My kids, just like yours, I am sure, love pasta. However, white pasta is not the healthiest of choices for active growing bodies, even with all of the enriching that goes into making it (read the label, enriched with this, enriched with that). Choose whole grain pastas, whenever possible for making the meal the healthiest. We use whole wheat pasta along with Kamut pasta, and occasionally brown rice pasta.
Something we started doing a number of years ago, was topping whole wheat pasta with roasted veggies as a great side dish. Roasting the vegetables gives them a sweetness children (and adults) enjoy, without losing the nutrition in them.
If you have all the ingredients in your fridge, this a quick healthy meal. Add baked chicken to round out the meal.
A quick tip: make double the recipe, add two cups of marinara sauce, and use with cooked short pasta for “Baked Pasta with Roasted veggies”. Cover and bake for 25 minutes at 400F, sprinkle with low fat mozzarella, and broil for 5 minutes (watched). Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Roasted Veggies with Pasta
Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl, combine:
1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1 medium Japanese eggplant, halved and sliced
3 medium bell peppers, seeded, and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
1 large red onion, sliced thickly
6-8 large button mushrooms, quartered
8-12 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded.
Add 2 TBSP Olive oil,
1/2 tsp black pepper
chili flakes to taste.
Toss the veggies with the olive oil and seasoning. Spread out on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes. Stirring veggies halfway through baking.
Meanwhile, heat a pot of water to boiling on the stove. After the veggies are halfway through baking, cook pasta following directions on package.
Return baked veggies to your large bowl, add 2 TBSP of Balsamic vinegar and 1 TBSP of Olive oil and half a cup of fresh basil leaves, shredded. Toss to ensure the flavours are spread evenly.
Toss veggies with finished pasta and serve with grated parmesan.