Friday, April 13, 2012

Pasta Night, Family Style

I have been hunting for recipes that were quick, easy, fairly healthy and most importantly, something the entire family could eat (meaning, a dish Ellie could eat with her fingers).  I have found a few.  This is one of Ellie's favorites.  She loves pasta and tomato sauce so I tried to add some nutrition to it.

The best part is that, apart from cooking the pasta, the whole thing comes together in one pot.  I'm all about fewer dishes, since we don't currently have a dishwasher.

What You Need

1 lb ground meat (I use ground chicken or turkey)
1 box pasta (I use something small, like mini bow ties)
1 jar pasta sauce (I always use Prego Chunky Garden)
1 bag frozen peas and carrots (you could also use broccoli, or spinach, Ellie just loves peas and carrots)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste (I leave this out because Ellie is too little for salt)

What To Do

-Cook the pasta.  I cook it a little softer than usual just to help Ellie out.  She still only has six teeth, and I'd like to avoid choking.
-While the pasta is cooking, brown the meat in a large skillet on medium high heat.
-Add the pasta sauce, peas and carrots to the browned meat.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cover with a lid.  Allow the sauce to simmer.
-When the pasta is done cooking, add it directly to the skillet.  Add Parmesan cheese.  Stir to combine.
-Turn the heat off and let the mixture sit for just a few minutes.  The pasta will absorb the remaining pasta sauce, and it will be extra yummy.

The last step: Consume!  This recipe will make A LOT!  At least, a lot for a family of three.  I portion out the leftovers into containers, which Nick takes to work for lunch.  Plus, Ellie loves this dish so much that she'll eat the leftovers for lunch or dinner until it's all gone.  The best is that it's pretty inexpensive and a balanced, one pot meal.  It has carbs, protein, and veggies!  It has become a weekly staple in our house.

  My taste-tester approves. 


Emily said...

Sounds yummy - and easy! I'll have to try that!

Two Mama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Two Mama said...

And OBVIOUSLY Ellie Bean loves it - that's a definite look of approval!