Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Penne Pasta in a simple butter sauce

I am always amazed at the variety of pastas available at my local grocery store. All kinds of shapes, sizes and made with different kinds of grain - the ubiquitous enriched flour ones, whole wheat, whole grain, multigrain, gluten free - whew! But I can definitely understand the reason..pasta is an amazing versatile product and is loved by kids as well as adults.
My kids love pasta and eat it quite often. As a result, I try to get the whole wheat or the whole grain varieties and always add various chopped vegetables to the dish.
This week, I tried a simple butter sauce with vegetables and some spices, instead of a tomato or a cheese sauce. The kids liked it in their lunchboxes and I wasn't unhappy with the whole grain profile of the dish !


2 C whole grain or whole wheat pasta
½ C chopped veggies, such as carrots, beans , peas , corn
1 tsp grapeseed oil or oil of choice
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp garam masala
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely chopped cilantro (optional)

1. Cook the pasta as per directions and set aside.
2. In a wide bottomed pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds.
3. When the seeds splutter, add the turmeric, grated ginger and the garam masala and saute for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the chopped vegetables and cook until they are tender.
5. Add the salt and mix thoroughly.
6. Add the butter and let it melt.
7. Mix in the cooked pasta and turn gently until pasta is coated with butter and vegetables are evenly distributed.
8. Sprinkle lemon juice and garnish with parsley or cilantro, if your children like it.

1. You can use any kind of pasta instead of the whole wheat penne.
2. Due to the butter, the pasta stays pretty tender and moist even at lunch time, a few hours after it was prepared.
3.The actual butter sauce recipes contain more butter than I have used here.
4.The kids both liked the taste of this pasta and it makes a good lunchtime option.
5.I added a few warming spices to the pasta, because of the cold weather and also to keep the pasta from becoming bland. If you wished, you could leave it out and just use black pepper.

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