I spotted these Barilla shelf-stable microwaveable meals at Meijer and had a coupon – so thought – what the heck?! I like pasta – and Barilla is a trusted name. They have five varieties and they all sounded pretty tasty. I went for the Tomato & Basil Penne.
I have to say – as a marketing person – the packaging might be my favorite part! It definitely stands out! The plastic bowl it’s in is nearly one you’d save and reuse, the plastic on top is very sturdy and just feels “expensive” at least in the under $4 lunch arena. Also – what I liked is that the instructions were printed right on the package.
The sauce and pasta are separate – so you open the one partition to a dotted line – then microwave.
They also tell you to hold FIRMLY when you peel back the sauce and there’s a reason for that! The seal is very sticky and I had to yank a little and spilled a bit of sauce (as you can see).
I was very skeptical – there was one shelf-stable that I had tried before that was DISGUSTING! It’s part of why I started reviewing these…so what would the verdict be?
IT WAS AWESOME!!!!
I mean – as awesome as pasta and sauce can be…but really – it was great! I’d say it was BETTER than any frozen version that I’ve had and tasted pretty much like I had just cooked this at home.
I will definitely be purchasing this again!