Pasta LaBella brings you four new linguine flavors: pesto, tomato basil, lemon pepper and cracked black pepper. The 12-ounce packages of pasta were purchased at Smith's for $2.89 each.
Nihla Lake (married, two children at home): "We tested the basil and garlic linguine, serving it without sauce and sprinkling grated parmesan on it, as per label instructions. It was unanimous - we didn't care for the taste. Maybe it would have had a better chance if we had tried the recipe on the package. Also, because we didn't add olive oil as suggested in the preparation directions as it cooked, it lay in a sticky and lumpy mass in the pan. We fed it to Henry (the disposer)."Edyth Jensen (married, one daughter and two grandkids at home): "This mix of tomato and basil in a linguine is very interesting. To eat it plain as is suggested on the package seems rather bland, so we put it with Prego sauce and enjoyed it. We will be using it again."
Don Russell (married, five children at home, ages 6-16): "We found the cracked black pepper pasta variety to our liking. Yes, the pepper flavor is dominant and strong but it helped make a very flavorful pasta. I was fearful that our kids would find the pepper flavor too strong, but that wasn't the case. LaBella is a quality pasta that is worthy of trying. Many of their varieties sound fun to try."
Linda C. Tingey (single mother, two teenage boys at home): "I thought the LaBella lemon pepper pasta was a nice change from regular pasta. I served it with Alfredo sauce, and the sauce seemed to overpower the pasta flavor. This would be good with just butter on it. It doesn't have an overpowering flavor and the price is a little expensive compared to other pastas, so I probably won't buy it again."
Rich Firmage (married, four children, oldest 12 years old): "This flavored pasta is an interesting idea. I'm not sure I understand because the sauce is what I want to taste. Are you supposed to eat these noodles without sauce? My 21-month-old son wouldn't eat them, but he loves regular noodles. My wife said she could taste the basil. I have a cold so I couldn't taste at all. They cost too much to use very often. They might be good for a special occasion."
Bill Allred (single): "This lemon-pepper flavored pasta was very pungent; perhaps too strong. Jenne (the woman I am about to marry - I guess I might as well announce that fact here in the food tasting column) said that it tasted like Lemon Joy dishwashing detergent to her. It was very lemony, and I thought it was pretty good. But if you don't want your pasta overwhelming the rest of the ingredients, beware."
Conclusion: Looks like LaBella flavored pasta will be appreciated on special occasions and by adventuresome chefs. (And to Bill and Jenne: May you cook up years of happiness!)