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Cooking with Kids: Pasta in Homemade Healthy White Sauce

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 ;)
  • 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!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mansi May 25, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Hey Rashmie. My daughter is a cooking fan too! I was browsing pinterest for some kid friendly recipe. I ammdefinetely trying pasta with her. I think Pari might like to make some ice pops too. WE are making them with watermelon, bananas and mangoes.

  • Chhavi May 25, 2012, 5:59 pm

    OMG Rashmie…these two girls are unbelievably alike…FYI, we both made pasta last week and this time Vasavi insisted on red sauce(than white)…just the way she recently had at Dominoes-her favourite. This home-made pasta is so healthy n tasty n innovative as u may choose to add veggies of ur choice, garnish the way u want; besides the fun involved in cooking with ur kiddos(so therapeutic)…we too are spending a considerable part of her holidays cooking together:)))

  • Sunita May 25, 2012, 6:44 pm

    This is a topic that is very dear to my heart! Here are some relevant posts about cooking with kids from my blog (all vegetarian). All my recipes are kid-friendly both for the preparation and the eating. Having kids in the kitchen is the BEST way to cook!!!
    growinghealthy.posterous.com/brussels-sprout-pear-stew (a recipe my son created on his own that is very tasty!)

  • Sanjeeta KK May 25, 2012, 8:37 pm

    Thanks for the mention, like the onion-garlic twist in the sauce. And feels good to see children cooking, taking interest in what they like to eat. Hugs.

  • Srishti May 26, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Oh Wow Wow! What a pasta treat! Your post reminded me of this recipe, will treat Pari’s mama with Saturday night Pasta dineer (wink)! I have been planning to do a post with Pari. I was waiting for your Udaipur trip when we both could do one.Will plan some other day and let you know in advance. Let me discuss with Pari about what she wants to cook with me ! (smiles)

  • stacy May 28, 2012, 8:39 am

    You know, between Jimmy & Pari … we may never have to cook again! He has always loved cooking but he has also been on a cooking & cleaning kick. I think I’ll let him try Pari’s recipe sometime this week. He will love making something she loves too

  • Manish May 28, 2012, 1:02 pm

    Awesome! It ‘looks’ totally yummy! I’m getting myself invited to your place this weekend! Any of the 3 meals that Pari cooks will work! :) Pasta will be a bonus – it’s my fav too!

  • Tulip May 29, 2012, 12:36 am

    Yum, it looks great! I like broccoli in my white sauce. My favorite thing to make with my kids is Pizza. New Pinterest follower! Hope to see you at True Aim. Thanks for sharing this simple recipe.

  • Pallavi May 30, 2012, 7:16 pm

    Looks yummy! My girl is waiting to turn 5 ( in less than 2 months) so that she can do the ‘hard jobs’ she says :) like cutting veggies with real knife ;) this post encourages me to let her do more in the kitchen. Thanks for the recipe rashnmie!

  • Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam June 12, 2012, 10:06 am

    Delicious! And how do you get so lucky that she wants to do the dishes?! ;)

  • shruti kumar August 3, 2012, 7:20 pm

    i seem to like all the ideas and fun stuff involved in this website. thanks for sharing great cooking meals .

  • Lisha January 22, 2013, 11:46 pm

    Lovely recipe – thank you for sharing, made a good dinner! ;-)

    • Rashmie January 26, 2013, 10:13 am

      Great! Glad you enjoyed the pasta :-)
      Thank you for stopping by to share your comment, Lisha.

  • Swetha.S.Patil March 21, 2013, 8:41 pm

    Hi parinita,your recipe is really interesting and healthy too….i will definitely try it.I would like to share some info,that is ROCK SALT is known as SINDAA NAMAK and KALA NAMAK is known as BLACK SALT,which helps in digestion…………..:-)