Sweet Potato says... give the people what they want: Pasta

There's no point in asking kids what they want for dinner: The answer's always pasta. Here are some quick, summer-inspired recipes that will have you out enjoying the nice weather.

By Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh
Sweet Potato says... give the people what they want: Pasta

Photo: Maya Visnyei

I don’t need to ask my kids what they’d like for dinner and you probably don’t either. Pasta. Noodles. Spaghetti. Are they born carb addicts or is it something in the drinking water that turns children pasta-obsessives as soon as they start on solids?

Although I don’t want to eat pasta myself too many nights a week (well, I do, but I just can’t if I’d like to be able to zip up my jeans), I’ve found a way to make peace with it. I can kind of eat around it myself and consume more sauce and vegetables and just a bit of the actual pasta. And I can use the beloved noodles as a way of getting other fine ingredients into my kids. I’m talking tomatoes, spinach, and even kale. Plus, I’ve found a good quality whole grain pasta so I feel like my kids are getting some nutrition out of that part of the meal, too.

The one thing that summer pasta dinners must be is fast. No one should be standing over a hot stove for a second more than necessary. But the pasta water steam facial is all worth it when the cheer goes up that we’re having noodles for dinner!
This fresh tomato pasta is summer-time perfection. Plus, it involves very little cooking time.
Fresh Tomato Spaghetti
2 cups fresh tomatoes, washed and chopped?
1 head of arugula, washed and rough chopped?
2 cloves garlic, minced?
1/4 cup olive oil?
3 tbsp red wine vinegar?
500 gram package of whole wheat spaghetti?
salt and pepper to taste
1. Put a big pot of well-salted water on to boil.

2. In a sauté pan, bring the olive oil to low medium heat. Add minced garlic and allow to cook but not brown. Take off the heat.
3. Place your spaghetti noodles in the boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Drain your noodles well before tossing them back in the pot.

4. Add the garlic-infused oil and vinegar and toss well until all of the spaghetti is well coated. Now add your tomatoes and toss again. Throw in the arugula and give it another good mix so there are pieces of green throughout. Taste before adding a bit of salt and pepper. 

Want to keep the easy pasta recipes coming? More recipes from

Kale Pasta
This is your family's answer to nutrition and addiction. You'll love that they get their greens; they'll love that they get their pasta: Everybody wins.
Ginger Pork and Noodles
This full-on meal-in-a-bowl is packed with flavor. The garlic pork and green beans are piled onto a helping of rigatoni, making this a delicious alternative to spaghetti and meatballs. Substitute some tofu for the pork and make it a no-meat option.

This article was originally published on Aug 10, 2012

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