This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla®. The opinions and text are all mine. #CookingwithCollezione
Pasta – it’s my go-to dinner on weeknights when I’m short on time, yet want a delicious and nutritious meal. In less than 30 minutes, I can have a home cooked (from scratch) meal including leftovers that will taste just as great the next day for lunch. I love to experiment with ingredients, but my formula for dinner success = pasta + protein + fresh herbs + vegetables. So, you can only image how excited I was to spend a day at the Barilla U.S. headquarters with several amazing bloggers from the Windy City Blogger Collective learning about, and cooking with, Barilla® Collezione pasta.
Our day started with a cooking demonstration from Barilla Executive Chef Lorenzo Boni. He educated us on the Barilla Collezione line of artisanal pasta. I never knew why I loved this line until Chef Boni explained that the pasta is cut for taste, texture and holding onto sauces. The pasta is extruded through traditional Italian bronze plates, a process that gives the pasta a rough, porous surface. The result is a texture similar to restaurant-quality, homemade pasta that is optimal for sauce cling and has an exceptional mouth-feel. This must be why my Breakfast Bucatini is so good. The pasta holds onto the butter sauce and the egg yolk making each bite rich and luxurious.
Chef Boni gave us several pasta cooking tips throughout the day. My favorite tip – how to get a perfect swirl of spaghetti plated. In a ladle, swirl a serving of pasta with a large fork. Then, gently plate for a perfect portion of pasta.
In addition to the tips, he demonstrated how to make an amazing dish that I coined Fall Harvest Pasta. The recipe included spaghetti, porcini mushrooms, butternut squash and micro greens. While cooking the sauce, he taught us to use a couple of ladles (a few ounces) of the pasta water to make the jus for the pasta’s sauce. Simple and amazing.
The Barilla Collezione pasta line has several varieties including: Bucatini, Casarecce, Orecchiette, Penne, Rigatoni, Spaghetti, Cheese & Spinach Tortellini and Three Cheese Tortellini. In addition to the education and demonstration by chef Boni, we were able to jump in and try our hands at cooking several dishes.
We cooked three simple, yet tasty, dishes. Plated above is a vegetarian dish – Barilla Collezione Casarecce with blistered tomatoes, fava beans, and fresh basil. Casarecce means homemade in Italian. The pasta is rustic, loosely formed and has a great texture. It is perfect for getting a little bit of everything on your fork.
The dish that I helped prepare was the Barilla Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage. Another simple, yet great, dish.
My favorite dish of the day was the bucatini with smoky amatriciana sauce. Growing up, my family made a dish called American Spaghetti. The recipe called for onions, bacon and tomato soup. Seeing this recipe made, I’m now wondering if the canned soup was a substitution for fresh tomatoes during the Great Depression. Like my family’s American Spaghetti, this pasta had a great smoky-sweet flavor from the bacon and onions. I loved it so much, I’ve included the recipe below for you to also enjoy.
Barilla® Collezione Bucatini with Smoky Amatriciana Sauce
- 1 box Barilla® Collezione Bucatini
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, cut julienne
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup bacon, cut julienne
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 28 oz can San Marzano style tomatoes and liquid
- Sea salt to taste
- 4 torn basil leaves, torn
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- In a skillet, gently cook onions with olive oil, red pepper, and garlic until translucent, about five minutes.
- Add bacon, sauté for 4-5 additional minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, 2 cups of water and let simmer until extra liquid is evaporated and the sauce thickens.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and toss with sauce and basil.
- Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
My day at the Barilla Headquarters was not only fun but very informative. If you’re a pasta lover, I highly recommend the Barilla Collezione artisanal line. Its sauce-holding capabilities will not only elevate your pasta dishes but also your eating experience.
Check out some of my other favorites pasta recipes:
Be sure to save this recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.