No-Fail Pasta For Busy Back-to-School Families

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are my own.

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When my kids head back to school, it seems like our family mealtime becomes a challenge worthy of advanced strategic planning. Mom, dad, and kids all have different schedules, and bringing us together for a healthy, meaningful dinner suddenly moves to the top of my list of daily goals.

Pasta dishes have always been my go-to recipe for delivering fast, fun, and healthy meals to my family. But I have to be honest here. Over the years, I may have relied too heavily on the standard kid-favorite pastas, namely spaghetti and lasagne, with the occasional elbow and fettuccine thrown in for variety. Those are the pastas my kids have asked for, both to eat and to make on their own.

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Recently Barilla gave me the opportunity to switch things up with my usual pasta selection, to try a few different recipes that were as fast and flavorful as those I’ve made in the past. My kids helped me look through the wide variety of Barilla’s pasta shapes, finally deciding to fancy things up with their Barilla® Farfalle (pronounced “Fahr-Fah-Ley”) pasta. Farfalle means “butterfly” in Italian, but my kids think the individual pasta pieces look like bowties.

We paired the pasta with Barilla Traditional Sauce, one of 14 delicious sauce varieties they offer. My kids picked out meat and veggies for additional texture and flavor, all with the requirement that the preparation of the meal take no longer than 30 minutes. This recipe actually takes almost exactly that much time if you have at least two sets of helping hands.

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BARILLA FARFALLE
with Traditional Sauce, Ground Beef, Veggies, and Romano Cheese

INGREDIENTS
1 box Barilla® Blue Box Farfalle pasta
1 jar Barilla® Traditional Sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 14.5oz can French-style green beans
1 cup roasted red peppers, sliced thinly
1 cup grated Romano cheese

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DIRECTIONS
Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot, then cook pasta for 11 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook the ground beef, breaking apart any large chunks.
Add Barilla® Traditional Sauce, green beans (drained), and red pepper slices to ground beef, then simmer.
Drain cooked pasta, combine with sauce mixture, sprinkle with Romano cheese.

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The beauty of this stress-free recipe goes beyond its simplicity and delicious taste. It also gets your kids to eat their veggies. The thin green beans and peppers easily stick to the pasta, almost guaranteeing there will be no little piles of leftover ingredients on your child’s plate.

Barilla Farfalle pasta, as with all of their pasta cuts, cooks to a perfect “al dente” texture every time, making mealtime prep simple and straightforward. For families with busy schedules, ingredients you can always count on are a must.

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I have partnered with Life of Dad and Barilla Pasta for this promotion.