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Pantry staples for easy-to-prepare meals

Food connects us and nourishes our souls. For many, our fondest memories are captured around the dinner table or in the kitchen while preparing a special meal. While most of us appreciate the myriad of benefits that come from eating together, often our busy schedules make it hard to prepare a great tasting meal that everyone will enjoy.

Having some standard pantry staples on hand can help make preparing a delicious meal a snap. For example, dried spices, olive oil, frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes and pasta are pantry must-haves. When you have limited time, staples like these ensure you can still make a meal your family and friends will enjoy.

Pasta is a great dinnertime pleaser – it’s quick, easy and appeals to a broad range of taste preferences. Combining lean meats, vegetables and tomato sauce with pasta is an optimal way to marry flavor and nutrition.

Further, filled pasta is an easy, quick and versatile dish that allows you to create many healthy, delicious recipes to nurture connections with your family and friends around the dinner table. For instance, tortellini is an ideal pantry staple whether you are sitting down for a special occasion, mid-week dinner or impromptu gathering. Barilla’s Tortellini contains no preservatives, and uses high-quality ingredients to bring the same authentic flavors and textures that can be found in home kitchens across Italy.

Looking for a great recipe to enhance your next family special occasion dinner? Tortellini in Brodo, an authentic Italian soup, can be a delicious and elegant way to start any celebration. Or, complement that weeknight entree with a side of Baked Three-Cheese Tortellini with Tomato Cream Sauce. You can find both dishes and many more new recipes that feature pantry staples at BarillaUS.com.

Try this easy-to-make recipe tonight.

Three Cheese Tortellini and Vegetable Primavera

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 package Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini
1/2 bunch asparagus
1/2 cup scallion, white part only
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini, diced, seeded
2 plum tomatoes, diced, peeled
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, grated

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the asparagus tips and cut the remaining part into 1/4-inch long pieces. Slice scallions into small rings. Saute the scallions, zucchini and asparagus in oil in a medium skillet over medium heat for about eight minutes. Add tomatoes and saute for two more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook Three Cheese Tortellini according to package directions. Drain and add to the vegetable sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

For new and easy Tortellini recipes, log onto www.BarillaUS.com to download a limited-time recipe book filled with delicious meal options suited for everyday family meals and special occasions.

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