I know restaurants have opened again, and I absolutely love being back.
But sometimes, it’s all a little overwhelming.
This is where a meal kit comes in. Restaurant standard food delivered to your door, to enjoy whilst relaxing in your own home.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place in my heart for a takeaway. But I’ve had one too many cold Deliveroo burgers – so a cook at home meal is great for ensuring you’ll be eating your food piping hot.
New to the London scene over the last year or so are the pasta meal kit boxes.
The most famous of all, Pasta Evangelists, regularly offer sign up deals online – enticing customers with their free Negronis.
But hot on their heels are several other fresh pasta offerings, such as Nonna Tonda.
So I decided to put two of them head to head, to see who would be crowned king of the pastas.
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The Pasta – Opting for ‘Jersey royal Mezzelune with Stracotto beef’, it was immediately clear we were in for a treat. Not only were the ricotta-stuffed pasta parcels delicious, they were accompanied by a rich Ragù, which complimented it perfectly.
It felt really fancy, because not only did you have the depths of flavour in the sauce, the pasta itself was interesting as it was stuffed.
The Cooking – Extremely easy. You really do just have to boil the Mezzelune (ravioli like parcels), and then reheat the Stracotto with a little pasta water. Hint – don’t add 3 tsp of salt to the water like I did, it was a little overpowering.
The Packaging – This really stood out to me. A downside to meal kits, and modern food consumption generally, is its environmental impact. With Nonna Tonda, you could see there was real effort put into making sure there was the least amount of packaging possible, and that the plastic that was used was either biodegradable or compostable.
The Price – For the introductory meal, the price was 60 percent off. This took the price from £12.50 to just £5, for two people. For a fiver, this was exquisite. For £12.50 I’d still say it’s worth it – it definitely feels like you’re eating something special.
The Pasta – Here, we made a mistake, not realising the portions came in single servings. This I feel is partially down to the price. More on that later.
So instead of getting four portions total, we ended up with one portion of lobster, crab and squid ink ravioli, and one portion of Mafalade with beef shin and Barolo Ragù. Essentially, posh seafood ravioli, and a really nice Ragù.
The flavours were close to being on par with Nonna Tonda, and definitely felt authentically Italian too.
The Cooking – Due to the portion mix up, it was harder in that I had four pans to balance, rather than two. However, the method remained the same, and only required reheating.
The Extras – Included in Pasta Evangelists’ offer was a free charcuterie board, ingredients for two Malfy gin cocktails, and two portions of tiramisu. This definitely sweetened the deal.
The Price – Much pricier than Nonna Tonda, at £7 for the Ragù, and £11.50 for the lobster and crab ravioli. This brought it to a total of £18.50.
However, we did get lots of freebies for our first time, and picked a fancy fish dish, so we didn’t feel ripped off.
If it’s for a date night, I’d say Pasta Evangelists clinched the victory, for delivering a three-course full package for under £20.
However, if flavour is your priority – as it is mine – then Nonna Tonda is the real winner.
Introductory offers aside, two portions of their meal is £12.50 at full price. Comparing this to two portions of Pasta Evangelists’ Ragù at £14, you’re making a £1.50 saving, for a tastier item.
Plus, Nonna Tonda are actively making their product environmentally friendly, so extra points to them for this too.
Now to try the other four pasta meal kits, to find the ultimate pasta champion.
Have you tried any London meal kits? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comment section here.