'Barilla' on Serious Eats

Barilla’s New Piccolini: Mini Wagon Wheel Pasta

When I think of the success of the Mini Cooper or the Smart car across the pond, I realize how much those Europeans love everyday essentials in miniature. And now Italian pasta company Barilla takes the trend one step further with its Piccolini, five old pasta shapes that newly come in "mini-me" sizes. To go with the little cars, Barilla now makes little wheels, my absolute favorite, but hard to find, pasta shape. When craving wagon wheels, I have to walk to the gourmet market to buy De Cecco's, but the trip is a hassle when I want a quick pasta dinner, and frankly, no matter how much I try to retain their al dente integrity, they come out mushy.... More

The Italian Pasta Sauce Blind Taste Test

Jan Norris of the Palm Beach Post: "We got sticker shock, seeing 'premium' jars of red sauce, ranging from $5.69 to $10.29, prominently displayed at the supermarket, while the $2.07 Ragú sat on the bottom shelf. So, if they cost nearly five times as much — and contain, on average, 2 ounces less — these pricey pasta potions must be nearly five times better than Ragú, right?" Norris got five Italian grandmothers to blind taste test 16 different sauces—they thought the most expensive sauce was the worst of the lot and gave the highest rating to Barilla's Tomato and Basil, the cheapest of all the sauces at $2.50!... More

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