I have a confession to make before I go any further – I’m a pasta fanatic! Any shape, any type you can always count me in if it’s included in a meal. That being said I consider myself a self proclaimed pasta connoisseur if there is such a thing so when I saw that Barilla had come out with its own line of microwaveable pasta creations I was delighted! No surprise I was even more delighted that I had a decent coupon to make my first test run with it even more appealing. Here’s what was on the lunch menu today – Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce:
The nutrition facts for a ready to eat meal are fairly decent in some areas but a little excessive in others. I am concerned about my sodium intake and 690 per serving is a little higher than I’d prefer but that’s the price you pay when most of types of sauces are involved. I also cringed at the 59 grams of carbs in one serving but then again it’s PASTA PEOPLE and a fairly generous portion at that! 😀 On the upside, it’s 320 calories per serving with only 40 of that from fat & packs 11 grams of protein.
As for ease of warming up I give it an A+. All I had to do was peel back one properly labeled corner of the package near the sauce and pop in the microwave for 60 seconds. I anticipated a boil over party so I placed a paper towel under it just in case but it stayed put! After just 60 seconds the sauce was pleasantly hot and the pasta was al dente – perfection. If you’d prefer it softer they advise adding a small amount of water to the pasta and zapping it for another 30 seconds. All that was left was to pour the sauce over the pasta and I was ready to enjoy.
The pasta was fantastic, the sauce was fairly flavorful and the only thing missing was a small packet of Parmesan to top off the meal. Barilla – I hope you’re listening! The masses demand a little bit of Parmesan in their life. Ok ok ok the masses = me but still that has to count for something, right?
You can pick up this or one of their other 4 great varieties at Walmart, Target and other great stores in the microwaveable meal aisle. I found it next to the macaroni & cheese at Target!