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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Lean Cuisine and Amy's Filled Pastas

Butternut Squash Ravioli, Three Cheese Stuffed Rigatoni, and Pesto Tortellini

Butternut Squash RavioliOne of our visitors to the Dr. Gourmet web site wrote in to talk about how much she loved the Lean Cuisine Butternut Squash Ravioli. I haven’t had a chance to get around to purchasing it for review until now. The happy news is that the results are pretty good.

The ravioli looked promising after heating. Plump and firm in appearance, they cut well and are filled with a nice butternut squash puree that’s lightly seasoned. The pasta is slightly soft - it would have been better if just a bit more al dente. This is accompanied by a lot of crisp veggies including sugar snap peas, carrots, peas and yellow squash. They have a great texture and all of this is folded into a light cream sauce. While it is a little higher in calories at 350 calories and 9 grams of fat, there is 6 grams of fiber overall, so this is a good choice.

Usually when we review Lean Cuisine products it turns out that one is good and the other not so hot. This week we win with two pretty good choices. I selected the Three Cheese Stuffed Rigatoni (figuring a stuffed pasta theme). The pasta is better than the ravioli, being much more firm. It’s stuffed with a light cheese filling and also paired with a lot of veggies, but in this case they’re zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers and carrots. As usual with frozen meals the tomato sauce is a bit sweet, but there’s nice chunks of tomato throughout.

TortelliniIt was surprising that this comes in at 240 calories and only 6 grams of fat. As usual the sodium is a bit higher at 660 mg in a serving, but there’s a fair amount of fiber at 4 grams. Another good choice for your refrigerator stock from the folks at Lean Cuisine.

Continuing the filled pasta theme, we also tasted the Amy’s Pesto Tortellini. I am seldom disappointed in Amy’s products, but this one is pretty bad. Not only does it have twice the calories, over twice the fat, and half the fiber as the Lean Cuisine Rigatoni, it quite simply has no flavor. Bland, bland, bland. One taster described this as “green, gummy, glop.”

I do love your ideas and hope that you’ll keep them coming. Thanks! I might take a little while but we’ll get to your suggestions in time.

Reviewed: March 21, 2008