Reviewed by Emma Stubbs
As everyone knows, Friday night is takeaway night… except when you’re reviewing Tesco’s latest range of takeaway style pizzas and fresh pasta, and then Friday night is somewhat extended to Saturday lunchtime, Saturday night, Sunday lunchtime and Sunday night!
So, to the pizzas!
I was sent two of the 14″ Classic Crust Takeaway pizzas to try, and my word, my first impressions when I took the delivery were ‘so these are pretty huge!’ There isn’t actually any indication of their size on the Tesco website, so it should maybe be highlighted that these are your standard takeaway size pizzas and not regular supermarket pizzas! I’m not joking, I was worried they wouldn’t fit in my fridge, and when it came to putting them in their refrigerated home, I actually had to remove all the items from the fridge door to squeeze them in. I have a fairly standard fridge-freezer, so I would be worried for anyone who had an under-counter fridge or a full fridge – there’s no way they would have fit in a freezer either unless it was a chest freezer.
Anyway, practicalities aside, let’s fast forward to post-oven time!
Both pizzas really did look like their picture on the packaging, which is not something you can often say. They can be cut into 8 large slices, 10 standard slices, or 12 stingy slices – perfect for a family or get together with friends.
The Mighty Meat Combo pizza (RRP: £4.50) is described as having a light and fluffy base, which I totally agree with. The base is substantial and not soggy, holding its own weight when picked up, but yet doesn’t feel like cardboard. The two cheese layers of mozzarella and Cheddar cheese are topped with an assortment of meats, namely smoky pepperoni, herby Lincolnshire sausage, smoked bacon, spicy British beef and BBQ coated spicy pork and beef meat bites. There is a generous helping of all toppings, with no bite being spared of some form of meat. The BBQ sauce really complements the meats and had flavours of smoked onions and peppers, sweet tomatoes and golden syrup, without feeling too heavy or sticky. The colossal pizza is finished with a sprinkle of chilli flakes, and I have to say, if you get a mouthful that’s slightly chilli-heavy, it can be a bit overpowering (although my husband says that’s because I’m a wuss). All in all, a great supermarket alternative to rival the Meat Feast of many a takeaway company.
Next, to the BBQ Chicken Supreme (RRP: £4.50). This pizza has an identical base and cheese layer to the Mighty Meat Combo pizza, but this time is topped with smoky bacon, chicken breast, red pepper and onion. The chicken breast is actually marinated in the smoky BBQ sauce, and this gives the pizza its lovely subtle BBQ flavour, as opposed to having a BBQ sauce covering the entire pizza. I really enjoyed this pizza, and even finished it off cold for lunch the next day. There is flavour but no spice, making it a great choice for families with children for whom that may be an issue. My only slight criticism is that the ‘tasty strips’ of onion are more like discs, and I found myself picking them off as they are just too big – this might have just been a certain batch, and I’m more than happy to buy another to test this theory!
When I buy a pizza from the supermarket, I automatically go for the chicken based option, and I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every fajita chicken, BBQ chicken, and whatever-you-like chicken pizza from the big four. I have to say, this is my favourite so far, and will be bought again… as long as I can make space for it in the fridge!
I would have to rate the Tesco Takeaway Pizzas as 4/5.
Tesco Takeaway Pizzas are available in several options in-store or online here.
It was a pleasure to also try Tesco’s Finest range of fresh pasta.
I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of filled pasta, but Tesco’s Finest range does look high quality and appealing. The first batch in the pan was the Chicken and Bacon Tortelloni, which I served with a homemade cheese sauce. In hindsight, I should have served the pasta with something slightly punchier, as the pasta and sausage-like filling is rather bland. I couldn’t really taste the chicken or bacon in the mushy middle, however, the filling to pasta ratio is high, and it was a quick 5 minute oven to plate dinner.
Learning from experience, I served the Cherry Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Ravioli with a grilled pepper and tomato sauce, and the second pasta meal was much tastier. Even without sauce, this ravioli has much more flavour than the tortelloni. There does seem to be a slight element of luck as to whether the ravioli parcels are filled well or sparsely – my husband was convinced he had been served all the latter!
Personally, I would probably try the ravioli again but not the tortelloni. On a separate note, the packaging would benefit from a rippable top as you do need a knife to open them.
I would have to rate the Tesco Finest pasta as 3/5.
Tesco Finest Pastas are available in several options in-store or online here.