On a busy weeknight there are two things I’m a sucker for. One is a simple, easy to make dinner and the other is a tasty pasta dish. The folk at Barilla had me covered when they sent some pasta, sauces and a few easy recipes.
The pasta shells (made in Italy, of course) cook in 12 minutes and are made of just two ingredients – durum wheat semolina and water. They also have a new wholegrain range which is handy if you’re looking for a healthier pasta.
I adapted Barilla’s suggested orecchiette recipe, using baby spinach and omitting the sultanas and additional ricotta. The result is a quick and tasty meal, great for nights when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.
- 350g Barilla Orecchiette
- 1 jar Barilla Ricotta Sauce
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 2 bunches of asparagus, chopped and tips kept separate
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- Rock salt, for pasta water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- In a large saucepan, bring plenty of water to the boil. When the water is boiling, add rock salt (7g to a litre of water).
- Drop the Barilla Orecchiette into the water and stir. Cook according to the instructions on the pack.
- Meanwhile, in a large fry pan, heat a little oil. When hot, cook the onion until golden, then add the asparagus (not tips) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add baby spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the Barilla Ricotta sauce and bring to a simmer.
- A few minutes before draining the pasta, add the asparagus tips to the water.
- Drain the pasta 1 minute before the suggested time and toss it into the sauce with ½ cup of cooking water to allow the pasta to finish cooking in the pan.
- Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
vegeTARAian received pasta and sauces courtesy of Barilla for editorial consideration.