Thursday, July 24, 2014

Light Summer Pasta

I've tried to start this post like three times.
Each and every time the only words that have come to me are these-

I.  Am.  Tired.
Like, as in I am physically exhausted.  I'm not sure how to explain the toll having a 55ish lb, 3 1/2 foot tall, autistic little man is taking on my neck and back.  He's sweet.  He's adorable.  He's freaking brilliant.  And he's HEAVY and POWERFUL.  I'm seriously just...ugh.  There is a huge amount of physical exertion that goes into every task, from getting him into position to change his diaper to getting him into his car seat.

My back is toast.

I love my little man...but I also love my Goody's.

There is much to be said for simple meals at the end of a long day.  Today, for example, has been a very long day.  Summer reading program with the kids at the library, payday grocery trip, canning tomatoes from my ridiculously large crop of tomato plants (I'd forgotten how time consuming it is!!!), popcorn orders to fill, and then- at the end of the day- there was dinner left to make.

Do you know what I did NOT want to do?
Make dinner.
Like...not even a little.

I wanted to hop into a hot tub with a glass of champagne, shut my eyes, and let the world- and what is becoming chronic back pain- slip away.

Lol sadly, I do not own a hot tub, so I settled for a glass of wine and a Redbox movie on the couch after dinner.

Still, dinner needed to be made before I could relax for a bit.
Thankfully, I had a simple (read quick, tasty, and easy!) recipe from Barilla to try out as an Allrecipes Allstar.

I made Thin Spaghetti with Garlic, Red Pepper, and Olive Oil from Barilla's collection on Allrecipes.com.  It has great reviews, but I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed with the recipe as-is.  I doubled the parmesan, upped the red pepper, added freshly ground black pepper, a little salt, onion powder, basil, and at the very end an entire garden-fresh diced tomato.  My husband, who came home saying he wasn't really hungry, had thirds.  Yes, thirds.  Then he asked if I wanted his input on a review...he was pretty excited about this dish.

He wanted to make sure all of you know that this is the PERFECT accompaniment to pretty much any meat- chicken, beef, fish, whatever would be awesome.  And there you go- two cents from the love of my life.  :-)

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this is actually the second Barilla recipe I've made this month, and the first one was both simple and delicious as well.  I recently tried out a recipe called Mini Rotini with Carrots and Peas- without the rotini...I had Barilla orecchiette on hand already and I subbed it out- worked very well!  I have to admit, I have a fondness for orecchiette.  The idea of it being "little ears" always makes me smile.  :-)

Much like the other recipe, I played with this a little.  I ended up adding garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, Penzey's Florida Seasoned Pepper, and about a cup of Italian cheese blend to make it a little more melty. I also upped the basil. After the changes were made it was great!  My husband, a great cook in his own right, added a little half and half and diced chicken the next day and turned the leftovers into an awesome mac-and-cheese type dish!  Sooo yummy...

I'm glad I got the chance to try out Barilla's recipes the past couple of months, they've all been simple and yummy- a definite plus when you're looking for a quick meal at the end of the day!

1 (16 ounce) box Barilla PLUS® Thin Spaghetti 
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
2 C shredded parmesan cheese
2 C diced tomato

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes; saute 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Cook Plus® Thin Spaghetti according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Immediately add hot pasta to skillet. Stir in reserved pasta cooking water. Mix well. Add cheese and toss lightly. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl.


I am an AllrecipesAllstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews my personal blog.  The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are all my own. 

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