Cooking with Kids: Pasta in Homemade Healthy White Sauce

by Rashmie on May 25, 2012 · 15 comments

in Cook & Learn,Food

If there’s one area where Pari beats my passion and enthusiasm hands-down, it’s got to be cooking! Well, not that I don’t like cooking, but if I have to grade that interest against the dozen other things that I want to do, cooking goes way down my list. And yet, I do cook at least three meals a day. Oh well!

BUT, in the past one month, I’ve had to stay longer than I’d like to in the kitchen, as I’m playing an ‘apprentice’ to the little self-driven chef in our home!

Gosh, this girl – if I’d give her a super free hand in the kitchen, she would go on to cook all the meals. Plus tea, juices, milk shakes, ice-creams, cakes…. The list can go on.

The fact is – she LOVES every aspect of cooking. Even the tasks that sound like chores…

So, I’ve now made peace with the fact that a chunk of our homeschooling will happen on the kitchen counter.

Take a look at all the stuff she’s made this week:

  1. Pasta in handmade white sauce – twice
  2. Puri-Aloo Sabzi (fried bread with potato curry in tomato/onion gravy).
  3. Ginger Tea – almost every single day
  4. Masala Lemonade
  5. Not to mention – she’s kneaded the dough, chopped the veggies and all the other side jobs! (rolling my eyes!)
  6. Ah, and she insists on cleaning the dishes, too.

So, here’s the recipe (modified from here) for the Pasta along with the white sauce that we she made.

Pasta is something that this girl can eat for all three meals. (oh, these idiosyncrasies!) And, this one turned out perfect!
It could pass as one of those from Pizza Hut, which she loves to the core.

We made masala lemonade to go along with it (a la ‘Pizza Hut’!). She gorged on this meal watching ‘Doremon’- her fav show.



How to Make Pasta in Healthy, Homemade White Sauce

Since this is one dish that she would want to make and eat again and again, I’d to make sure it’s not junk.
So, we decided to make our own white sauce using whole wheat flour. No eggs for us. Besides, we used whole-wheat, organic pasta from ‘Fab India’. You can also use muti-grain pasta.
  • [As in the first pic] In a pan (kadhai), add some butter and gently mix 4-5 teaspoons of wheat flour – one spoon at a time. All the while, keep mixing till it leaves an aroma and turns golden brown. Next, add warm (shouldn’t be cold – to avoid lumps) milk – about 2-3 cups – gradually – making sure no lumps are formed. The mixture will start thickening. You have to stir continuously or chances are high that lumps will show up.
  • After a minute, sprinkle some pasta seasoning and salt.

  • In another pan, saute some onion and garlic in olive oil till they turn light brown. Sprinkle some oregano.
  • Add the sauteed onion/garlic to the white sauce. Also sprinkle some black pepper powder.
  • Grate cheese over the sauce.

  • Finally, add your boiled pasta in the white sauce and gently mix the whole thing. At this stage, use a spatula or a spoon sparingly. The idea is to fold the pasta into the white sauce neatly.
  • Make Masala Lemonade and serve. Or, eat – straightaway as Pari did ;)
Tips:
  • When boiling pasta add a teaspoon of olive oil into the water to avoid the pasta from sticking. You can add some salt, too. Also, after you strain the pasta in a colander, run some cold water over it and toss lightly.
  • We often add mushrooms to this dish to make it even healthier. You can add other boiled veggies like diced carrots, beans, capsicum or bell pepper. (Check out this stuffed capsicum recipe. You’ll love it!)

Masala Lemonade - We made this in soda water instead of plain water (as in ‘Shikanji’). Added juice of two small lemons plus sugar to taste and some rock salt (kala namak). The rock salt really livens up the taste. Also improves digestion.

This is one dish no kid can resist. And, if your kid is like mine who wants to cook her own food – it’s not complicated or cumbersome to cook WITH them.

Do you cook with your kid/s?

Pls share any ideas or links to vegetarian kid-friendly recipes that you might know of – in the comments below. Thanks for your help.

PS: Here’s a cottage cheese curry recipe in white cashew gravy/sauce. Just occurred to me if I can use some elements of this gravy for a Pasta sauce? hmm…. No harm in trying!