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.
Barilla Australia is also on Twitter and on Instagram.
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.
aimee @ like mother like daughter says
I really want to try their pasta sauce!
I am interested in trying the wholgrain spaghetti! i have always been interested in healthier pasta dishes!
I’d love to try those cookies with the sugar stars – little bursts of sweetness! But otherwise I’d definitely whip up a hearty ragu with the Mediterranean vege sauce and add in some lamb, eggplant and carrots – perfect for winter 🙂
i don’t really need to try anything as i also grew up in italy and moved to oz last year – but boy do we miss our pan di stelle. especially my man, he used to have them for brekkie every single day from when winter started to when winter ended. every single winter since he was a child! as soon as we moved here I had to find a substitute (as I couldn’t find any pan di stelle) but they are just not the same!
Kaylene Reese says
I love your food Manuella, and totally agree that the pasta and sauce need to be ready at the same time. Pasta is so absorbent, it can dry out way too fast and not absorb the flavours of the sauce.
Berrie knight says
Would love to use risoni to mix with the Mediterranean vegetable sauce and stuff capsicums with. Have always wanted to use it in another way other than soup.
I would make an spinach and ricotta cannelloni with a ragu made with the arrabiata sauce. I’d also like to taste the pan de stelle that everyone is talking about…little cookies with stars…who wouldn’t!
I love that you are advocating pasta. We’ve become scared of eating carbs in western society but there is nothing as good for you or as comforting as pasta combined with fresh ingredients 🙂
Judy G says
I would like to try the pasta sauces. I usually use Barilla pasta when cooking, but we do not have the variety of sauces that are shown. They all look very good.
Ester Martin says
As a lover and consumer of fine Mediterranean cuisine, I would love to trial your Tortellini Emiliani ai Formaggi and Arriabiata Sauce products.
I would cook a Tortellini dish with tuna, black olives and arribiata sauce. This would be accompanied by pane di casa, vino bianco for the adults and limonatas for the children to drink.
The ideal dish to serve my family during the colder Autumn season down-under in Australia.
Bravo Casa Barilla.
Ciao Casa Barilla,
I love cooking with your brand and my family loves the pasta dishes I create with your quality range of products.
The two products that I would be honoured to trial would be the wholegrain spaghetti and arrabbiatta sauce.
I would cook a pork mince and mushroom spaghetti with arrabbiatta sauce.
The use of a lighter meat like pork should complement the wholegrain pasta.
Viva la cucina Italiana!
I’d love to try pan di stelle too. But I’d cook the tortelini with napoletana sauce, they sound like something my family would enjoy.
I often use Barilla pasta, but I haven’t tried the sauces yet.
I’d cook the whole grain spaghetti with Bolognaise sauce and add some fresh parsley from my garden.
Laura Ann says
I would love to try the cookie line… never heard of it before! I would crumble some Pan de stelle on vanilla ice cream. Thanks for the give-away!
Jenn Radford says
My husband has just had his wisdom teeth out, so I think a lovely vegetable soup made with the risoni will help him get better sooner!
Macky Blaise says
I can sense your passion and excitement as you partnered with Barilla Australia for a special giveaway! Congratulations.
Lucy Doherty says
Well, my kids are keen to try the cookies (of course) and I am keen to particularly try the pasta sauces. When I was growing up we simply did not use pasta sauce in a jar, it was always homemade, with home grown tomatoes !
Love pasta too!
I would like to try lasagne and I would make them with arrabiatta sauce, beef and pork mince and cheese.
Thank you Manu for this great post! Barilla is the best pasta in Australia and I would love to make penne with arrabbiata sauce or even the bolognese sauce.
With all respect Manu, you are awesome but after what Barilla said about gay families you should never do any advertisement for them. Just in case you don’t remember: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/26/pasta-firm-barilla-boycott-gay
Barilla at home not even for free. Say NO to Barilla.
Thanks for your comment. What the Barilla CEO said was unfortunate and I do not endorse it or agree with it on any level.
Having said that though, I don’t believe in boycotting a company’s products, as when you do that, the people who really suffer are the companies workers, not the CEO. If the company does not go well, the first people to lose their jobs are the common people, like you and me, people with kids, a mortgage and bills to pay at the end of the month. Knowing how bad the economy is in Italy, I know they would find it very hard (if not impossible) to find another job and I don’t think they should have to pay for what the CEO said.
Besides, I truly believe in the quality of Barilla’s products and I totally stand by them.
My blog is not about politics or beliefs (though I do have my own and they are not the same as Barilla’s CEO)… it’s a food blog that advocates authentic Italian food made with high quality ingredients and in terms of Italian food, Barilla is still the number one pasta brand in Italy for a reason: good quality.
Thanks for bringing up the subject, so that I could clarify my position on this. 🙂
Pan di Stelle! I ate them when I was in Italy a few years ago, but haven’t been able to find them here. What a great memory. Otherwise I would love to make a nice batch of tortellini, either in a sauce, or possible in a nice bit of soup.
Thank you Manu for the give away. I’d like to try the bolonese sauce with the spaghetti. I think it would be a great combination 🙂
Linda Baker says
The sun dried tomato pesto sounds like something my husband and I would love. With whole grain spaghetti!
Katherine Ryan says
I’m following using the email above and liked on Facebook as Katherine Ryan 🙂
I’d love to try the Napoletana sauce, I think it would be divine as a base for a very simple pizza, cooked hot and fast till crisp. Yum!
Vicky S. says
My children would like the try the cookies. After all this rain, I would like to make minestrone soup with risoni pasta.
Sam Lowe says
I love pasta too!
I am curious to cook canelloni. I would make a vegetarian filling and top them with Barilla bolognaise sauce.
I love using Barilla. The hamper sounds divine. I’d love to try making the tortellini with one of their sauces. Oh and I wouldn’t mind trying their cookies too 🙂
The chocolate cookies look good! I would make a skillet lasagna with the Vegetable Sauce and loads of cheese. Thanks for the give away.
I would like to try the tortellini with butter and sage. That would make a quick meal for my hubby and me. You have a great blog Manu, thanks for the give away!
Although I am not eligible for your giveaway, it is simply quite wonderful! If there is any way possible, could you please help me in having Barilla from my own home city in Italy and hometown in Ames, Iowa, USA for an American/Canadian giveaway? I don’t know how to do these and always give away my own purchased items. Grazie’ e baci, Manu!
I know I would love the chocolate chip cookies! I would make a trifle with them, raspberry jelly and custard.
Thank you for the giveaway.
I think I would eat all the sauces with pasta. Being single this would save me lots of time cooking a healthy meal. Thank you for this give-away. I hope I win!
katrina stubbs says
All the products sound delicious but I would probably use Risoni
Whole Grain Spaghetti,Bolognese Sauce,Mediterranean Vegetables Sauce, Pesto ai Pomodori Secchi (Sun dried Tomato Pesto)the most.
with the pesto I’d made a pasta sauce using bacon,garlic,onion,chargrilled eggplant,roasted peppers and olives. The pastas and sauces would be very tasty mixed and matched with some chicken or prosciutto tossed through.
I would like to try all of the products in the hamper! Especially tortelini made with bolognaise sauce. I would add some fresh herbs to make it even better.
I am a vegetarian and the vegetable sauce looks very good. I would make brushetta and top it with the sauce, fresh herbs and olive oil.
I love the sound of whole wheat pasta and I especially love the sound of sun dried tomato pesto. Hello, perfect match, maybe with a sprinkling of fresh herbs and extra cheese to jazz it up a little…
Mel @ The cook's notebook says
I’m a big fan of Barilla but didn’t know about the cookies! I would use them to make some ice cream sandwiches with vanilla icecream, chocolate shavings and raspberries. YUM!