Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One spaghetti-tastic day

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.

Mamma mia!

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?



  1. Short pasta is king at our house! Bowties, penne, anything that will fit on a big spoon!

    Too bad the beet juice didn't work out--I think you're going to have to go to FOOD COLORING!!! Don't give up though--I want to see purple spaghetti and Max in the same pic!

  2. My little one with feeding delays is also into spaghetti. I think it is the easiest shape for her to slurp down. She does OK with angel hair as well. Her older sis likes the stuffed pastas - ravioli, tortellini... The day they agree on something, I will have a party.

  3. what a fun-ghetti day!

    we just tried the piccolini (tiny) pastas at our house, which were a big hit. if you wanna read abt it:

  4. The little pasta stars & orzo rein supreme at our house. Bertrand can chew them well & I don't need to chop them up! They're so quick & easy to fix too. :)

  5. I am just wondering, does Max eat spaghetti EVERY day, or just talk about it a lot? Also, has he tried buccatini (the tube-like spaghetti noodle) it holds a lot of sauce.

  6. We love pasta and I usually go with the angel hair type. It blends up the easiest(no pasta blends up easy) to go down Junior's feeding tube.

  7. My husband and I love spaghetti but our picky eaters refuse to eat it. I've tried giving them plain noodles, noodles with sauce, noodles with sauce and meat and they just won't eat it. What's the trick to getting them to try new things? I HATE making 10 different things because they are so picky.

  8. If I knew the trick for getting kids to eat new things, Max wouldn't eat spaghetti basically EVERY single day. Yes, Anony Mous, he has it that often. At the very least, we discuss spaghetti all day long. On his iPad he likes to tap out "Max eats spaghetti sauce" throughout the day, and he only wants to be called Max Eats Spaghetti Sauce.

    Felicia, bowties are my personal fave! I particularly love them in a salmon sauce, a dish I had all the time when I studied in Florence junior year. Yes, it's off to Whole Foods to search for purple food coloring, my friend tells me they have a natural form there. Not giving up just yet on the spaghetti.

    Agree, catchupdaphne, spaghetti is easily slurpable/chewable! Ditto for the Piccolini kinds—Anna, Sabrina loves those. I will join you in that party on the day the kids agree! Max does NOT like it when Sabrina has spaghetti too. He is the only one allowed in our house to love spaghetti.

  9. We like easily forkable pasta here - so spaghetti, sadly, is not frequently in the rotation. And by "we," I mean the two year old ruler of the house. Barilla's piccolini shapes are a favorite dinner. I prefer angel hair or vermicelli.

    Have you tried blueberries for a purple hue? They certainly turn my fingers purple when I'm thawing frozen blueberries for pancakes. Max is right, I find beet juice kind of terrifying myself.

  10. I ONLY buy Barilla! The smaller bites are better for Zoe- for kids with really low muscle tone and gagging issues- al dente sometimes works better- It did for us! More impact!

    Zoe loves Barilla's cut spaghetti ( exactly how it sounds, 1 inch pieces of precut spaghetti.. ) Hey ellen, maybe your local restaurant can try it. LOL.

    Anyway, we love the Fiori ( flowers) the mini penne, the mini wagon wheels.. perfect for kids. Hubby and I like their whole grain , wheat adult size penne too.

    Spaghetti! Spaghetti ! Spaghetti! Go Max!

  11. Sarah, I haven't tried blueberries! Will add to list of purple spaghetti possibilities.

  12. Cavatappi. I'm 12 with PDD NOS and this is one of the foods that does not trigger my gag reflex.


Thanks for sharing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...