Recently I was approached by Barilla to create my very own summer recipe using their new pasta called Barilla Plus. It’s a multi-grain pasta rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber — all things I like. The pasta is made from semolina, oats, spelt, barley, legumes, ground flaxseeds and oat fiber. It was easy to say yes because Barilla is the pasta that I usually buy anyways. It’s tasty and affordable.
I was intrigued by this challenge because cooking is something I’ve struggled with in the past. Over the last few years I’ve been practicing trying new recipes and improving my cooking skills. I was really excited to create my OWN recipe. The first step was visiting my local Farmer’s Market. I wanted to get produce to go in my recipe from a local grower and the Farmer’s Market is the perfect place for that. I also wanted to use some of the things from my own garden.
I love Farmer’s Markets–especially when the booths have samples. 🙂 I admit, I got a little sucked into the free sample tastings (vegan chocolate, goat cheese, guacamole, and bean dip).
But I was on a mission. I needed red onions, garlic, lemons, cherry tomatoes and zucchini for my recipe creation. I would use the tomatoes from my own garden but they aren’t quite ready to eat yet. I did use my own basil.
Then home to cook! Here is the recipe I created:
3 cups Barilla Plus farfalle pasta
2 Salmon fillets
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 cloves minced garlic
Lemon juice (to taste)
Salt and pepper
Crumbled feta cheese
1.5 cup plain Greek yogurt
Fresh basil, torn
1 Zucchini, chopped
Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Cook the BarillaPlus pasta per package instructions.
Mince/mash garlic into a paste and mix into plain Greek yogurt to taste (add more if desired). Add a splash of lemon juice, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix in feta cheese.
Bake salmon fillets with salt, pepper and butter at 350degrees about 15-18 minutes depending on the thickness. Cut into bite size pieces.
Sautee zucchini in skillet with Grapeseed oil. (I actually put the zucchini chunks in the oven with the salmon and cooked them that way.)
Toss the pasta with the cream sauce and a splash of the reserved pasta water, mix in zucchini and tomatoes. Top with the salmon bites.
I crushed and minced the garlic and mixed it into the Greek yogurt with salt, pepper, onion powder and a dash of fresh lemon juice. Then I mixed in some of the feta cheese. This is the part where it depends on the person’s taste so I can’t be exact. I added a little bit more feta because I love the taste. You can always go light on the garlic and feta cheese.
The salmon was baking in the oven with the zucchini while the pasta was cooking. Michael was skeptical about it but started reading the box and was intrigued. He was impressed with the amount of protein that was in the pasta! Who ever heard of protein in pasta?
When the pasta was done cooking, I mixed in some of the Greek yogurt mixture with a bit of the reserved pasta water and mixed it all together until creamy. Then I added the fresh basil, halved cherry tomatoes and the chopped red onion.
The salmon was done so I cut it into smaller pieces and added it to the pasta dish. Michael and I sat outside on our deck with the cool breeze rustling the trees, the sound of the kid’s baseball practice at the school next to us, and the setting sun behind the house. It was peaceful and relaxing after a long week at work.
I lit some candles and Michael poured the wine. I used the book that my brother got me for Christmas to pair the correct wine with dinner. The book was amazing–so in depth. I was able to break it down to a pasta dish with salmon in a lemon cream sauce. Pretty specific, huh? Seriously–this book is crazy. It even lists what wine to pair with McDonald’s fish filet, Dominoes Pizza and Taco Bell’s Gordita. Too funny.
I chose the Bogle Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve had Bogle wines before and enjoyed them quite a bit. The Sauvignon Blanc went with dinner superbly. It was crisp and light, with a hint of sour apple and a sweet, tropical fruit–pineapple perhaps? It balanced the richness of the salmon nicely.
Now for the important part: how was my recipe? It turned out to be wonderful! Somehow I was able to get the vision I imagined onto the plate with success. The flavors were rich and delicious. I loved the creamy Greek yogurt sauce and of course tomatoes, garlic and basic go brilliantly with salmon. This recipe could be tweaked in any way to fit your palate: more garlic or less, goat cheese instead of feta, or chicken instead of salmon. I think all of those things would blend nicely.
I devoured my dinner and so did Michael, in fact we both kind of had second helpings….which is rare. It was just too tasty to pass up. The carb-loading helped my bike ride the next day AND the leftovers were fantastic as a cold lunch. The best part: there wasn’t any of that “I just ate pasta” bloating or Pasta Remorse. Maybe because of the protein content in it? Not sure, but we give that aspect two thumbs up!
Now for the fun part!
BarillaPlus asked me to share the love with some of my readers. I have one $25 VISA gift card to give out and 2 boxes of pasta. I will pick two winners!
1) Follow me on Twitter and tweet: “I want to win a $25 gift card and @BarillaUS pasta from @lisaeirene at http://wp.me/p116Lc-8D5″ Then leave a comment here telling me you did so.
2) Join my Facebook page and leave a comment here telling me you did.
3) Leave a comment telling me what pasta dish you will create if you win.
I will pick the two winners on Friday, August 17th . Good luck!
Barilla PLUS is available nationally at most major and independent supermarkets or by contacting My Brands, Inc. at 1.888.281.6400 to place an order. For additional information about Barilla pasta and sauce, or to obtain recipes and meal ideas visit www.BarillaUS.com.
DISCLAIMER – WHILE THE PRODUCT WAS PROVIDED TO ME FROM BARILLA, MY REVIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE ENTIRELY MY OWN.