There are some foods that take your breath away and transport you to another place. That’s what pasta does for me. It reminds me of all the marvelous food journeys I’ve been on. It transports me to the streets of Italy where I happily found myself in pasta heaven many moons ago. It takes me to the kitchen of my friend Andrea who cooks the most fantastic Italian food, as he is Italian (from Perugia, Italy) and quite an amazing chef. It takes me to my grandfather’s cocina who latin-ized pasta for me at a young age with a bowl of fideo (broken spaghetti). Barilla pasta brings me into my own kitchen where I weave all these memories into my personalized creations. I say Barilla pasta because it is my brand of choice and has been for as long as I can remember.
I have been creating recipes using Barilla since before I started this blog, so you can only imagine my excitement when I was contacted on behalf of Barilla to join forces with them as a spokesperson along with two other lovely ladies. I swear I was giddy. I quickly imagined myself swimming in a pool of pasta, okay maybe not a pool but at least indulging in a bucket of macaroni elbows.
Two weeks ago I traveled to Chicago to visit the Barilla headquarters. I didn’t quite swim in a pool of pasta but I did learn some interesting tips from the house chefs about pasta, and it turns out, I had been doing a few things wrong all this time. For instance, I would always run my pasta under cold water after I had boiled it, and I learned from Chef Lorenzo to take it straight from the boiling water and into the sauce instead. He also taught me to under cook the pasta by two or three minutes then place it in a sauce and allow it to finish cooking in the sauce for the remainder of the time. Chef Lorenzo made us a lovely spaghetti dish and a spectacular creamy béchamel spinach lasagna. We (myself, Alejandra Ramos from Always Order Dessert, and Laura Muller from Las Recetas De Laura) got an additional lesson from Top Chef Carlos Gaytan (pictured below) who made a few amazing latin pasta dishes, penne in a chicken tinga that was loaded with chipotle peppers, and a spicy jalapeno macaroni salad topped with squash blossoms. After that lesson/tasting I knew why he was on Top Chef! It was inspiring and fueled me with a continued desire to experiment ala latin pasta for my family and friends. I feel confident when I use Barilla that my pasta is not going to clump or stick, and it’s superior quality and taste will act as a blank canvas for my traditional Hispanic ingredients. My grandfather’s influence has really left an imprint on how I approach pasta in the kitchen…always with a latin flair.
I am proud to announce that I am an official spokesperson of Barilla pasta and will be creating some additional pasta dishes on their behalf! Follow my pasta journey with these hashtags: #PastaATúEstilo and #ItsPossibleWithBarilla I promise it’s going to be delicious.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Barilla, however, my opinions are entirely my own, and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Barilla or their products.