[ Currently Eating: Knorr Alfredo Pasta ]
This is the other Knorr® – Lipton® Sides Made With Whole Grains package that I got in the mail. They call it Alfredo, but we all know it’s just creamy instant pasta.
Our earlier review of Knorr Sesame Chicken Rice Sides was fairly positive, whole grains and all, so I was expecting this to be at least decent for this type of side dish. Actually, I was hoping to belt out their glorious tagline “Life just got more delicious!” right after tasting it. Or something.
I haven’t had such a good experience from Pasta Alfredo in general, even those dishes that are homemade or restaurant quality. I think one of my first introductions to Alfredo was at Olive Garden. A decidedly unauspicious place to first get a plate of Alfredo Pasta… I don’t know if they’ve improved but I remember that pasta being pretty lifeless. And salty.
But the heart of the problem seems to be my low tolerance for an excess of cream and cheese in pasta. I’m not THAT lactose intolerant, but I just can’t seem to stomach the joyful slatherings that occur in every so-called Alfredo Pasta that I’ve eaten. In fact, the boil-in-a box ones seem to be less disturbing to my system at times.
Another issue with pasta of this type is the “Clumping Factor” which occurs when the creamy, buttery sauce starts to solidify with the excess starch from the pasta. They aren’t messing around when they say “serve immediately”. You’ve got to be a quick eater to fully enjoy it, although I suspect handmade noodles might fare better in a time test. I think you’ve got about 30 minutes to gulp the mess down usually, though it’s been awhile since I’ve had any Alfredo besides this package.
Anyhow, here’s the review.
These Knorr-Lipton Rice and Pasta sides come in a foil bag that you just rip open and dump straight into the mix. As I said earlier, the design is OK. Boy, the alfredo on the package picture sure looks delicious. It’s almost like they’ve coated every single noodle by hand with the sauce… I have no idea how they got it to look like that. I see they have some salad in the picture background for color… it definitely needs it because the noodles look a bit lonely. But hey, that’s why it’s a SIDE dish.
I put the required additions into a pot: 1-1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup milk, and 1 tbsp butter. Then I boiled it and dumped in the bag. They said to cook it uncovered for 10 minutes over medium heat until it was tender, stirring occasionally. Try stirring near constantly instead! At about 3 minutes I had to turn the fire down to low, and keep stirring it for fear of it burning. I actually went 7 minutes total instead of 10, but that’s OK because I like the noodles al dente.
Also, they say to let it sit for 3 minutes but I’d basically put it in your serving dish right away due to the coagulation issues. The sooner it gets eaten, the better.
Appearance and Texture:
The biggest issue is of course the glue-like consistency of the dish, but I had other problems with the sauce as well. I couldn’t get it to coat the noodles anywhere near like the picture. Maybe that’s dumb of me to expect it to look like it but I did try. Mixing it well seemed to help, though that broke up the noodles a bit.
Those fettucini noodles are extremely flat, although they are the right shape for alfredo. They are so flat they’re almost like paper or something. Also they are quite a bit shorter, though that wasn’t a big issue.
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