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Read our review of a fresh pasta recipe box from Pasta Evangelists to see if a delivery is worth the price
Pasta Evangelists bills itself as the original fresh pasta recipe box. Aiming to recreate a restaurant pasta experience at home, it delivers everything you need to make a top-quality pasta dish that's ready in minutes. There's also a focus on regionality, with recipes from across different areas of Italy that explore specialist shapes and styles.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
There are over 15 pasta recipes to choose from each week, plus a couple of side dishes and dessert options. You can filter by ‘meat & fish’, ‘free-from’ and ‘vegetarian’ options and can view four weeks at a time if you’re planning ahead. Each week, there are approximately six ‘limited range’ specials, plus classics that tend to be consistently offered, such as the 'Carbonara of Dreams', pesto pasta and lasagne. Menus also change seasonally. Looking ahead at the four weeks of menus, we noticed that even the limited range specials do tend to reappear regularly.
The recipes all include detailed descriptions of the regional origins and ingredients, which makes for interesting reading – particularly when it comes to less familiar pasta shapes that you don’t always see in the supermarket.
The dishes are priced individually, from approximately £7-11 per portion. We feel this makes sense, depending on the cost of ingredients. For example, rigatoni with tomato sauce is at the cheaper end of the scale at £7 per portion, whereas the more luxurious lobster, crab & prawn tortelloni with samphire is £10.50 per portion. This means you can flex your budget depending on what recipes you want to try. Prices are for one, but decrease by approximately 50p-£1 per portion when you choose a double portion to serve two.
Pasta Evangelists is on the more indulgent side, as health is not the main focus. It is inevitable when delivering large bowls of pasta that the calories may add up, particularly as many recipes include butter, cheese or creamy sauces. However, all recipes list the nutrition when browsing, so you can choose options to suit you.
In terms of dietary requirements, during the week we browsed the categories, there were 22 pastas to choose from and nine were vegetarian, two vegan and two gluten-free.
There is a minimum order spend of £10 from each menu per delivery. Depending on the recipe chosen, this could be as little as one recipe. Beyond this, there is no strict limit on the amount of recipes you can choose, so you can add as many or as few as you like.
The pasta arrives in sleek cardboard boxes that can fit through a letterbox. The ice packs keep your delivery cool, and while these cannot currently be recycled, they can be frozen again and reused. Inside, there's a small element of plastic (such as the ragu sauce that comes in a plastic sachet, or the plastic tubs of parmesan), but this is very minimal. The raviolis we received were placed on paper in the cardboard boxes, with a firm mound of piped butter ready to go alongside. We also appreciated that there were clear freezing instructions. Eaten fresh, most recipes should be cooked in one to two days, but you can also freeze to get ahead and cook from frozen later.
Each Pasta Evangelists box contains everything you need for your recipe. We chose three recipes and received three slim boxes. The recipes come with everything you need: usually a fresh pasta shape, sauce and garnish.
Pasta Evangelists delivers nationwide seven days a week, including to the Channel Islands and Hebrides. Order by 2pm for next day delivery. If you’re not going to be home for delivery, you can leave 'safe place' instructions on your order.
Prices are a couple of pounds cheaper than what you could expect to pay in a restaurant. The value for money varies depending on which recipes you choose. For example, £7 for a portion of rigatoni with tomato & mascarpone sauce may feel relatively expensive, considering what it would cost to cook this from scratch or with a shop-bought sauce. However, when you select more labour-intensive recipes or those with pricier ingredients, the value for money feels good, particularly with recipes involving meat or seafood.
It’s also worth taking into account the work involved. Unlike recipe boxes where you get the raw ingredients, everything here is done for you, often with intricate handcrafted pasta or complex sauces included. Pasta Evangelists therefore acts almost more like a restaurant delivery service, hence the higher prices.
All the recipes are incredibly easy to make; ours were ready in less than 10 minutes. The majority of recipes on offer are roughly this quick to make, though a couple (such as the lasagne) require 20 minutes in the oven. All three recipes we tried only required boiling the pasta and reheating the sauce, then combining the two.
There is no food waste – the recipes are portioned for exact meals, so you receive the quantity of pasta and sauce needed for each meal – there should not be anything leftover.
We were very impressed by the quality of the finished recipes; they live up to the ‘restaurant-quality’ claim. We liked the extra touches, such as tubs of parmesan with each pasta.
The stand-out recipe we chose was the lobster, crab & prawn tortelloni, made with striking black squid ink pasta. We often reach for a packet of spinach and ricotta tortellini in the supermarket, but this took that up several notches. Served with samphire (which was boiled with the pasta) and a fresh, lemony butter, this was no ordinary lunch. Samphire is rarely found in the supermarkets, so it was great to try something different.
We also tried a sausage ragu, which was good, but had a slightly more ‘ready-meal’ feel. But it did contain nicely herby sausagemeat. A double portion of butternut squash raviolini with fragrant sage butter was a good veggie option. All portions were generous, well-seasoned and felt fresh.
Recipes are available as either a single or double portion, to serve one or two people. But, you can add as many recipes as you like or need to your delivery. For example, if you were serving four people, you could add two double portions.
All we needed for all our recipes was a maximum of two pans: one to boil pasta and another to reheat sauce.
The fact that the dishes are easy to freeze means they would be great to have on standby for busy professionals or new parents. If you’re not a confident cook but want to have an impressive night in, Pasta Evangelists is a very simple option.
If you love pasta but are stuck in a bit of pesto or carbonara rut, Pasta Evangelists is a great way to try something new. It is incredibly simple and you can have a luxurious bowl of pasta on the table in minutes.
You can order as a one-off or start a Pasta Plan to have boxes delivered weekly, fortnightly or monthly. This can be cancelled at any time and paused (no further orders planned) or skipped (for one specific delivery) if you are going to be away.
Ease of cooking: 5/5
Quality of the finished recipes: 4.5/5
Quality of ingredients: 4/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
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