Thursday, May 10, 2018

Get Ready: Penne with Tomatoes, Basil and Bacon



This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by Barilla Pasta to write this blog post, and they sent me product to try. All opinions are my own.

Long before the kind folks at Barilla Pasta wanted to work with me, their pasta was what I reached for when I was in the grocery store. This partnership is a natural fit for me and I’m so pleased to be working with them and creating all kinds of fun recipes with their pasta. First out of the gate is Ready Pasta, and it’s just in time for a busy summer season when you want to be outdoors pretty much all the time, right? The cool thing about this pouch of pasta is that it’s already cooked, making it an ultra-convenient pasta option to anyone who needs a quick meal solution or snack. You can microwave it for one minute, then stir in  your favourite ingredients. And, don’t fret if you don’t have a microwave. I don’t either, and the pasta is fabulous just warmed up in a skillet with a little olive oil. Heating up the pasta allows you to enjoy the al dente texture without sacrificing taste. And no, there are no wonky ingredients in the Ready Pasta. It’s crafted with high quality semolina (wheat), durum wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. There are no preservatives. You could eat it straight out of the bag, but heating it up for just a minute or two allows for that perfect al dente texture and delicious flavor you’ve come to expect from Barilla.






I was really curious when this product landed on my doorstep.  I mean, pasta is already super quick to cook. However, when you’re pressed for time, even bringing a pot of water to boil can be a pain. With Ready Pasta, you can just warm it for a bit and stir in your favourite things. People can be fed in under 5 minutes, which is pretty sweet. Ready Pasta is incredibly versatile, so feel free to add whatever you like. With summer soon upon us (hooray!) adding fresh veggies, herbs and a little cheese is all you need. Chopped leftover meat from the grill would also be fabulous, as would grilled vegetables. Or keep it simple with a little olive oil and Parm. I love the variety and customizability of Ready Pasta. Anything goes, really.  




I think Ready Pasta would be a fabulous part of any menu plan when camping this summer. Just pack it along, and you don’t have to worry about boiling water to cook pasta. Heating it in a pan over a fire would be darn delish, me thinks. My guy is whisking me away to a cabin in the woods this weekend, and I’m for sure bringing Ready Pasta along. I know there’s a kitchen, but not sure of the pots/pans set up so I’ll bring my trusty non-stick skillet just to be on the safe side. I plan on recreating this recipe because it was so good!  The texture of the pasta is pleasingly al dente, and I love how simple and easy this recipe is to prepare. Heating the garlic in the olive oil is a nice infusion of flavour, and you can’t go wrong with that basil/tomato/Parmesan combination. Oh, and there’s bacon. Can’t forget about the bacon! Just heat, stir in some yummy things, and serve. It’s that easy! Be sure to visit barilla.ca for more pasta recipes.



Ready Pasta Penne with Tomatoes, Basil and Bacon

2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 package of Barilla Ready Pasta penne
3 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
juice of half a lemon
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and let it simmer in the oil for a minute then stir in the package of Ready Pasta. Stir to coat the pasta in the oil and let it warm through for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the chopped bacon and cook a minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide into 2 bowls and serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese and a little drizzle of olive oil.





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