I’m partnering with Barilla as an ambassador, because I think their products are pretty darn great. We’ve been buying and eating them for years in our house, so my collaboration with the brand is a natural fit. I was compensated in money, and pasta, for this post. 

As a lot of you know, I have two young daughters. They’re like pasta monsters, always asking for one pasta-based dish or another (especially if they hate what I’ve made for dinner, or on mornings when we’re late for school and there’s no time to prepare them a hot lunch). I love pasta too, but sometimes – okay, a lot of times – I just don’t want to spend the time boiling it. Weekdays and weeknights are especially hectic, and I’m all about taking shortcuts while making sure my family and I eat healthy and delicious food. 

That all being true, Barilla has just come out with my saviour: Ready Pasta. It’s simple: just open the little pouch, throw it into the microwave for a minute, and there you go! Ready Pasta!

All Ready Pasta really is, is already-cooked pasta with a bit of olive oil and salt. There’s no preservatives or any other ingredients that would affect the flavor. And as much as you’d think that a ready-cooked pouch of pasta would be mushy, you would be wrong! Ready Pasta is springy and delish; the perfect al dente! So when my kids decide at 840am that they want pasta in their lunches, it’s totally doable. They’re huuuuge fans of this pasta. Huge. That means I love it, too.

Here’s my daughter in the photo below, gobbling down the mac and cheese I developed for this post (recipe below, too)

This pasta comes only in one flavour – plain – so you can dress it up or down however you like. 60 seconds to perfect pasta: it’s in the bag…or pouch.

 I’m a huge fan of keeping things simple, so I’ve come up with three really easy, family-friendly recipes using Ready Pasta. Three ingredients, no hassle, great taste that everyone will eat. Even the kids.

Each of these easy recipes serves two, but feel free to double them for meal prep or more people.


Pasta with pesto and shrimp

Serves 2

1 pouch Barilla Ready Pasta

1/2 pound of raw shrimp, peeled

2 + 1 tablespoons pesto, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic

In a nonstick pan, heat the oil and saute garlic for one to two minutes.

Add shrimp and cook until mostly opaque, then add pesto and stir to coat shrimp.

Pour the entire pouch of Ready Pasta into the pan, add another tablespoon of pesto if desired, and saute briefly until all ingredients are incorporated and pasta is warm.


Optional: Add chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil

Pasta with tuna and peas

Serves 2

1 pouch Barilla Ready Pasta, warmed according to package directions

1 can Italian-style tuna in olive oil, not drained

1 cup green peas, thawed if frozen

Olive oil to drizzle

Parmesan cheese 

Divide the above ingredients into two bowls.


Quick Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Serves 2

1 pouch Barilla Ready Pasta, cooked according to package directions

3 cups lightly steamed broccoli

1 cup shredded grated cheese – can be whichever you like, I love a combination of whatever I have in the fridge

1 cup milk

1.5 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

In a pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Add flour and immediately whisk together to form a paste, or a roux.

Immediately add the milk to the roux and whisk to combine.

Bring to a simmer on medium-low heat, and then immediately remove from heat source.

Add the shredded cheese and stir well to melt the cheese into the sauce.

Add the Ready Pasta and broccoli, stirring to coat.



 For more information about Barilla Ready Pasta, and for more recipes, head over to Barilla.com