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Italian
Bag of Trader Giotto's Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
Bowl of Trader Giotto's Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
Trader Giotto's Gnocchi alla Sorrentina cooked

My boyfriend doesn't like pasta as much as I do, but he does like gnocchi, so we decided to try some of Trader Joe's frozen Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (Sorrento style). I've never had gnocchi before so I don't know what "real" gnocchi is like.

The frozen gnocchi came with the little frozen discs of sauce that often come with Trader Joe's frozen pastas. Following the cooking instructions on the bag, we microwaved the gnocchi for 4 minutes, stirred, and microwaved it for another 3 minutes.

The gnocchi was a little on the doughy / chewy side. My boyfriend said it was softer than gnocchi he has had in the past, and he thought that it seemed a little overdone and that we maybe should have microwaved it for less time.

The sauce the gnocchi was in was a standard tomato and cheese sauce. I liked that the sauce was more savory and didn't have any weird, sweet or tangy taste. The sauce was also a good consistency and wasn't watered down. The gnocchi, tomato sauce, and cheese went pretty well together.

Overall Rating:
Good
Food: Trader Giotto's Gnocchi alla Sorrentina with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese
Source: Trader Joe's, Tucson, AZ
Rating: Good
from Trader Joes

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Bag of Penne all'Arrabbiata from Whole Foods
Penne all'Arrabbiata from Whole Foods

My boyfriend's parents had bought some Chickenless Crispy Tenders from Trader Joe's so I ended up trying some of them.

My boyfriend's mom bought some frozen Penne all'Arrabbiata from Whole Foods. Similar to Trader Joe's Penne Arrabbiata, the pasta comes combined with the sauce, and it's easy to follow the microwave instructions.

The penne pasta was a little hard and on the al dente side. The sauce was a little on the sweet side for me, and it had a garlic-y taste.

It was OK overall, but I still prefer Trader Joe's Penne Arrabbiata to this one.

Overall Rating:
OK
Food: Penne all'Arrabbiata
Source: Whole Foods, Tucson, AZ
Rating: OK

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Box of Kirkland Signature Italian Sausage & Beef Lasagna from Costco
Plate of Kirkland Signature Italian Sausage & Beef Lasagna

Costco's Kirkland Signature Sausage & Beef Lasagna comes in two separate packages of three pound lasagna (six pounds total). My boyfriend and I warmed up one package following the microwave instructions, since the microwave takes ~30 minutes (instead of 65 minutes via coventional oven).

Kirkland Signature Italian Sausage & Beef Lasagna
Cooked Kirkland Signature Sausage & Beef Lasagna from Costco

It came out pretty well using the microwave instructions. This was a very standard lasagna and had three layers of lasagna noodles. I liked that the noodles were thick, and I liked the mozzarella cheese on top. I'm not a fan of ricotta cheese so the ricotta inside started getting annoying after my first piece. Luckily, the ricotta was easy enough to scrape off. The lasagna could also use more sausage; it looked like the sausage was only on the top layer.

The sauce was a little sweet, but the meat helped give it a more savory flavor so it tasted like a pretty decent commercial tomato sauce. Together, the two of us ate about half the lasagna in one sitting.

Update: We tried baking this in the oven to see if it made much difference, and the lasagna did seem to taste better and have a better texture using a conventional oven. So, a microwave still does well, but a conventional oven does even better!

Overall Rating:
Good
Food: Kirkland Signature All Natural Italian Sausage & Beef Lasagna
Source: Costco, Tucson, AZ
Rating (with ricotta scraped off & baked in oven): Delicious
Rating (with ricotta scraped off & microwaved): Good
Rating (with ricotta): OK

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