Holy macaroni! Waitrose to sell frozen pasta that takes 30 SECONDS to cook as part of its ‘restaurant-style’ range
- Range hits Waitrose shelves tomorrow and can be ready in as little as 30 seconds
- Products were sold to restaurants, but Beroni will now market it to customers
- Brand director Patrick Finlay said it was time for people to enjoy it from home
For those in a hurry – or the very hungry – waiting even ten minutes for a bowl of delicious spaghetti can seem too long.
But now a meal can be on your plate in a matter of seconds, thanks to the launch of the UK’s first frozen fresh pasta.
The ‘restaurant-style’ range hits Waitrose shelves tomorrow and can be ready in as little as 30 seconds. Such products have long been sold to restaurants, but new British company Beroni will now market it directly to customers.
Brand director Patrick Finlay told The Mail on Sunday it was time for people to be able to enjoy it at home.
Faster pasta: Beroni’s quick-cook range will cost about £3 for a 1kg bag. The ‘restaurant-style’ range hits Waitrose shelves tomorrow and can be ready in as little as 30 seconds
‘We make our dough by mixing French durum wheat semolina with water,’ he said. ‘The fresh dough is shaped with Italian-made bronze die-cuts at a very high pressure to create very thick-walled, higher-quality pasta.
‘It’s then cooked al dente, cooled down and frozen immediately – and you’re left with fresh, frozen pasta. It’s absolutely perfect for families or anybody who’s busy.’
The pasta can be cooked at home in boiling water in only 30 seconds, microwaved for two minutes and 30 seconds, or else pan-fried in three minutes.
Mr Finlay said the inspiration came at the start of the pandemic when supermarket shelves were stripped bare by panic buying, with pasta one of the top four grocery items bought. At the start of lockdown last March, dried pasta sales grew 74 per cent compared to the previous year, according to Nielsen market data, while canned pasta was up 60 per cent.
‘We realised there was a gap in the market as it’s already sold to restaurants, so we thought, “Why not supermarkets?” ’ said Mr Finlay. ‘People pay for convenience. If you think about the past 50 years, it’s all about speed and convenience. We live in a world where you have frozen chips, grated cheese and microwavable rice – this is just another step in the evolution of our food.’
James Chiavarini, who owns Il Portico, one of London’s oldest family-run Italian restaurants, said it was very common for restaurants to buy fresh frozen pasta.
Such products have long been sold to restaurants, but new British company Beroni will now market it directly to customers (file photo)
‘We don’t do it because we make our own but I know of a lot of restaurants which do,’ he said. ‘It makes complete sense because making pasta from scratch is very labour-intensive.
‘But pasta actually freezes very well. Nowadays, with the blast freezers and chillers most kitchens have, the quality of frozen items is generally much higher than it ever has been. It will be nice to see a higher-quality pasta open to the mass market – it raises the tide for everybody.’
The pasta, which retails at about £3 for a 1kg bag, will be available in macaroni, penne and fusilli varieties. Hope Hurst, frozen food buyer for Waitrose, said: ‘We are excited to be the first supermarket to offer fresh frozen pasta.’
Seven out of ten Britons eat pasta at least once a week. A recent poll by YouGov found that corkscrew-shaped fusilli was the nation’s favourite, with 19 per cent of adults listing it as their go-to choice.
Spaghetti, which roughly translates from Italian as ‘thin string’, came a close second with 15 per cent of votes, while the short, wide penne tubes came third with 11 per cent. Perhaps surprisingly, macaroni came in last, gaining only four per cent of the 1,648 votes.
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