/food knowledge if this doesn’t count as pasta) and hated them. Supernoodles they were.
So tonight, pasta.
It’s part of Tesco’s “italian” range and it looks nice enough in the packet.
It is apparently “italian egg pasta parcels filled with pancetta, smoked ham, ricotta and Edam cheeses”.
I like cheese, I like ham.. what’s to go wrong there?
So I got it out, and read the instructions (open packet corner, add 75ml of water, microwave for 1minute, then shake, microwave for 1 minute). It sounds easy enough.
After I’d struggled to find anything that could measure 75ml of water, and decided 80ml was “close e-f**king-nough” – I measured the water, opened the packet and….well I’ll be honest I thought it smelt quite disgusting.
I’m not letting that stop me though, so in the microwave it goes.
At the mid-cooking shake it smelt decidedly different. A bit like something I’ve smelt before. Smoky bacon crisps perhaps? I actually like them, so maybe it will taste like them too and I’ll have something else I can eat.
Cooking time over, removed, left to stand for 30 seconds or so, and I nervously put an egg pasta parcel into my mouth. Tastes…well..I don’t know really. Quite bland to be honest.
I force myself to try another and not mix “bland” with “don’t like”.
I’ve eaten 10 or so of them and they’re still a bit bland. Less bland than they started but still not particularly exciting.
Also they have cooled a lot, so I whack them back in the microwave for another 30 seconds.
Is pasta meant to be hot? I don’t know.
Surely not, if its only cooked for 2minutes?
I remove it from the microwave, and place another pasta parcel in my mouth.
Still quite bland.
So I try something that has worked for me in the past when I’ve not known how else to make things taste different, but have known I didn’t like them much as they were.
When I lived with my parents, I refused all sauces. I’d have burgers and chips without ketchup or any sauce.
At some point since moving out of parents’ aged ~18yrs old, I’ve gotten a likening for HP barbeque sauce. I generally put it on everything from Birds Eye “simply cod” fillets, to new potatoes, to chicken burgers.
Most everything except sausage sandwiches (where I prefer brown sauce) get HP barbequed to the max.
Tesco’s finest carbonara tortelloni – in barbeque sauce.
It doesn’t really work. Tastes of barbeque sauce if I put enough on – other than that, bit bland.
I eat another few (probably still less than 1/4 of the 300g packet) and stop because I don’t really feel that hungry anymore.
God knows how anyone is meant to eat all of this in one sitting. Maybe they’re not meant to have the twix, biscuits, cup of tea, etc..first?
I’ll likely try it again somewhen, but I might buy a pasta sauce to go on it. I’m putting that down as a general positive – I didn’t totally hate it – but it is just as boring as anything else I might have cooked tonight, as it was.