This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.
If you could sum up “Back to School” in just one word, most likely it’d be “chaos.” Between the homework, the whining, the practices, the complaining, the crazy schedules that seem to need 26 hours in a day, I sometimes wonder if it was easier going through high school the first time.
On top of all that, my wife and I both work. I usually don’t get home until around 7 p.m. or so, and since she’s home an hour or two earlier, she generally makes dinner for the family. But some nights she may come home a bit later, or I may sneak out a bit early (shh, don’t tell my boss!). In those instances, I love to whip up a little something I call #InTheKitchenWithDad.
Now I’m no Paul Prudhomme. Or Gordon Ramsey. Fine, I’m not even the Swedish Chef. But even so, I can still concoct a tasty dinner for the family and best of all, it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. No, I don’t mean picking up the phone and ordering a pizza! Give me some credit, will you?
I’m talking about Pasta Night! And with Barilla® Blue Box pasta and Barilla sauce, it couldn’t be easier. Or nummier for that matter.
Recently, the kids were practically passed out in their textbooks when I got home from work. Allie was running late so I put on my cape and decided it was Daddy Dinner Time! (NOTE: By “cape,” I really mean “apron.” And by “apron,” I really mean that I washed my hands.)
I asked the kids if they wanted to help, since I know cooking is one of those great teachable moments every parent enjoys passing on to their children. To my complete shock both kids were so selfless they shot out of their chairs and raced to the kitchen. I couldn’t believe they would pass up doing homework to help out dear old dad. I truly have the most caring kids in the world, don’t I?
They both washed their hands and then Jason ran off to play video games while I wasn’t looking. Ryan, however, stuck around to help me cook dinner. What was on the menu? Why, none other than Turkey Pepperoni Mostaccioli with Mozzarella! (Say that three times fast.)
I seriously love Barilla Pasta. It just has the best al dente texture. As for shapes, I must have tried dozens and I don’t think I’ve found one that I haven’t loved. Penne is always one of my favorites, but I prefer the smoother texture of the Barilla Pasta Mostaccioli so I went with that.
Of course, you also need Barilla Traditional Tomato Sauce to go with it. And as for my secret ingredients, I really only added two. Yep, it’s that simple! I grabbed about 6 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese, and roughly half a package of turkey pepperoni. Other than fire and water, that’s all you really need!
And for you vegetarians out there (or those folks who like to squeeze in extra vegetables whenever you can), go ahead and add in your family’s favorite fresh vegetables like broccoli or spinach.
Ryan learned the hard way that a “watched pot never boils”
And that’s why we put lids on pots, Ryan! So we don’t see it and the water can boil. Lesson learned!
Believe it or not, my 12-year-old son has never made pasta before. So I figured it was high time I taught him this fine art of dad cooking! I gave him the box of Barilla Pasta Mostaccioli and some very detailed and complicated directions. (“Ryan, open the box and put half the pasta in.”)
Okay, so maybe it’s not as complicated as I thought. Either that or Ryan is an overnight culinary wizard!
Simply following the directions on the box, we let the water boil, then added roughly half the box and kept on a high flame for about 10 minutes. During that time, I was busy catching up on some work that had nothing to do with playing Clash of Clans.
Apparently, while I was distracted, I almost missed something important…
BUSTED! One of Jason’s favoritest snacks in the whole world is shredded mozzarella cheese. Like a mouse, he somehow sniffed the bowl I had on the counter and deftly snuck into the kitchen to grab a pinch or two.
He’s lucky I needed to drain the pasta right then or there! Which I did. After draining, I poured the pasta back into the pot and put back on the stove under a very low flame.
Then it’s time for the sauce! I let Ryan add about 1/3 of the jar of Barilla Traditional Tomato Sauce and mixed thoroughly.
Down to the final two ingredients! It was time to stir in the turkey pepperoni and shredded mozzarella. Give it all a good mix just so the cheese begins to melt.
And that, as they say, is that.
I called the kids in for dinner and gave myself a nice pat on the back. Oh, I gave Ryan one too since he helped out. Jason got a crisp high five from me just for showing up on time.
Without hesitation, they both grabbed their forks and started shoveling pasta into their mouths. How’s it taste, kids?
Two thumbs up! I couldn’t ask for a better review, nor a better set of reviewers. And don’t worry, there was plenty more for Allie and I to chow down on for dinner as well.
That’s a delicious dinner cooked up in less than 30 minutes. Plenty of time for the kids to finish eating and get back to what they crave: homework!
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make (and easy-to-impress) dinner with the kids, definitely steer your shopping carts towards the Barilla Pasta aisle! With more than 35 pasta varieties available, you could make a different one every single day of the month without ever repeating!
What’s your favorite Barilla Pasta?