My Mother's Day of Perfection

I was feeling a little sorry for myself because Mother's Day is coming and half of my kids are scattered all over the map. See this story.

For us Cubans, as is true for most Hispanic cultures, Mother's Day is like a High Holy Day. Am I right?

Either way, I was still going to celebrate with the 2 that are still here and of course, I'll be spending the afternoon with my own mom and wearing the mandatory Red Carnation, of course.

I was still kind of day dreaming about how wonderful it would be if we could have one big dinner together. Wouldn't it be awesome if they could all be here for Mother's Day? 

It was more of a fantasy than an actual prayer, however...

Through some miracle of work scheduling and life events, it turns out that I'm going to have them all with me on Sunday, May 10th for Mother's Day. BEST. GIFT. EVER!

*does the happy dance*


Because Amy and Adam are traveling here and have other commitments and I want to spend as much time with them as possible, I'm going to be making a very simple dinner. Technically, they have no reason to object since Mami's doing the cooking anyway, but that's not important right now.

You know how much I love to cook for my family. I'm just so crazy happy to have them all here. My goal is to get the most out of the weekend and spend every last possible minute I can with them. 

I'm proud to say that I have parnered with Barilla® Pasta to make a simple and memorable Mother's Day feast. I had to keep from making myself crazy with creating an elaborate menu. And I think we have achieved simplicity here.

I got the following recipe from Barilla® Pasta. It's simple and delicious and I'm oh-so-grateful that this is a wonderful start to a winning menu. I ran over to Walmart and picked up all the ingredients pretty easily. 

I'm making spaghetti, people! *everyone cheers*

I only made one substitution - the crushed tomatoes for the whole ones.

Barilla Pasta San Marzano Spaghetti

Barilla® Spaghetti with San Marzano Tomato Meat Sauce

Preparation Time: 20 minutes - Servings:  8


  • 1 box Barilla® Spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 stem celery, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup White wine (optional)
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes*
  • 2 tablespoons basil* 
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved


 * NOTE - I substituted 28 oz. can of Cento Crushed Tomatoes because that's what my people prefer, and added two tablespoons of basil so I could get the same flavor because the San Marzano Tomatoes have basil already added.



1) PLACE a pot of water to boil.


2) MEANWHILE, in a large skillet, sauté the onion, carrot and celery with the extra virgin olive oil. ADD the meat and cook until browned well.



3) INCORPORATE the tomatoes and 1 cup of water, season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. 

4) COOK pasta in the boiling water according to the package directions. DRAIN pasta and toss with sauce. TOP with cheese. 


5) OPTIONAL: After the meat is browned, you can deglaze the sauce by adding the wine and let it reduce all the way. 


There you have a simple, crowd-pleasing, absolutely delicious meal that everyone loves. Also, I'm not going to be spending hours in the kitchen, I'm going to be spending lots of time with the ones I love best. 

And isn't that what we all really want for Mother's Day?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.