I was sent some vouchers by Tesco to try out some of their new "Family Favourites", big servings of classic meals that can require little effort to cook and will easily feed a family of four. These sounded right up my street, as although I cook the majority of meals from (mostly) scratch, there are evenings where I just don't have the time or energy to whip up a nutritious meal. So I was more than willing to pick up a couple of these meals, and they certainly look the part. The packs are massive, weighing between 1-1.5kg, and there's a nice variety of dishes to choose from.
Pasta is a good go to food for my family, so I grabbed this chicken & tomato pasta bake to feed my ravenous younglings. Preparation is easy, just take off the cardboard, poke a few holes, and whack it in the oven for 40 minutes. When the time was up, I was greeted with a nice looking pasta bake, the picture on the box is actually pretty spot on. The pasta is large and plentiful, and certainly filling, although is was perhaps a little too soft for my liking. The tomato sauce is great, not too bold, but adding flavour to every bite, with a good coverage throughout the tray. The chicken is perhaps the worst element, it's a bit rubbery, and clearly not of the utmost quality, but it does do the trick for this meal, adding a nice meaty texture, and there's a lot of it to go around. The mozzarella, on the other hand, is a little sparse, but there's definitely a nice bit of cheesiness throughout the dish.
Perhaps the most telling thing is that my kids ate this up with no complaints. They're fussy at the best of times, especially when sauce is concerned, so it was nice to see they're willing to wolf down one of these ready meals on a particularly busy day. It's full of good stuff, and the meat may not be of the best quality, this certainly made for a nice dinner. These meals are definitely something I wouldn't mind grabbing for when I'm in a hurry.
My rating: 4/5