Giovanni Rana Pastas & Sauces – Review & Giveaway

Giovanni Rana pasta and sauces

Giovanni Rana sent me some pastas and sauces to try that they are selling in local supermarkets. You can find them at ShopRite in the Albany/Capitol Region area. I’ve tucked into a few of these products, and so far, I’m digging them. Giovanni Rana is also going to give one reader 4 pastas and one sauce to try! See the many ways I’ve eaten their products below, or skip to the end to see how to enter.DSCF5243 The artichoke ravioli go for $4.99 for 12 oz, which is a pretty fair deal for them. The ravioli skins were pliable, and fairly thin, although they still had a decent tooth to the texture. If you roll your own pasta, imagine this on the 2nd or 3rd from thinnest setting. There was also a noticeable semolina flavor from the pasta, too.

Albany John had made some of his own marinara sauce, so that’s the sauce you see above. The artichoke flavors came out quite well – the filling itself didn’t disintegrate into the sauce when I cut into them with a fork, but it wasn’t super firm or dry, either. They also were easy to boil and none of them broke while cooking.

Giovanni Rana ravioli The next ravioli I tried were the Cheese Forte, which was a sharp cheese blend of cheeses (including parm reg). It went well with Albany John’s smoked salmon cream sauce (cream sauce cheat: he dissolves a bit of cream cheese with chicken broth so it’s a little tangy, but not too rich as a sauce base).

The cheese was pretty pronounced and sharp, held up well to the strong flavors of Albany John’s sauce. I’m really digging the ravioli as an alternative to homemade ravioli. I like this Giovanni Rana ravioli over other refrigerated pastas like Buitoni (which is  thicker/tougher-skinned and the fillings are dryer in comparison). It’s not the same as my homemade ravioli, but I’d probably pick up a baggie if it were late and I was in OMG-need-ravioli-now mode, because it’s pretty close.

Giovanni Rana fettuciniThe pesto sauce has been my favorite so far! What is not to love about pesto in the winter? It’s rich, but also bright! Albany John mixed some sweet onions and garlic with the pesto and tossed it with their Fettuccine, which, okay, I was really jealous about because this is the thickness and width that I want my homemade pasta to be, but for some reason I just can’t get it like this.

The pesto sauce is going to be the sauce one lucky reader gets to try! (And you have to tell me what you thought 😉 ) For some reason I kept thinking that this would make an awesome/impressive kind of Valentine’s day dinner if you didn’t want to go out to eat, weren’t the most confident in your kitchen skills, but wanted something satisfying for you and your dinner date. Wow, that is kind of oddly specific. Or maybe pesto just makes me all sorts of mushy and romantic.


Okay, so you know what the marinara sauce is good for? Can you guess? It’s another one of my loves.


Yes, pizza! Haha! Shape this baby into a heart and now you’ve got my Valentine’s day attention. I made Kenji’s Foolproof Pan Pizza dough from the Pizza Lab at Serious Eats, and I totally forgot to make a pizza sauce! Ahhh! And Albany John is not as much a fan of white pizzas as I am. I was scouring my pantries and fridge to see what I could come up with in a pinch, and… sweet! I was gonna repurpose this marinara sauce! It’s got sun-dried tomatoes in the sauce, so there’s a little sweetness in there, and since it’s in a plastic container there’s no tinniness to it. It’s a bit on the thick side, so if I were going to use it with pasta, I’d probably reserve some of the cooking water to thin it out a bit.

The dough above is in a 10″ cast iron pan, and I used about 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce.


It was a kalamata olive pizza kind of night in our house. DSCF5300

Baked! The sauce was a nice supporting character in the pizza play that went into my mouth. Overall, I think I’m not so much a pan-pizza kind of gal, preferring thin crusts over thick and poofy ones, although this one was not the least bit dense, even though I subbed in about a half cup of whole wheat flour. DSCF5308
Interior shot of the pizza – the hole structure in the dough made for a soft and pliable crust. The bottom of the crust crisped up nicely. Cooked in a cast iron, this was like a grown up Pizza Hut pie. I think it would be even better rolled out thinly and tossed on a stone, though, if you’re more into thin crusts like I am.

So, would you like to try some of Giovanni Rana’s pastas and a pesto sauce? If so, why don’t you leave a comment and tell me what your plans are for Valentine’s day.
I’ll start: Going to an anti-Valentine’s day celebration of some sort: show your love every day, not just one day a year!

(US entries only, comments close Wednesday, February 6th)

  1. Vicky said:

    I’m going to be working all day unfortunately…but I don’t have a Valentine anyway, so I guess that doesn’t really matter

  2. llcwine said:

    Hate going out on the big V-heart day…so will cook something special for my hubby…was thinking perhaps a pasta and seafood dish, so this give-away would be rather helpful!!!

  3. Jenna C. said:

    I made Kenji’s pizza last night too, with repurposed marinara and ciabatta dough I’d thrown in the freezer a couple weeks ago. My Lovey prefers thicker crust so he dug it but I’m with totally you on the thin crust. For Valentines we’ll probably stay home and I’ll make him a steak and maybe lobster.

      • Jenna C. said:

        Rec’d the package last night and am eating leftover ravioli for breakfast!

  4. Rochelle said:

    Bloody Mary’s. Many many many of them. And maybe chocolate.

  5. Meryl said:

    I’m going to eat lots of chocolate (but that’s nothing new)!

  6. Louis said:

    I’m just going to take it easy.

  7. Jason said:

    For Valentine’s Day I’m going to be trolling the internets for singles… heeeeey Vicky…

  8. natalie said:

    I don’t have a sweetheart, but I plan on taking myself to get a pedicure then out for a nice dinner by myself.

  9. Karin said:

    Valentine’s = just another Thursday. Dinner at home with a high probability of falling asleep on the couch. 😉

  10. Vivian said:

    Probably spending it at home in bed after the kids fall asleep.. Eating chocolates maybe 😉

  11. Megan said:

    Going up to Davidson’s Brewery in Glens Falls for dinner and then over to the Chocolate Mill.

  12. Michaeline said:

    My Sweetheart is taking me to the Cafe 217. We have been adopted by the families that own/run the place, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else to celebrate such a special day! See you on Thursday Marissa!

  13. Kate said:

    Ever since my ex-husband bought me a shotgun for valentine’s I’ve kind of been over it, plus I’ve got a meeting that night so I won’t see my husband (new one, no shotgun) from 5:30 a.m. To 10 p.m. It wouldn’t be much of a holiday

  14. I cook them last night and I didn’t have any to have for breakfast

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