The idea for this Bright Vegetable Pasta came from a weelicious reader who's child lives on this recipe and I love it. A lot.
At first look I figured it was way too many vegetables in one recipe for the average kid (coincidentally, I had recently been told by a 9 year old that "salad is death". Whoa!).
Yet when I made this recipe for my kids, what worked so well for them is that the vegetables are grated and chopped into such tiny pieces that everything in the dish is really easy to chew, especially for small mouths. Plus, in every bite they got a burst of sweet veggies brightened by a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese. Combined all together it's a really simple dish that even the most resistant vegetables eaters should be willing to try.
Bright Vegetable Pasta (serves 4)
- 2 cups mini pasta (such as wheels, penne, bowties or spirals)
- 1 tablespoon Canola or Vegetable Oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup packed fresh baby spinach
- 2 - 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preparation1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, broccoli, and peas and saute another 3-5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Add the vegetables to the cooked pasta, toss with the lemon juice, parmesan cheese and reserved pasta water to combine thoroughly.