Ainsley Harriott Bake in the Box Sundried Tomato & Marscapone Pasta Bake

Close your eyes very tight. Think hard. Think even harder than that. Now, conjure up the naffest celebrity endorsed product you can think of. Have you got it? OK. Let me guess… is it it an Ainsley Harriott Bake in the Box Sundried Tomato & Marscapone Pasta Bake? Yes? I knew it!

Ainsley Pasta Box

In the pantheon of celeb endorsed food this really does appear to be a crap one and because of that I had to try it. I found this pasta bake in the B&M Bargains mentioned in last weeks blog I’ve never seen one before and perhaps that’s because the only outlet they have at the moment is B&M Bargain, but in time they could appear in a supermarket near you.

Ainsley Foil Packets

I ripped open the cardboard lid to find 2 silvery foil packages underneath. They looked like how I imagine space food or army rations to be, which didn’t inspire confidence. Space food/army rations are created out of a necessity to offer sustenance in difficult circumstances, and whilst Chadwick Rd, Peckham might not have a state of the art kitchen, it’s not Basra or the moon.

Anyway onto the cooking. First thing is to mix the marscapone/tomato powder with some boiling water and milk. Next job was to tip the farfalle into the cardboard box, pour over the milky powder concoction and bake for 15 minutes. Yes you read it right I was baking a cardboard box of pasta, milk and powder. After 15 mins I took it out, broke the browny red skin on the top, mixed it around and put it back in to finish off for another 10 minutes.

Ainsley Pasta Cooked

When it came out, it didn’t look too bad for cardboard box food, but it was hardly Alain Ducasse.  The only way I can describe it is that it’s like pasta cooked in cup-a-soup. I suppose that is a fair description because essentially that is what it was, with the added luxury of semi-skimmed milk.

The pasta tasted of pasta which was a relief. There was a hint of creaminess going on, but I would struggle to put that down to marscapone if it wasn’t for the box telling me. There was a tomato kind of flavour, but it was definitely a tomato that had been created in a factory rather than a tomato grown on the vine in some mediterranean idyll. It had that chemical quality to it which is better suited to a laboratory than coating your oesophagus.

The one advantage you tend to find with a product like this is that it’s quick, it’s convenient and you could have it at work for lunch. This one goes against all those principals. It takes half an hour,  you need an oven to make it and you could rustle up a far superior version yourself with fresh ingredients, in half the time. I can’t see where this would fit into anyones life.

Ainsley Harriott Bake in the Box Sundried Tomato & Marscapone Pasta Bake £ (can’t remember) for 120g


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16 Responses to Ainsley Harriott Bake in the Box Sundried Tomato & Marscapone Pasta Bake

  1. OldLag says:

    ‘…mix the marscapone/tomato powder with some boiling water and milk’ – I began to feel ill at this point. Ainsley, how you have fallen.

  2. I have one of these in the cupboard at work for dire-emergency situations (i.e there’s 3ft of snow and I can’t get home or even leave the office) I shall bin it and buy some beans, and Jacobs cream crackers.

  3. MDowler says:

    Sounds horrendous, I’m amazed it got so high as a three.

  4. Yes, I was worried when I read ‘tomato powder’. Frankly, you could do a pot noodle in 2 minutes with probably just as much taste and texture or, as you point out, put the 1/2 hr to better use making your own!

  5. Bad News, I left my lunch at home (& I can’t be bothered going out) and so I’m forced to open the dreaded: Ainsley Bake in the Box Spicy Tomato with Aubergine & Spinach Pasta Bake. its in the office oven as we speak, it smells OK, will report back in 30min or so, if I don’t you can assume the worst (I’m either dead, dying or on the way to the hospital for a stomach pump).

    wish me luck!

    • Ohh dear, I’ve decided that I CAN be bothered going out after all. One small taste and i have heartburn and acid indigestion, didn’t even know you could get both at the same time. For the sake of humanity please stop. Think I’ll nip round to Tesco for some Findus pancakes or Spag Ball.

      • Ha ha ha! Well done for giving it a go! Although I’m slightly concerned that your comments are funnier than my blog. I’m going to have to start writing things just to illicit comments from you!

      • thanks Michelin mircrowave, love your blog, its superb! As you know, my bake in the box lunch wasn’t up to Ainsley’s usual low standard, and since i had to go out a nipped into B&M stores. Ohh what a selection of nearly out of date celebrity endorsed foods that store stocks: I just walked around with my phone snapping pictures of the celebrity food stuff left right and centre. They had things such as your reviewed reggie reggie wrap kit (£1.49), Levi roots Caribbean Stew (£0.99), James Martin Sticky toffee pudding mix with a toffee sauce mix. (think it was £1.49 too). There was loads other stuff too and all nearly out of date.

      • JAMES MARTIN STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING MIX!!!!!!!! I did not know it existed! Which B&M is this? I want it!

      • Glasgow, Saracen Street, if you struggle to find it, let me know and I can post you 1 down. I took a photo of it, it looks really nice. i may need to go back and buy 1 and share it round the office.

        just let me know if you want me to post you 1. i look forward to your review.

  6. Pingback: Heston from Waitrose Smoked Barbecue Beef Ribs reviewed : In Search Of Heston

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