With so many different shapes and colors, pasta wins kids over even before they take their first bite.
Mix and Match
Are the kids getting bored with regular spaghetti? Why not try bow-tie pasta, fusille, or really switch things up with some ravioli? Or keep the spaghetti noodles, but whip up a different sauce! Get the kids in on the action by letting them pick out a fun-shaped pasta at the grocery store.
Pick a Pasta, Any Pasta
From classic mac and cheese, to worldly Asian noodles, you're sure to find a recipe to please your mini foodies:
Mac and Cheese
Before you get started, make sure you track down the following:
- 6-8 quart pot
- 4-6 quarts of cold water
- 1-2 tablespoons of salt
Note: using olive oil in boiling pasta isn't necessary. It doesn't stop the pasta from sticking, and there's not enough of it in there to add much flavor. The best thing you can do for flavor is add plenty of salt.
To Rinse, or Not to Rinse
Should you rinse your pasta after you strain it? There's really no right answer, though there are particular reasons you might want to lean one way or the other. Keep these things in mind when deciding:
- Rinsing pasta in cold water stops it from continuing to cook, which is especially helpful if you are cooking your pasta al dente.
- Rinsing the pasta can cool it a bit, but it's nothing a hot pasta sauce can't remedy.
- Starches on the cooked pasta help the sauce cling to noodles, and rinsing the pasta removes these starches. You can remedy lost starch by keeping some of the water the pasta was cooked in, adding it to your dish to thicken the mixture if needed.