Saturday, May 8, 2010

Buitoni Riserva Wild Mushroom Agnolotti with Meatballs and Spicy Red Sauce

If your wife or significant other is the chief cook and bottle-washer like me and you're looking to relieve them of meal duties for Mother's Day, or cook a special meal for your mom, run to the refrigerated section of your store and pick up some Buitoni pasta pillows.  Then pair that with my 30 minute speedy sauce {definitely add in the Rotel tomatoes this time for a nice kick that totally compliments the mushroom agnolotti} or, use your own favorite sauce, and add some pre-made, store-bought or homemade meatballs if you like, and you want to talk about a gourmet meal.

As a Foodbuzz Publisher, I was able to participate in a Foodbuzz Tastemaker taste test of Buitoni Riserva pastas. I know, I'm a bit late to the party, but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do with it, so rather than just throw something together, I froze the pasta. I'm here to tell you that freezing does not affect the taste or quality of this pasta at all, so you can pick up a few of these packages of fresh pasta and keep them stored in the freezer for those nights that you want a fresh meal, but don't have much time for prep work.

I love that these little pasta pillows are made with all natural ingredients and in fact, I was amazed at how fresh and homemade this dish tasted! The Mushroom Agnolotti is made with a combination of portobello and crimini mushrooms, roasted garlic, and authentic Italian Parmesan and Grana Padano cheeses.  This is the real deal and it certainly comes through in the taste. Simply fantastic.

I had recently made my spaghetti sauce with homemade meatballs and there was just enough left to combine with this pasta to make a meal for two - perfect since the Buitoni Riserva is a 2-serving package. I warmed the leftover sauce and four meatballs, placed the pasta in a very large pot of boiling water with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil {to prevent sticking} and cooked it literally for only 5 minutes! Threw a side salad together while the pasta cooked, spooned a bit of sauce on the plate, laid out a row of the cooked and drained pasta, spooned a bit of sauce on top, placed two meatballs on top of that and sprinkled with some chopped fresh oregano, right out of the garden. Not only was it an aesthetically beautiful plate, but the flavor is just out of this world.

If you happen to already have leftover sauce in the freezer like I did, this meal can be done and on the table in no time.  Pair it up with some Cheesy Garlic Bread, a tossed garden salad and some Southern Iced Tea or a nice bottle of wine, and you have one great and impressive, but easy meal that people will think you slaved over. We won't tell them any different.

Now... I don't advocate hiding ingredients from guests whose allergies you are not familiar with, but the only "allergy" my husband The Cajun has, is a perceived aversion to anything related to a vegetable. He certainly would never eat mushrooms intentionally. So, I just whipped this up, put it on the table, did not mention what was in it, and well, this was the result.

I'd say he liked it, wouldn't you?  Actually he even raved about how delicious it was.  And I just smiled, said thank you very much, and kept my lip zipped.

I can't wait to try some of the other varieties available now. With fresh, and flavorful fillings, it tastes just like I rolled out the dough and stuffed them myself, with a whole lot less effort.  You can check out what's available right here.

For dessert, how about one of these Strawberry Banana Shake Shooters?  Yum.

Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a free package of Buitoni Riserva.