Since I have been back at work, the children have been going to after school club. When I collect them they are always so hungry that it is a bit of a challenge to get their dinner in front of them in the shortest possible time. One of the downsides of gluten free pasta is that it seems to have slightly longer cooking time than ‘normal’ pasta, and apart from the very expensive and not always available GF ‘Bob the Builder’ pasta, I have never discovered any ‘quick cook’ pasta – until this week.
I was in my local Waitrose, lurking around the chiller aisle trying to decide what to make for dinner. I decide to grab some garlic bread and that is when I spotted the Dell’ Ugo gluten free penne, sitting with all the other fresh pasta. Without thinking, or looking at the price I threw it in my trolley and headed to the checkout. Dinner sorted.
I had a sauce that I had prepared earlier, so heated that up, cooked the pasta, the normal way, and in minutes dinner was served. The children loved it. They have always liked ‘tube pasta’ as they call penne and I gave it a try and can vouch for the taste and texture – it was probably the nicest GF pasta I have ever tried.
As I couldn’t remember the price, I thought I would just to a quick search online to see if I could find out the ‘story’, the price, and where it is being sold. I found this article in The Grocer.
Apparently, it is just Waitrose who are selling it at the moment. The bags serve two (adults), so we will get another meal out of ours. The RRP is £1.79, with an introductory offer of 99p. Bargain.
According to the packaging it is made from rice and maize. As most gluten free pastas are. This is quite a coup for Dell’ Ugo, because although other brands, most recently Heinz, are getting in on the dried gluten free pasta area, this is the first fresh GF pasta to market. According to The Grocer article, the UK gluten free market is worth £140m now and saw 23% year on year growth – Kantar Worldpanel October 2012. So you can see why any ‘normal’ food producers are wanting a piece of the action.
But as with Warburtons, there is a personal and ironic side to this story – a member of the family is intolerant to wheat. So Dell’ Ugo have done this because they understand the need, as much as can see the potential profit. I don’t really mind what anyone’s motivations are – I was just thrilled to see a new and exciting product, that is quick and easy to cook and tastes delicious. If only there were so many innovations in the dairy free food area….