This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Pasta is pretty much my favorite ingredient to cook with. Whenever anyone asks me what my favorite thing to make is, I always say, “pasta.” Why? Because pasta is so incredibly versatile and it’s a great base to just add anything to. I think of pasta like a blank slate for all my culinary imaginations.
Pasta itself, I feel, can evoke so many different emotions. Whether it be a memory of childhood pouring that blue box of pasta into a big pot of boiling water with your mom or using pasta for an art project or even making that first grown-up meal in your first apartment. I know that for me, whenever I make pasta it gives me a sense of comfort and it helps me feel connected with people in my life because it brings them around the table. Memories are made and shared as you sit down with friends and family at that table with a deliciously comforting pasta dish that brought everyone together.
I think we can all agree that there is a lot of passion for pasta around the world and we are all pasta lovers at heart. Did you know that there is an actual event hosted in Milan, Italy by Barilla called the World Pasta Masters?! This year will be their seventh year hosting this event and it will be held from October 24 through the 25, which is World Pasta Day.
Back in May, four young chefs across the U.S. competed in the Barilla World Pasta Masters U.S. Qualifying Event in Chicago. Chef Carolina Diaz of Terzo Piano in Chicago was declared the winner and she will go on to represent the United States in the World Pasta Masters! Chef Diaz made her signature Barilla Mezzi Rigatoni with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Tuna that wowed the judges and guests. Honestly, just the name of that recipe sounds amazing. I wish I was there to taste it!
In Milan, she will face off with 17 other young chefs from around the world. During the competition, chefs will be coached by three prominent Italian chefs and two key food opinion leaders. I would simply be ecstatic for the opportunity to do something like this. My dream is to go to Italy and learn how to make pasta with Italian chefs and local Italians. Competing in this competition would be the icing on the cake!
Anyway, my point is, you don’t have to be a chef or a professional to make a deliciously elegant yet simple pasta dish. Pasta is incredibly approachable in your own home kitchen and you can take inspiration from events like these and get creative in the kitchen!
You can follow the World Pasta Masters journey by following @BarillaUS on Instagram or by visiting the World Pasta Masters site!
Photographs by Lauren Swann