Let's say you have a son who is obsessed with spaghetti. Ob-sessed. And Barilla finds out. They're doing a Summer of Italy tour, a six-week celebration of Italian food and culture, and would you like to attend some pasta-centric events? They will even pay you a fee for your efforts.
Your first mission, because of course you have chosen to accept it: Head off to experience Meal For A Meal, taking place through Thursday in spots around New York. Barilla is handing out 20,000 free pasta dinner kits from food trucks, 5000 a day. That's a lotta pasta. Wait, it gets better: For every Spaghetatta To-Go meal Barilla gives out, the company donates $1 to the Food Bank For New York City. That adds up to 100,000 meals for the needy. And they'll toss in an extra $1 donation for anyone who gets their photo taken for their Facebook page.
You look up "spaghettata" and find out it's Italian for an impromptu, spaghetti-based meal in which friends, family and fun are just as key as the pasta. You've been enjoying spaghettatas all year long and didn't even know it!
You tell your son that you're off to get him some spaghetti. He is a little skeptical of your pasta sensibilities because this week, you tried to make him some purple spaghetti using beet juice. Two problems: Beet juice actually makes spaghetti pink and also, it smells kind of nasty.
Your son stared dubiously at the pink-not-purple spaghetti. Then he caught a whiff and said, "NOOOOOOOOOOOO."
Off to the food truck you go to make amends! When you arrive you see the line and realize that there are a whole lot of spaghetti-loving people out there. Hey! Maybe someday, your son can help run a spaghetti lovers convention (assuming he doesn't switch to lasagna or ziti, that is).
You get your dinner kit and sure enough it contains a box of Barilla spaghetti (score!) along with a jar of Barilla sauce, a container of fresh greens, and packets of Barilla olive oil and vinegar. All this and money goes to the needy. Nice!
You bring your haul home proudly, as if you've been out hunting and caught a box of spaghetti. Your child is asleep by then but you lean down and whisper in his ear, "Max, I got you some more spaghetti!" And he sort of smiles and goes back to dreaming. Probably about spaghetti.
Live in New York? On Wednesday the Barilla food truck will be on East 59th between Lexington and 3rd; on Thursday, it will be on Broadway between 58th Street and Columbus Circle. Oh, and next week, I get to give away a bag of Barilla foods (please don't tell Max I'm giving pasta away!), and two pairs of VIP tickets to a special Summer of Italy concert.
What shape of pasta is your child's favorite?