Today I am very excited as I am partnering with Barilla Australia for a special giveaway! Yes, you got that right: Barilla is offering one of my lucky readers the possibility to win a hamper full of exciting and delicious Barilla products! Read on to find out all the details!
Barilla is the number one pasta brand in Italy and it is sold worldwide. I use it very often for my recipes and it never fails me. My Spaghetti with Vongole is just one of the many dishes I cooked using Barilla pasta, but you can find many other ideas while browsing through my Visual Archive.
You all know that I was born and brought up in Italy and that I only moved to Australia in 2006. What you may not know though is that I grew up eating pasta every day. Yes, every single day, we would have pasta for lunch. The reasons are simple: pasta is quick to make, tasty, healthy (especially the whole grain variety), cheap and we all love it! The best reason of all though is that pasta is one of the most versatile ingredients that I know. Think of it as a white canvas that you can turn into whatever you like: be it a seafood, meat or vegetarian dish. You can keep it simple and healthy or go all fancy and create some of the best comfort food ever. So even though we would eat pasta every day, we were seldom eating the same meal.
Pasta is at the core of what we call dieta mediterranea (aka Mediterranean diet), which is considered a very healthy way of eating: pasta, lots of fresh fruits & vegetables and seafood. In Italy we do not eat as much meat as in other countries and that is also due to the fact that, having pasta as the main ingredient, we do not need meat to have a delicious and comforting meal.
Lately I have come across a few recipes on the web that called for cooking your pasta first and “keeping it aside” while your sauce cooks. That’s a “no no” for Italians who cook at home! I have a section on the blog where I explain how to cook pasta al dente, please refer to it if you are in doubt on how to cook pasta. If you want to enjoy pasta at its best, you need to eat it straight away and you need to eat it hot. If you are pressed for time, make your sauce ahead and re-heat it while the pasta cooks (not the other way around) or use a good quality ready-made sauce, like Barilla’s delicious wide variety of pasta sauces.
Barilla’s slogan is “Dove c’è Barilla, C’è Casa” (“Where there is Barilla, There is Home”) and I think it is very appropriate for the number one pasta brand in Italy. Pasta represents a hearty and homey meal made with genuine ingredients, the traditional “Italian way”. With time, Barilla has expanded and besides making prime quality pasta, they also ventured into the Pasta Sauces market. I still remember the very first time my mum bought one of their jars of sauces… it was the Olive Pasta Sauce and we were very impressed by how good it tasted and by the quality of the ingredients used. These are not your everyday ready-made sauces. They are made by a company with huge experience in the field and great respect for the produce they use.
And the best part is that Barilla can help you come up with a good quality, healthy and delicious family meal, without having to spend hours in the kitchen. This is a great resource for people who have a busy lifestyle and get home late, as they don’t have to compromise on taste to fix a quick meal that will make the whole family happy. I do it too, especially on weekdays! Or you could use them as a base and jazz them up with your favourite ingredients, like I did when I made the pasta pictured in this post. The Whole Grain Spaghetti with Mediterranean Vegetables that you see in these pictures have been made using both Barilla pasta and pasta sauce. I simply added some good quality extra virgin olive oil and some fresh basil when mixing the cooked pasta with the sauce… delicious!
Maybe not all of you are familiar with Barilla’s cookie line: Mulino Bianco. I am very proud to introduce these cookies to my readers as I grew up eating them! That’s what I would take to school for recess and often have for breakfast and/or tea time. Pan di Stelle (which means “starry bread”) are a huge favourite of mine (and I dare say of the vast majority of Italian kids!)… they are made with cocoa and “sugar stars”. Irresistible!
And now for the giveaway!
Thanks to the generosity of Barilla Australia, one lucky reader of Manu’s Menu has the chance to win a Hamper full of delicious Barilla products!
The Hamper will include:
1xTortellini Emiliani ai Formaggi
1xWhole Grain Spaghetti
1xLasagne all’Uovo Bolognesi
1xMediterranean Vegetables Sauce
1xPesto ai Pomodori Secchi (Sun dried Tomato Pesto)
1xCuoricini Mulino Bianco (cookies)
1xPan di Stelle Mulino Bianco (cookies)
To be in the running to win, please subscribe to receive Manu’s Menu’s updates (if you haven’t already) via the blue box at the top of the site or by clicking here, follow Barilla Australia on Facebook and tell me (in a comment to this post) which products in the Hamper you would like to try and what you would cook with them.
Please make sure that you enter your current email address with your comment so you can be reached in the event you are selected as the winner.
Note: the competition is open to Australian readers only (with apologies to my overseas readers) and closes at 6PM on Friday, 11th April 2014 AEDT.
Good luck everyone!
—— THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED ——
And the winner is…
Thank you everyone who entered my giveaway. It was fun reading all the entries… you do have some delicious ideas on how to use the Barilla products in the hamper! The winner is Katherine Ryan. Congratulations! You will hear from me via email very shortly.