Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fall Zucchette Pasta

Sometimes Trader Joe’s comes out with products that are PRETTY.  But pretty doesn’t always equate to YUMMY.  Well, this Autumnal Butternut Squash Pasta was pretty in the bag, so I decided to cook some up and see if it was also delicious.  

Here's the bag 
Here is what we thought:

David: “It’s not bad.  It has an interesting, playful shape.  The taste is pretty good.  There is a lot of pasta in each pasta “nodule”, so it could do with a lot of sauce on it.  Yeah.  Ummm.  It’s, ummm…  It won’t hurt you to mix up your pasta routine and give this one a shot.  I give it a 3.75”

Looks like David liked it better on the PLATE than he did in the BAG.  
Susan:  Confession time; to me, really, all shapes of pasta normally taste the same.  I mean, a shape is a shape, but pasta is pasta.  I guess it is the same concept as TACO BELL – everything on their menu is made out of the same ingredients and it all tastes that same, it is just in different SHAPES.  The Taco Bell prices vary a bit per item, but basically, all of their crap is the same, right?  That’s how I feel about pasta shapes. 

Anyway, this Trader Joe’s Autumnal Butternut Squash Pasta has an adorable little shape.  I personally think it looks more like PUMPKINs than squash.  If you have ever shopped at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, this pasta looks like something they would have in their food sections.  And to be honest, their food sections always make me hesitant…  I check expiration dates there, because I get the feeling like their gourmet food items have been sitting on another store’s shelves and didn’t get sold, so they got shipped to Marshalls/TJ Maxx.  That is what this pasta LOOKS like – the gourmet section at Marshalls/TJ Maxx. 

As for TASTE – this pasta has a nice taste.  And it does not taste ultra SQUASH-Y, either, which is good.   

It has an interesting TEXTURE.  It has a good “bite” to it.  I think this is the largest size pasta I have ever had, except for rigatoni maybe.  We had to cook it longer than the package said because when the timer went off it was SUPER underdone.   While I was in line at Trader Joe’s one evening I had a conversation with a woman and noticed she was picking this pasta up.  She hadn’t had it before either and she guessed it was one you needed to be careful not to overcook.  Turns out you need to be careful of the opposite problem J .  One note:  draining this pasta is bizarre because each little butternut shape is essentially a tiny pumpkin shaped “bucket” holding water. 

Some of the lil pumpkins got a bit busted the first time we cooked this.
Sorry, not as pretty on the plate as the second time.
I was a tad concerned about sauce and worried which one to pair dish this with.  We ended up serving it with Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce and that was a good compliment.  I also served it with baby portabella mushrooms cooked in pumpkin seed oil, with a side of fresh broccoli and a lovely beet/blue cheese salad.  

After our experience with TJ’s Black Bean Rotini (which got a horrible review here:  Black Bean Rotini Review ), I was a little nervous to get back on the horse and try another bizarre pasta.  I worried this one might taste freaky, but it doesn’t. 

Overall, this is a cute pasta and is good to have once or twice during the crisp Autumn season.  It looks and tastes very fall-like. 

I give this product a rating of 4. 

Price:  $1.99 (cheap for a fancy shape pasta)

Rating:  4  


  1. Fear not about the gourmet section at TJ Maxx:

    1. THANK YOU for posting that!!! Seriously, I am excited about shopping at the TJ Maxx gourmet store now! It has always kind of weirded me out, wondering where it all came from and mostly, how OLD it was. But now I know it is a TREASURE HUNT!! Thanks!