The cost of living crisis has led to a shocking rise in the price of pasta with some packs increasing by as much as 60 per cent.
Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics show that cupboard favorites such as oil, tea and pasta have taken off.
So with prices skyrocketing, is there still a way to tuck into meals and keep it cheap?
Laura Stott tries 500g of private label and low cost dried spaghetti to find the best value for money and rates it out of five.
Just Essentials, 28p
A REAL pound stretcher, switching to this 28p pack would be a real saving.
This spag has wheat flour added to durum wheat and semolina, which increases the starch in the cooking water slightly but makes no difference to the taste.
The fibers are fine so you feel that there is a lot to portion out on the plate.
Although they were a bit sticky once they came out of the pan, it didn’t affect the taste.
Watch the cooking time as I found 10-12 minutes to be too long.
On par with more expensive pasta and perfect for combating skyrocketing costs.
M&S Food, 85p
I WAS pleasantly surprised that the M&S spaghetti came in and cost less than some leading supermarkets as this is a quality pack of strings sourced from authentic pasta makers in the Italian Alps.
The dried product had a more intense yellow color than some others, but once cooked it lost the vibrant hue.
The strands held firm without becoming soggy and retained a nice bite for cooking “al dente” style.
Tasty with a fat sauce that clings to the threads, like a simple pesto.
Morrisons Savers, 30p
ANOTHER super thrifty spaghetti that does the job perfectly for a store cupboard staple, while keeping more of your pennies in your purse.
The strings were a bit soft and quite fine, but there were no complaints from me about using it for everyday cooking.
It would be lovely with a carbonara sauce to mop up all the juices.
Watch the cooking time though, as the 10-12 minutes recommended on the package seems a bit too long for the pasta to be in the boiling water.
A PERFECTLY sized bowl of spaghetti that I would be more than happy to eat again.
But this is not a pasta to get particularly passionate or excited about.
These threads do the stomach-filler job, but were quite thin and weak, and a bit tasteless.
Once you cover them in sauce, there’s nothing to complain about when you whip up a simple bowl of spag bol.
But considering the price is higher than others, I had hoped for better.
Cucina, 75 p
THERE are good ingredients in this very own Aldi staple – simply durum wheat, semolina and water.
The threads are extremely fine so you get lots of servings out of one package, although it does make the spaghetti a bit thinner on the fork.
Not the best for spinning, and I would avoid creamier or very robust sauces with these delicate threads.
But I’d have no problem keeping a pack of this in the cupboard as an everyday staple.
It’s a shame the price isn’t as budget as some others.
Hearty Food Co, 23p,
THE lowest price tag of any pasta I’ve tried.
At 23p a pack, this is a whopping quarter of the price of some other supermarket spags.
Unbeatable value for money and makes a quality bowl of pasta too.
Once smothered in a tasty, punchy sauce, there’s hardly any difference between this and the more expensive offerings, so it’s well worth trying a change.
It only loses a point because the cooking instructions leave the thinner fibers slightly soggy.
Reducing the pan time would probably help.
Lidl Baresa, 69p,
A BEAUTIFUL bowl of pasta!
This is a premium spaghetti that may not be the lowest priced, but still cheaper than many others – and the taste and quality were outstanding.
Perfect golden threads cooked to the perfect “al dente” – firm and slightly chewy – with a delicious, nutty authentic taste.
I would happily eat a bowl of this spaghetti with nothing more than a little olive oil and a twist of black pepper topped with some cheese.
Not the cheapest overall, but in terms of quality for the money, it’s a great price.
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