Skier Mikaela Shiffrin has notched some pretty precocious achievements in her 19 years—like becoming the youngest slalom champion in Olympic history—but compiling a cookbook wasn’t among her ambitions. “I didn’t spend my teenage years thinking, ‘I’m going to write a cookbook’,” she jokes with characteristic candor.
But with Barilla as the ski racer’s keystone sponsor, the opportunity presented itself. Winning Recipes From Mikaela Shiffrin is a new collection of pasta dishes inspired (if not created) by Shiffrin’s favorites.
Photos of the skier are sprinkled throughout the cookbook, but Shiffrin did more than endorse a bunch of unfamiliar recipes. “For months, I weighed in with my favorite meats, veggies, and flavors,” Shiffrin says. Steered by her preferences, Barilla’s chef Yury Krasilovsky formulated the recipes. “Every single one of these, I would devour,” she says, though the Pad Thai Spaghetti is her favorite. “I love pad thai and pork fried rice, so the book includes a whole section of Asian recipes,” she explains.
In Europe, where Shiffrin spends most of the winter traveling from race to race, she’s more likely to find Italian-style spaghetti. “Typical Austrian restaurants always serve some sort of pasta,” she says. “For me, and for athletes in general, carbs are essential.”
But for Shiffrin, pasta represents more than just fuel: It’s her favorite comfort food. “I absolutely love the pesto my mom makes. It’s so garlicky, you can’t believe it,” she says. “And when we don’t have time get creative, mom always makes pasta with chicken and bell peppers. It’s her fallback, yet it’s delicious,” says Shiffrin. “It feels like home to me.”
Winning Recipes From Mikaela Shiffrin is available in digital and print editions from the Barilla website, free with purchase of four boxes of pasta.