10-Minute Pasta(toddler-friendly)

I use the term “recipe” lightly here because I never measure the ingredients for this pasta; not having to measure anything is part of its beauty and ease. I measured it here so you can get a feel for it, but once you do, I encourage you to throw caution to the wind and wing it! It’s really hard to mess up.

Not only is this pasta fast and delicious, it packs in tons of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. You can also change it up and customize it so many different ways—I’ve provided a few ideas in the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the pasta:
  • 1 box (340 g/12 ounces) rotini or fusilli pasta*
  • 2 cups (500 mL) marinara sauce
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup (80 mL to 125 mL) hummus
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) hemp hearts
Optional add-ins:
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Frozen peas or other veggies**
  • Cooked lentils or beans
  • Fresh spinach or basil, minced in food processor
  • Puréed cooked carrots or cauliflower***

Directions:

  1. Add water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. While you are waiting for it to boil, gather the rest of the ingredients. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, add the pasta, and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, stirring every now and then to prevent the pasta sticking.
  2. Drain the cooked pasta well and place it back into the pot. Stir in the marinara, hummus, and hemp hearts until combined. Taste and add a bit of salt or other mix-ins if desired.
  3. Heat over low until warmed throughout. If serving this pasta to a little one, spread a scoop of pasta out on a plate to gently cool it before serving.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple days. To reheat, add the pasta into a pot along with a bit of extra marinara sauce (this adds moisture back) and stir to combine. Heat over medium-low heat until warmed throughout.

Tips:

* I typically use whole-grain kamut pasta. And sometimes, I mix in a bit of red lentil pasta for a protein boost. Feel free to use any kind of pasta you and your family enjoy!

** To quickly thaw frozen peas, add them to the pot during the last minute or two of cooking the pasta.

*** When I have time, I love to steam or boil carrots (or cauliflower) and then purée them until smooth. Then I stir the puréed veggies directly into the pasta. It’s an easy way to add even more nutrition without impacting the flavour too much.

This pasta goes lovely with a simple side salad and garlic bread. If your little one isn’t a salad fan, try giving them small lettuce leaves for dipping into the dressing.

credit: ohsheglows.com

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