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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

In its frozen state, the meal looks a little bit sci-fi, but all the components -- shrimp, carrots, broccoli, corn, and rotini -- come out loose, not in a big old frozen-together chunk. The rotini has good definition for frozen pasta, not too rigid, not flattened out. The rotini also appears to be pre-seasoned with the garlic-parsley Alfredoid sauce, while all the non-pasta components are noticeably larger than what you usually get in a frozen meal of this type -- the shrimp probably can't count on a gig at Brooklyn Fish Camp or anything, but "comparatively non-pathetic" is actually strong praise here. And it's not, like, three shrimp, a few carrot juliennes, and two florets of broccoli; it's about two parts non-pasta to three parts pasta, not a bad ratio.

The cooking instructions work. This is not always the case, especially when the cook in question lives in an apartment whose floors are tilted about five degrees (rice, for example, is simply impossible for me to cook evenly on the stove), but I don't have any problems, though I'd probably use a splash more water the next time. The meal is big coming out of the bag, but cooks down significantly; on the plus side, that indicates that the vegetables were frozen fresh, so they're shrinking down as a result. On the minus side, I come from Indiana farm people, so the package's assertion that what's in the pan makes 3.5 servings is kind of hilarious (I ate the whole thing).

It smells pretty good -- although my nose tells me that "garlic" actually means "garlic powder," and the ingredients list confirms it -- and even better, in eight and a half minutes, it's done.

The final product: better than "fine," for sure. Definitely above average, especially the vegetables, which are just cooked enough and still quite tasty. To my palate, it needs some pepper, but to my palate, just about everything needs some pepper -- I'd pepper my boyfriend if I could get him to hold still long enough -- so your mileage may vary.

It won't fool anyone that it's homemade, but overall, a solid B.

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