Kath's College Kitchen: One-Minute ReadyPasta


Living in an apartment this year has been great for several reasons, but one of the big ones is having a kitchen to cook meals on the weekends. Between living in a dorm my freshman year and in my sorority house during my sophomore and junior years, this is the first year I’ve had a full kitchen. While I wouldn’t call myself a chef extraordinaire, it has been nice (and I love having an oven to bake cookies, too!). 

Though I am lucky to have a kitchen now, my three years living with just a community microwave and toaster taught me a thing or two. While it can seem like the only choices are ramen or Easy Mac, I became rather creative without a kitchen. Whether you’re living without a full kitchen or looking for a quick meal, I wanted to share a new series on the blog of microwavable meals that are actually filling and delicious.

My all-time favorite, go-to meal always included Barilla Ready Pasta. It is fully cooked pasta in a sealed bag carried at major grocery stores and retailers like Target. All that’s required for cooking is to rip the seal at the top, stick in the microwave for 60 seconds and let cool for a moment afterward. The pasta comes in a variety of noodle types, too. Barilla has debuted new types of noodles since I first started buying them and currently offers rotini, penne, elbows and gemelli. The pasta tastes nearly identical to pasta cooked on a stovetop, and you can’t beat the speed.

Aside from the cook time, the best part of these pastas is the ability to customize. You can use your favorite sauce or mix it up, or even just add some butter and parmesan. I always had a bag of noodles on hand when I lived in my sorority house, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy them was with pesto sauce. The pesto jars are small and easy to keep in a mini fridge, and it doesn’t require heating (especially great if you don’t have dishware or bowls to spare). To make it feel more like a full meal, I love these Trader Joe’s cheese sticks for an extra crunch.


Though I now have a stovetop and can make noodles (and frequently do), I keep some Ready Pasta on hand if I’m in a pinch or too hungry to wait for water to boil (hah). It’s quick, affordable and easy to customize with whatever you’re in the mood for. 


I’m excited to continue to share more few-ingredient, few-appliance meals. Let me know if you try the Ready Pasta or are already a fan too. I’d love to hear how you enjoy them!

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