Home Cookin': Fancy Weeknight Pasta | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Home Cookin': Fancy Weeknight Pasta 

Published December 3, 2014 at 8:31 a.m.

click to enlarge Dressed-up penne - ERINN SIMON
  • Erinn Simon
  • Dressed-up penne
We eat pasta at least once a week at my house. My kids like it, it’s reasonably healthy and there are a million ways to prepare it. When I’m too tired or busy to really deal with dinner, or I just haven’t been to the grocery store in a week, there’s always a box of pasta and some crushed tomatoes in the pantry. But my kids are never that excited about plain old spaghetti with red sauce. So I’m always thinking of ways to dress up pasta that are truly tasty, but not too labor intensive.

I came up with this recipe while prepping squash for our Thanksgiving family dinner at Burlington Children’s Space. I put pasta on the school menu that week because I thought it would be easy to prepare for lunch while multitasking, but I had no idea what I would do with it until the roasted squash came out of the oven. The BCS kids loved it, especially when served with extra parmesan for sprinkling on top.

I made it for dinner at my house, too. While each kid insisted at first that there was something in the dish they didn’t like (kale and squash, I’m looking at you), they all ate it happily in the end. The familiar cheddar, the salty parmesan and the secret ingredient — a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg — won them over.

I love this dish because it satisfies my dueling holiday season urges to eat sensibly and indulge. Try it with a green salad and some garlic bread next time it’s pasta night at your house.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Erinn Simon

Erinn Simon blogs for Kids VT.


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