Yes kids are messy, but so is pasta. Combining these two wonderful things may actually make your life far easier. Who cares if the pasta is cooked Al Dente, the kids certainly don’t and unless you forget to prepare water with your pasta, follow the tips below and you can’t possibly fail.
Foolproof tips for working with Pasta and Kids:
Tip #1: The slimier the better, kids love slimy things that they can squeeze in your hands, Pasta like Ditalini, kids find hilarious with their short tube nature. Make a little warm tomato dip on the side for dipping fun.
Ditalini Tomato Dip:
200g of Canned Italian tomatoes (or mashed fresh herbed tomatoes)
2 tablespoons of Brown sugar
2 teaspoons of Worcester sauce
¼ cup of finely chopped red onions
¼ cup of finely chopped celery
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Heat butter and oil in a pan, add garlic, red onions and celery and fry for a couple of minutes, add brown sugar, and once dissolved add the remaining ingredients, simmer for up to 10 minutes and its all done.
Tip #2: Ravioli is by far my favourite to cook for the kids. 3 pieces of this with the right filling is the most nutrition the kids will get for the week.
Variations for filling include:
Pureed vegetables with lentils
Cheese and lean mince with tomato sauce
Chicken and asparagus
As long as it is able to fit in the ravioli, it works so let your imagination run wild.
After the ravioli is cooked you can make little tomato sauce faces on them or if the kids are old enough, let them go for it.
Fusilli bucati is the coolest pasta around. Of course you can use any springy, coiled pasta but this is my personal favourite. Make a wee pesto with crushed cashews and parmesan and they will be entertained for hours.
The last tip is a quick reminder that might save you a carpet cleaner, ALWAYS put a mat down when working with pasta. Failing any of these tips, just remember kids love entertaining food, grab out some food colouring and make it exciting. Make sure you remember to enjoy it after all that, just don’t expect the pasta to be Al Dente!