I’ve been cooking pasta ever since I was old enough to help my Mom and Nana in the kitchen. Most of my all-time favorite recipes, meals and food memories are centered around it! Not only that, but Barilla® has always been a staple brand in my home – my mom always stocking up on our favorite pasta shapes to ensure we had penne and rigatoni in the pantry at ALL TIMES. Needless to say, when Barilla reached out and asked me to cook with them for an afternoon, I jumped at the chance!
It seemed like an obvious yes, right?! They welcomed six bloggers to their U.S. headquarters in the Chicago suburbs to learn about the Collezione collection, get tips from their executive chef Lorenzo Boni, and cook up a recipe ourselves! We really got to see how the Collezione pastas really take your everyday cooking and turns it into gourmet. And let me tell ya, I’ll make bucatini with Kit ANY day ?
I’ll admit, while I knew the Barilla brand well, Chef Lorenzo wasn’t on my radar before this event. Turns out, he’s a bit of an instagram star – and for good reason! He cooked us a new recipe with mushrooms and butternut squash and then took us into his photo studio right next to the kitchen to show us how he captures the perfect shot right after he cooks. I’m the kind of girl who brings the plate over by the window for natural light – but his studio is a whole different level! Lights, reflectors, a tripod for his camera and a big monitor to show the results… it’s AWESOME. Pretty sure every blogger in the room nerded out a little!
Time to cook!
After the demo, we got to put on some cute aprons and get cooking on our own! Kit and I immediately launched for the Bucatini Amatriciana station because we had just talked about how bucatini is my all-time favorite cut! I love this Italian classic – so much so that I actually made this recipe here on the blog back in 2013! The photos were pretty awful, so I recently deleted it with hopes of remaking it and updating the photos. Barilla to the rescue! My version used pancetta instead of bacon, but other than that, this recipe is just as good – if not better than mine ?
I hadn’t cooked with Collezione before this day, so I was really excited to test it out. These pastas are crafted using traditional Italian bronze plates, which help create a coarser texture that has a better surface for sauces to cling to.
PS. My Rebecca Minkoff sweatshirt is available here. It’s seriously perfect for a cozy day of cooking!
For individual plating, Chef Lorenzo taught us his signature “twirl.” I’ve attempted it with spaghetti before, but bucatini is harder! It was really fun to hear his technique for the twirl itself, but also how to plate on/around it. Even when we were almost done shooting, he was still adding fresh pepper and micro basil. Such a pro!
I mean, how pretty is that?
We also got to check out what everyone else made! This Casarecce with Colorful Tomatoes, Fava Beans and Fresh Basil was super fresh and flavorful. It’s also really easy, which makes it the perfect Meatless Monday dinner!
The last team made this Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage. I love this classic combo – made even better with the Collezione orecchiette!
Time to taste test our Bucatini Amatriciana!
It’s just so good, you guys. I know it’s easy to think that pasta is pasta, but this Barilla Collezione Collection really is a step above the others. If you’ve been planning on trying to master your Nana’s favorite recipe or host an epic dinner party, I recommend spending the little extra for premium pasta. So worth it.
Have you ever tried making Bucatini Amatriciana?
Print the recipe below!
- 1 package Barilla Collezione Bucatini
- 2 small yellow onions, cut julienne
- 1 cup bacon, chopped
- 1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano style tomatoes and liquid
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- sea salt, to taste
- 4 basil leaves, torn
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a skillet, cook onions with olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic until translucent.
- Add bacon, sauté until crisp.
- Stir in tomatoes. Add 2 cups of pasta water and let simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Toss al dente pasta into the sauce and add basil.
- Sprinkle with cheese and serve!
*This post was sponsored by Barilla, but (as always) all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Lake Shore Lady possible!