Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mama Cozzi's Italian Style Classics Meatball Marinara Frozen Pizza (Aldi)

Perfect for that person that ever thought: "If only there were a couple meatballs on this here cheese pizza."
I really don’t know what pulled me into Mama Cozzi’s Meatball Marinara pizza.  Sure, I love meatballs, but I’ve never really been a fan of them on pizza.  Yet for some reason, from the first time I laid eyes on this, I knew I was going to buy it at some point.  I waited for it in the hopes that it would go on sale, but when it didn’t, and the supply was starting to dwindle, I finally just said “forget it” and grabbed one for a night my vegetarian wife was working late.

Right out of the box, and not even out of the plastic yet, I hit a couple of red flags: 1.) the crust is rather large, which was a turn-off on their chicken parmesan pizza, and 2.) there aren’t a lot of meatball pieces at all.  To make matters even worse, about 50% of the total number of meatball shards were all gravitating toward the same piece, with a couple slices essentially functioning as cheese pizza.  Not that it takes a long time to move a couple of meatballs around, but it’s still a little annoying.  And even after doing so, you’re only looking at two or three meatballs on each slice, which MIGHT give you about one meatball per bite, but that’s only if you have a big mouth.  I was pretty underwhelmed at the meat-to-pizza ratio.

(sarcastic tone) Wow, look at all those meatballs!
Like the Chicken Parmesan, this is a nice, thick pizza, although a lot of it is courtesy of the crust.  They use the same sweet crust here, though I have to say that it’s better suited to a pizza like this--the meatball and marinara are more flavorful, and go with the crust very well, whereas the chicken parm was a much “lighter” tasting pizza, which accented just how boring the crust was.  It still gets boring here, but not nearly as bad.  The cheese and marinara are good, and compliment the semi-sparse meatball pieces pretty well.  The meatballs aren’t mind-blowing, but for a mass-produced ’ball, they are actually pretty darn good.  You can taste they are full of sodium, but there’s also a lot of flavor behind them, as well; I would have to say that they were the best part of the pizza.  Unfortunately, they’re also the rarest part of the pizza, so you don’t really have a chance to get used to them.

It’s an okay pizza, and I would actually give some thought into buying it again, although on second thought, it would be a lot more cost-efficient, and probably a lot tastier, to just buy a cheese pizza and add my own meatballs to it.  Even if they’re frozen meatballs, they would taste even better than these, and I could also add a lot more, thus ensuring that I get my money’s worth.  There’s also the minor problem that I’ve never really craved a pizza with meatballs on them, and will probably just be fine never having one again.

Overall: 5/10.  The meatballs are actually pretty good, at least as far as factory-created meatballs are concerned, but they’re also the rarest part of the pizza, which it a bit of a letdown.  The crust is oversized, just as it was in the previously-reviewed chicken parmesan pizza, but it wasn’t as noticeably dry or annoying in this pizza.  Still, the cheese and sauce, which take up the most real estate, aren’t anything to write home about, leading to a disappointing frozen pie overall.  If I ever had a desire to have a meatball pizza again (highly doubtful), I would just get a couple of pre-made crusts and make it myself--even using frozen meatballs, they would be a lot more flavorful, and I could add as many as I wanted, rather than trying to spread the few that this pizza comes with around for maximum taste impact.  Not worth it.


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