Top Chef
Rocco's Got A Brand New Bag: Taste-Testing Bertolli's Skillet Meals For Two

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Rocco's Got a Brand New Bag: Taste-Testing Bertolli's Skillet Meals for Two

Although the entire dish was again too salty for my taste, the sauce was fairly flavorful and had a modest amount of heat to warrant the "diavolo." Nutrition-wise, this was the dubious best of the bunch, topping out at a mere 410 calories per serving. However, the sodium content was still 1000+ mg per serving.

Both the Italian Sausage with Rigatoni and the Fettuccine Al-fraido came with wine pairing suggestions, which is a nice touch. However, I disagree that Chardonnay should be paired with the heart-stopping Fettuccine. No, with that you'd want to drink a big glass of -- wait, what varietal did they serve at the Last Supper again?

All in all, these meals aren't for me. They're definitely easy to prepare and their cooking instructions are only off by a few measly minutes, but their faked flavors just aren't worth the calories, fat, or sodium, and I'd much rather go for frozen Kashi meals or make my own stuff. Because even if you're using jarred tomato sauce (which I often do), at least you can control the seasonings and make sure you aren't getting stuffed with more chemically engineered preservatives than Rocco's hairline.

But you don't need to take my word for it; go out and Bertolli your own dinner. Just make sure you drink vats of water and have plenty of Pepto on hand for the recoil of this industrial seasoning-packed gut cannon.

Part II: Sars's Bird's-Eye View
It's difficult to disappoint me, frozen-entrée-wise. As a nationally ranked lazy, impatient spinster, I don't care nearly as much about flavor profiles when dinnertime rolls around as I do about the ability to prepare a large quantity of starchy food in under 10 minutes.

But it's difficult to impress me, too. I eat a lot of frozen food; most of it is…you know. Fine. Inoffensive, unmemorable, forgotten ten minutes after I put the plate in the sink. The only aspect of a given dish I tend to keep in mind is how involved it is to prepare, and if it's a whole procedure with the stirring and the two settings on the microwave and the weird silvery cardboard plate thingie under the pizza and I could have made a stir-fry from scratch in less time, it's not a brand I buy again.

I believe I grabbed a bag of Birds Eye Voila!™ Garlic Shrimp for that very reason -- the bag promised I'd have a healthy meal in 10 minutes. I don't know about "healthy," but the prep is a cinch: huck the contents into a covered frying pan, add a tablespoon of water, stir occasionally, wolf down at desk while answering emails. (That last part may not appear on the packaging.)

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