We have an almost 4-year-old in our house and that means it matters when things are “cute” now. In fact, one recent spaghetti dinner became an even bigger hit when we did just a few easy things. To make pasta even more popular (and sometimes a bit healthier) in your home, try these tips:
— Use a whole-wheat blend of pasta instead of regular white bread.
— Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt to the cooking water; the flavor gets in as the pasta cooks.
— Reduce the cooking time 2 minutes less than whatever the box says and let the noodles finish cooking in the sauce on the stove.
— To make a neat little nest of pasta, use tongs and twirl the noodles by rotating your wrist as you set them on the plate.
— Top the pasta with one miniature meatball for small kids, two for bigger appetites. The portion is small enough to look enticing without being overwhelming.
One last note: I like to use ground turkey, beef or chicken, and usually add whole oats or quinoa in place of breadcrumbs.