Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mama Cozzi's 16" Spinach and Feta Extra Large Thin Crust Take and Bake Pizza (Aldi)

A nice change of pace from Aldi's normal take and bake options.
This story starts off the way it usually does:  The wife and I at Aldi, looking for something to eat for dinner.  We were about to settle for a frozen pizza, or (gasp) hot dogs, when I remembered seeing an ad for a spinach and feta take and bake pizza in a recent Aldi ad.  We were there a few days before the ad took effect, so I wasn’t sure if they’d have it, but thankfully they did!  Great.

Mama Cozzi’s take and bake pizzas do not have much of a history of disappointing us, and this one continues in that trend.  The spinach is good, and the mozzarella cheese that tops it off tastes even better than usual.  But what really shined, at least for me, is the feta cheese--I couldn’t get enough of it.  I’m tempted to say that I didn’t feel like there was a substantial amount of feta on this pizza, but I don’t know if that’s the truth, or if there was actually plenty, and I just wanted more.  Either way, it was a perfect, and inspired, addition.

I think my biggest gripe is that this pizza actually used tomato sauce.  While it still tasted really good, and combined well with the ingredients, I still feel like this could have benefited from a different kind of sauce, though one I can’t quite put my fingers on.  Perhaps pesto, or a garlic cream?  Or maybe no sauce at all?  I’m just thinking aloud, but I was expecting a lighter sauce to allow the spinach and feta to stand out even more.

I also wish more of Mama Cozzi’s take and bake pizzas were available in thin crust versions, like this one is.  While they admittedly don’t feel to me like they’re quite as filling (I mean, they have at least a third less crust), the cracker-thin crust cooks up crisp much quicker than those with traditional crusts, and there’s just something about it that makes it more appetizing to me.  I’m not saying get rid of the thicker crusts altogether, but maybe rotating between the two would please fans of both kinds of crusts.

Still, this is a welcome change from Mama Cozzi’s typical take and bake fare, which tend to feature meats of some kind.  While I’m not at all opposed to meat on a pizza, I definitely appreciated just how much flavor could be packed into one without it; this is every bit as flavorful as most take and bakes I’ve had, and though it’s not without its flaws, it still deserves recommendation.

Overall: 7.5/10.  This was a welcome change from Mama Cozzi’s usual pizzas, which always seem to feature meat of some kind.  Here, we have spinach and feta with mozzarella cheese, in a tomato-based pizza sauce.  That’s it, and it’s actually kind of refreshing.  The spinach and cheese are really good, and the feta is top notch…I just wish there were bigger chunks, as the taste seems to get lost in the other ingredients.  I also think the combination could have been better without a typical pizza sauce, instead substituting a garlic cream, or perhaps even a pesto of some kind.  Despite those quibbles, this is a great pizza, and one you should definitely pick up.

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