Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bitter Bertolli Face.

Did you ever see those beer commercials with the tag line of "Don't have bitter beer face!"?  When it comes to Bertolli's Rustico Bakes or Al Dente microwave pasta meals, I get bitter Bertolli face.  Even though I do not like Bertolli's Meal or Soup for Two (available in frozen section of supermarket), I had two $1.50 coupons for the new microwave meals, so decided to give them a try; one Rustico Bakes and one Al Dente.  I should have known, from not liking their frozen bagged meals, that these new ones wouldn't stand up to taste either, but I had to find out for myself.

Lets begin with Rustico Bakes - Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni; the portion is generous (3 cannelloni); however the taste and texture are severely lacking.  The cannelloni pasta is undercooked; it is not al dente ("to the tooth"), but more like too starchy and sticking to the teeth.  The ricotta cheese filling is smooth and tasty,  but are those flakes spinach?  I could not tell as they are so small and flavorless; I could not tell the difference between them and the herbal flakes in the sauce.  The Alfredo sauce I do not understand for this dish; white on white sauce; cheese sauce flavoring a cheese filling, and very garlicky.  The petite diced tomatoes are what really killed the meal; they were so bitter that I couldn't help but make that "yuck!" face.

Bertolli Rustico Bakes - Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni

Now comes Al Dente - Chicken Chardonnay and Penne; a generous portion of penne pasta cooked perfectly this time; sadly that is all that is right with this meal.  The chicken looks like two chicken nuggets that were cut in half, giving you four total pieces.  The breading was bland, the chicken meat was dry and stringyThe sauce was very bitter and tasted heavily of wine; again with the bitter tomatoes.   After giving it a good 3 forkfuls of testing, into the trash it went; so I may have saved with the coupons, but I still ended up wasting money on both meals.

Bertolli Al Dente - Chicken Chardonnay and Penne


Bertolii might consider their products an example of fine and classic Italian cuisine, but they are way off the mark. Save yourself the money and either go to a real Italian restaurant or learn to make it from scratch.

Mary Cokenour


  1. Hello, Mary. That's too bad about the Bertolli dinners. Since they sponsor Top Chef so generously, I thought they would at least have a quality product. Also, I may be inexperienced at classic Italian cuisine, but do tomatoes belong in Alfredo? I haven't seen that combination before.

    1. You're correct Belinda, tomatoes should not be in an Alfredo dish. Perhaps Bertolli gives so generously to Top Chef because they are hoping to gain one of the chefs to improve their own products?