Product review – Giovanni Rana’s pasta
Filled pasta, made easy
Back home in Italy, my family and I are not big consumers of fresh pasta and I am not sure why.
Partly maybe because in the South where I come from, it’s more about dry pasta such as spaghetti and linguine, eaten with a fresh tomato sauce or a fish ensemble. We usually eat tortellini and ravioli in the winter and rather than making them, we buy them from local shops in Abruzzo, near the ski slopes, where they produce amazing fresh ricotta and truffle which are of course used in the fillings.
Here in London is a different story. We sometimes buy supermarket ready fresh pasta, with sometimes odd fillings which would not find a place in an Italian pasta shop.. chicken, for example. Easy to prepare, quick to boil, they make up a basic, mid-week meal.
Giovanni Rana’s range
My first thought when I was asked if I wanted to try some of Giovanni Rana’s new range was ‘I don’t really like prepackaged pasta’. But I was curious, since the Rana brand is pretty big in Italy and yet claims to be still the same as it started, from a family shop in the beautiful historic town of Verona.
As someone I know told me, in Italy foodies would never admit to it, but they sure buy Rana for a meal at home, since it is way better than the average big name packet. Rana have also recently opened a restaurant here in London (which however I have not tried) where they host themed nights focusing on regional Italian food.
The founder Giovanni has been making pasta for 50 years and is still the figure head of the company, which has now launched all over the world and has achieved a big brand name. Not bad at all!
The first pasta I tried was from their everyday range ‘Simply Italian’: Tortelloni with fresh ricotta and spinach.
I used the basic but classic condiment of brown butter, fresh sage and grated parmesan, so we could fully taste the pasta itself. We found them very pleasant, and with a good, smooth filling which was as delicate as the pasta sheet but full of flavour.
The second pack was from their ‘Indulgence’ range, with Sunblushed tomatoes, mozzarella and olives. The range’s name might be a bit pushy, after all it is still a packet of pre – made pasta, yet the filling was a little out of the ordinary and had crunchy lovely black olives, sun dried tomatoes which added a little tartness and mozzarella which provided texture.
These were ravioloni and really lovely, they cook very quick and are so easy to plate up.
Rana’s pasta definitely make for a super quick and satisfying meal. If anything, I feel the portions are quite small and barely enough for two people if as a main course: I found myself wanting to eat more! The ingredients listed are mixed: from ricotta and mozzarella to the vaguely defined vegetable oils and vegetable fibre.
Retailing at £1.49 – £1.99 (in 2013 when this post was written, it is £3 in 2023 prices) they are in my opinion a better choice than the local super market version: more flavoursome, more delicate, with better fillings’ choice.
Thanks Wild Card PR for sending the complimentary samples. Opinions are my own.