This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla®. The opinions and text are all mine.
I recently was offered the opportunity to spend time at the Barilla U.S. Headquarters with some of my favorite, most talented blogger friends and Barilla Executive Chef Lorenzo Boni, to cook with their Collezione line of pastas—I jumped at the chance!
Being Italian, this was a bit of a dream come true. In fact, when I mentioned the event to my parents, they were just as excited as I was and asked me to tell Chef Lorenzo that they're big fans! They both follow him on Instagram, of course.
We were able to spend time in the gorgeous Barilla test kitchen—it was so beautiful, I wanted to move in! After some prosciutto and focaccia (freshly made by Chef Lorenzo) we learned a bit more about the Collezione line. Collezione is a line of artisinal pasta that is cut using traditional Italian bronze plates. The bronze gives the pasta a rough surface which allows sauce to cling to it more easily! So cool!
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Next, it was time to cook! We cooked three dishes; Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage, Casarecce with a Burst of Colorful Tomatoes, Fava Beans & Fresh Basil; and Bucatini with Smoky Amatriciana. Although it was a close call, the Bucatini with Smoky Amatriciana was my favorite. I loved it so much, I went right home and made it again!
I've had my fair share of Amatriciana in my life. I make it all the time at home, My dad made it for my family growing up, I've had it at many restaurants and—I've even had it in Rome! The recipe always varies a bit depending on where you get it or who's making it so it's always fun to try different recipes for Amatriciana. I'm telling you, this one is REALLY good!
Using that Collezione Bucatini really helps the sauce cling to the pasta and the sauce to pasta ratio is just perfect! I love the smokiness from the bacon and that salty bite from the Pecorino Romano. Plus, who doesn't love fresh basil?
I've shared the recipe for Barilla Collezione Bucatini with Smoky Amatriciana Sauce below. Enjoy!
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Bucatini with Smoky Amatriciana Sauce
- 1 Box Barilla Collezione Bucatini
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Small yellow onions cut julienne
- 1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 Cup bacon cut julienne
- 1 Clove garlic chopped
- 1 28 Ounce Can San Marzano tomatoes and liquid
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh basil torn
- Pecorino Romano cheese grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a large skillet, gently cook onions with olive oil, red pepper, and garlic until translucent; About 5 minutes.
- Add bacon and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, 2 cups of water and let simmer until extra liquid is evaporated and the sauce has thickened.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and toss with sauce and basil.
- Sprinkle with cheese before serving.