Chef Carolina Diaz
For me, cooking was always very familiar—almost second nature. There’s always been comfort in the kitchen. It represents home and unity across cultures.
Family is the epitome of cooking and hospitality. I always treat my guests like I would treat my family. They’re what motivates me to keep thriving. And my kids are a constant reminder that I have to work hard. But to be honest, my best work usually comes from pressure.
I have to wait until the creativity starts flowing, which is usually when the pressure is on. So I never say no to anything. I always answer “I’ll see what I can do”. Luckily, I have a full team to back me up when things get intense. They force me to look at a project from different angles and explore all creative avenues. My team is my second family and they give me the support I need to create.
As a chef, my favorite pasta is the Collezione Orecchiette. It’s made and crafted the same way I make and craft dishes in my kitchens. It gives you the desired al dente, homemade texture. It holds sauces perfectly. And when you bite into the pasta you get an impeccable balance of sauce in every bite. When I make a ragu, the sauce gently nestles in each crevice.
It's this level of attention to detail that constantly keeps me engaged and looking for more ways to improve upon my craft. For me, it's a way to distinguish myself in the quest for mastery and it's what I appreciate in Collezione. Collezione is simply made, unpretentious pasta crafted with care, humility, and integrity.
And my team and closest colleagues—from line cooks to sous chefs to head chefs of upscale fine dining establishments—all agree that Collezione is a superior product and worthy of being served to their guests. I hope you enjoy cooking with it as much as my peers and I do.
Chef Carolina's Orecchiette with Mushrooms, Parmesan Crema & Shaved Truffles
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 box Barilla® Collezione Orecchiette
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 5 oz mushrooms: beech mushrooms, also called shimeji mushrooms
- 1 tbs salt
- 12 oz heavy cream
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1 tbs black peppercorn, freshly cracked
- 1 oz white seasonal truffle, available at Eataly
- Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to taste.
- Cook Orecchiette "al dente" according to package directions. Drain; reserving 1 cup pasta water.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and salt and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add cream and bring to a boil. Add Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, black pepper and pasta water. Allow to thicken. stirring constantly.
- Add pasta to the skillet with the cheese sauce and toss.
- Plate and finish with freshly grated shaved truffle, or alternatively, finish with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese