For this meal, we didn't get creative, following the directions completely. The only exception is that so many of Plated's recipes call for mincing garlic and onions so we purchased a giant container of pre-minced garlic and frozen chopped onions to save ourselves some time.
I prepped this meal early so it would be ready for cooking later. I wanted to get it going before my husband got home, because that's how easy Plated is. While services like Blue Apron will allow you to be more creative with your meals, Plated is definitely quick, easy, and doable for one. Their recipes usually also include at least one more "comfort food" item with a bit of a twist. This meal is basically a pasta dish, but at least they have you trying things you may normally not.
I had this meal done before my husband got home and it was so easy! We both liked it, although one complaint I do have about Plated is that the pasta and rice meals don't send enough for a lot of sauce. I suppose they figure you may not like the sauce so they want to allow you to add something else, but it ended up losing all its flavor because the sauce only bared coated most of the noodles. I am the kind of person who douses my pasta in sauce, but knowing that, next time I would just make a lot more. The sauce didn't call for much beyond basics you likely have in the fridge and pantry. The exception would be mascarpone, so I hope Plated considers sending more in the future. If they doubled up the amounts on the sauce ingredients, they still would not need to send a ton.
While some of the meal was cooking, I was also able to work on the dessert. The Plated desserts are always really easy to make and so yummy. They send just enough for a treat without going overboard. This Fruit & Citrus parfait was ladyfingers, homemade whipped cream (with powdered sugar and whipping cream only), and a fruit sauce made of strawberry jam and juice from an orange. It was perfect with the cold winter weather, because it reminded me that summer is still a thing!