Sunday, July 12, 2015

At ShopRite is Paramus, best value in pasta isn't from Mario Batali

On Friday at the ShopRite in Paramus, a 1-pound box of Mario Batali Pasta was on sale for $1.29, above, compared to $2.99 in January, below. Still, this normally overpriced conventional pasta from a celebrity chef isn't the best value in the supermarket's pasta-and-sauce aisle. Maybe, the store will try giving it away next.


If you haven't tried the 100% organic whole wheat pastas available at ShopRite, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's, you're missing out on a bargain that delivers more nutrition.

At the ShopRite in Paramus on Friday, a 1-pound box of Mario Batali Penne Rigate Pasta had a bargain-basement price of $1.29, compared to $2.99 in January. 

But on a lower shelf, 1-pound packages of Luigi Vitelli Organic Whole Wheat Linguine, Spaghetti and other shapes were only $1.25 each.

Chef Mario Batali claims his bronze-extruded pasta offers "better taste and texture," but organic whole wheat pasta has more fiber than this and other conventionally grown brands. 

Both the Mario Batali and Luigi Vitelli brands are imported from Italy.

For $5, I bought four 1-pound packages of Luigi Vitelli Organic Whole Wheat Capellini, the thinnest.

Cooking times

This pasta cooks up al dente in unsalted water in exactly 3 minutes, has a nutty taste and feels no different in your mouth than conventional capellini.

Luigi Vitelli is made from 100% organic whole wheat durum wheat semolina, and cooking times on the packages are reliable.

Trader Joe's Organic Whole Wheat Pasta is $1.39 a pound, and at Whole Foods Market, a 1-pound box of Organic Whole Wheat Shells from Italy, a shape no other store has, is $1.49.

But the shells cook up al dente in 10 minutes, not the 14 minutes to 15 minutes listed on the box. 

The shells "catch" whatever sauce your using, from pesto to oil with chopped fresh garlic to marinara.

I eat only whole wheat pastas now, and they are a great stand-in for bread on my no-bread, no pizza diet.

Peaches, blueberries

Also on Friday, I bought Tree Ripe Peaches from California for 99 cents a pound, and six pints of Diamond-brand Blueberries from Hammonton, N.J., for $6.99 or $2 off.

Six pints of Diamond Blues are the equivalent of about 4 pounds of berries.

I like to eat them by themselves after dinner or in the morning, with the no-fat Greek Yogurt and a little Organic Agave Syrup available at Costco Wholesale.

Luigi Vitelli Organic Whole Wheat Pasta from Italy is usually "on sale" year-round at the Paramus ShopRite.

Sweet potatoes are another great bread substitute, baked or mashed with extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings, including sea salt, curry powder, cinnamon, tumeric powder and black pepper. A 3-pound bag of Top Crop Sweet Potatoes from Hammonton, N.J., are $2.99 at the ShopRite in Paramus, but you can usually find a bag that weighs more. On Friday, I bought one that weighed just over 4 pounds.

For breakfast on Saturday, I paired an egg-white omelet stuffed with smoked wild salmon, reduced-fat Swiss Cheese, Whole Foods Market Organic Salsa and za'atar thyme mixture with a baked sweet potato.

Summer Can Can Sale

ShopRite's Summer Can Can Sale starts today, but the flier I got with the newspaper doesn't hold much promise.

You have to clip a coupon to get three 24-packs of Poland Spring Water for $10, and spend $10 on other items, but that is a better price per ounce than at Costco Wholesale.

Liter bottles of Adirondack Seltzer are 40 cents each, and the Can Can Sale is usually when I stock up on the calorie- and sugar-free beverage.

1 comment:

  1. From Max Viola at Pearl Restaurant in Ridgewood:

    The 2nd dining room at Pearl Restaurant has been redecorated. Wall art is by Jack Laroux and can be seen on our Facebook page, but to really appreciate the art it must be seen in person.

    Nonna Carmela’s tip of the week: Do not use oil in the water when boiling pasta: it will keep the sauce from sticking to the cooked pasta.

    Remember Sunday through Thursday Pearl Restaurant offers a 3 Course Prix Fixe Menu for $25.95 per person. The Prix Fixe Menu includes an appetizer (or soup), an entrée, and a house made dessert.


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