It is always a challenge to get kids involved in meal preparation but we encourage you to turn off the tech and make some beautiful memories in the kitchen with your loved ones. Food is always a huge part of any family tradition, and involving the kids in the kitchen will teach them life skills as well as cutting down your chores. Especially during the busy winter months with short days, snowy activities and homework, mom and dad need all the help you can get.

We were given the opportunity to ask celebrity chef David Rocco about involving kids in his own cuisine. Last year, David Rocco joined forces with Barilla to support the Share the Table initiative, a program dedicated to helping bring families together during mealtime.

UM: As a renowned chef, how have the meals you prepare for your family changed after you became a father?

DR: It’s definitely more of a challenge, because I have to try to make something everyone will like. Pasta works well because it’s a great way of introducing kids to new foods, plus it’s an easy dish that you can make every day — change the sauce and you have a completely different meal. It’s also a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen. Even if all they’re doing is helping dump the box of pasta into the boiling water, they’ll feel as though they were a part of the process and it will increase the likelihood of them actually eating it. 


Monaco Pasta Salad
Vitamix Bolognaise Sauce
Summer Asian Pasta Salad

 We’ve snagged one of David’s great pasta recipes for you as well. And as winter dies down and you’re enjoying the last of winter ski days like our family is, just remember – eat pasta, ski fasta!

David Rocco’s Pasta Al Burro

Barilla - David Rocco - Penne Pasta al Burro


  • 2 cups of your favourite Barilla Pasta cut (David’s favourite is Penne)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Cook and drain the pasta following the instructions on the box. Reserve a little bit of the pasta water.
  2. Add the unsalted butter, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt to taste, using the pasta water as needed, and stir.
  3. Want something richer? For a grown-up version, use gorgonzola and pecorino cheese. Add them along with the butter so they melt and form a rich sauce.
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