This holiday season, there are quite a few things on the dinner menu that aren’t approved by my picky eaters. Sure, my girls can be very healthy easters, but their menu is limited. Creating a side dish of pasta is a sure fire way to get them to eat with the family, but plain pasta just doesn’t cut it on the holiday table. Some creativity is necessary, and I find the best way to get kids to try something new is to include them in the kitchen when cooking!
We use the PastaFits website for inspiration regularly, and while we don’t always follow the recipe exactly as it is presented, we have made quite a few delicious meals with help from their recipe tab. The Bucatini with Pork and Red Pepper Ragu would be something my daughter might try. I changed up the recipe and substituted pancetta for the ground pork because I feel pancetta is much more flavorful and since it tastes like bacon, my preschooler might actually eat it- she loves bacon (who doesn’t!?)
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 roasted red peppers (about 8 oz. cleaned), roughly chopped
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups/6 oz. diced onion
- 2 Tbsp./3/8 oz. roughly chopped garlic
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 lb. ground pork
- ¼ cup/2 oz. tomato paste
- ½ cup/4 oz. white wine
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can tomatoes
- 12 oz. bucatini
- 6 Tbsp. sliced basil
Another favorite that was appealing to my girls was the red peppers. They can live off of any color pepper and the red peppers added a nice pink color to the sauce. Our pink pasta was fit for a princess, but would they like it? I had to skip the basil in their dishes because it’s green, and it just didn’t appeal to them IN the pasta, but they loved tasting the fresh basil on its own. Another substitution we made was curly pasta instead of bucatini, only because that is what I had, and they love it! We skipped the canned tomatoes because my girls don’t like tomato chunks and opted to water down the tomato paste to make a smoother, creamier sauce as opposed to a chunky sauce.
So, do you think my girls liked it? I’ll be honest, my preschooler preferred very little sauce on her pasta and picked out whatever chunks she could find. My toddler? She LOVED it and asked for seconds! I can’t win them all every time, but getting them to try something new is always a win in my book. You can find out more by visiting PastaFits and find some delicious recipes that you can adapt to fit your family’s tastebuds!
This holiday season, you may find a hard time feeding your pickiest eaters. A side of pasta is always a hit, and can be adapted to unique tastes. I know my girls will most likely not like a lot of foods that are served this Thanksgiving, but we can adapt some of the recipes found on PastaFits to make them interesting for my youngest dinner guests. You can check out PastaFits on Facebook to get some pasta-inspiration!