Quick-fix pasta is parents' pal

RUSH-HOUR REMEDIES

October 10, 2001|By Joanne E. Morvay

Item: Ragu Express!

What you get: 6 single servings

Cost: About $4

Nutritional content: Classic Meat flavor - 200 calories, 3 grams fat, 0.5 gram saturated fat, 580 milligrams sodium, 36 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams sugars

Preparation time: 3 1/2 minutes in microwave

Review: I'm a big fan of the trend toward individual servings of pasta made for the microwave. For parents of young children, these products offer the convenience of being able to cook a small portion of a dish quickly. For parents of older kids, it means not necessarily having to be involved in the cooking process at all. We tried the Classic Meat flavor of Ragu Express! with great results. The pasta cooked al dente. The tomato-based sauce - and it is real sauce, not some dried version you reconstitute with water - had a true meat flavor. According to the company's Web site, Ragu is targeting the Express line to kids and their busy parents, which probably explains the Sweet Tomato and Garlic flavor, more likely to appeal to an adult palate.

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