“Eating well starts small” is the tagline for the latest Barilla pasta brand extension. Piccolini which translates small, comes in three varieties Mini Rotini, Mini Conchiglie (shells) and Mini Penne. All look and taste like regular pasta while providing fiber and whole grains. The pasta cooks in 7 minutes and though aimed at kids, the product is excellent for the whole family and can be used in traditional pasta dishes.
We tried the Mini Penne and used it as the base for a light sausage/fennel sauce and to make kid-friendly mac & cheese. In both dishes the pasta performed well, held its shape and texture, even the next day, and was indistinguishable from traditional Penne, except that the size was slightly smaller.
One serving, 2 ounces uncooked, has 210 calories, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of protein, 43 carbs, 2 grams of sugar (from the grains, there is no added sugar) , 6 grams of fiber and no sodium.