This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla®. The opinions and text below are my own.
A few weeks ago, like Charlie with his golden ticket in hand anxiously anticipating his visit to the fantastical chocolate factory, I drove to Northbrook, Ill, nervously excited to visit my idea of a fantasy, the headquarters of a beloved company that’s been producing pasta for 140 years. Apparently, my excitement to partner with Barilla® and learn more about their Collezione artisanal pasta so I could share it with you in this post was so consuming, I accidentally arrived an hour early for our visit (but that’s another story). After being greeted by the jovial Barilla team, we ascended into the bright headquarters building and made our way to the heart of the operation – the kitchen.
After some initial gawking over the state-of-the-art Pinterest board-worthy double kitchen, we made ourselves comfortable and tried to subdue our raging kitchen envy. While snacking on freshly baked focaccia, washed down with sips of prosecco, we intently listened and watched as Barilla Executive Chef Lorenzo Boni introduced us to Barilla Collezione, a line of artisanal, bronze cut pasta with incredible texture that perfectly holds sauces for a restaurant-quality pasta experience right at home. After savoring some of Chef Boni’s perfect fall dish – Barilla Collezione Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut Squash, Porcini Mushrooms and Microgreens (see recipe below) – it was our turn to test Chef Boni’s recipes in Barilla’s enviable kitchen.
Our group split into pairs, each tackling a different recipe using Barilla Collezione. After preparing Chef Boni’s recipe for Casarecce with Burst of Colorful Tomatoes, Fava Beans and Fresh Basil, I was anxious to grab a seat and try everyone’s dishes. One bite of our Casarecce dish and I instantly became a believer. The Collezione pasta had the texture and firm bite of the homemade pastas that I so adore and avidly seek out on restaurant menus. To be sure that I wasn’t simply favoring the dish we prepared, I dove into the others’ dishes, and each piece of Collezione Orecchiette and Bucatini that followed was more delicious than the last.
Since returning from my version of Wonka’s wonderland to my own kitchen, I’ve been on a complete pasta kick. In the week since my visit, we’ve used Collezione Cheese and Spinach Tortellini in a hearty fall soup with Italian sausage, Collezione Casarecce in a smoky sundried tomato and parmesan sauce, and have plans to use Collezione Bucatini for Cacio e Pepe. It’s been such a treat to experiment and create dishes using Barilla Collezione that taste like we spent the day making homemade pasta. I’d love to hear how you use Collezione in your own kitchen. Post your recipe ideas in the comments below and Buon Appetito!
Barilla Collezione Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut Squash, Porcini Mushrooms and Mixed Microgreens Recipe
1 box Barilla® Collezione Spaghetti
4 tablespoons EVOO, divided
1 leak, cut into rondels
1/2 butternut squash, diced
1 oz. dry porcini mushrooms, reconstituted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
1/2 cup micro greens
1 tbsp. butter
S+P to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F and bring a pot of salted water to boil
- Season squash with 1/2 the EVOO and S+P and roast until slightly brown, about 15 minutes
- Cook pasta according to directions. Drain pasta 2 minutes prior to recommend cook time.
- While pasta is cooking, sauté leek in a skillet with remaining EVOO for 3-4 min. Add mushrooms and butternut squash, season with S+P and stir in 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Bring mixture to simmer.
- Combine pasta with butternut squash and mushroom mixture and toss over high heat for 2 min. Remove from heat and stir in butter, 1/2 the microgreens and 1/2 the cheese.
- Serve pasta topped with remaining greens and Parmigiano cheese.
This post was sponsored by Barilla.