Updated: Sep 19
This pasta dish will not only please the palates of your youngsters, but is also a nutrition bomb. Not to mention, that you only need 15 minutes. We are going to use wholegrain pasta (whatever your kids like), fresh grated zucchinis (optionally) and the homemade pesto sauce we keep in our freezer. To add some thickness (and a little bit of Calcium too), we will use Greek yogurt.
Don’t be afraid to substitute heavy cream for Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has almost double the amount of protein and half the carbohydrates as regular yogurt, it’s packed with probiotics and calcium, and its thick consistency makes it perfect for making baked goods more dense and delicious. Whereas cream, is not only calorie-dense, but lacks significant nutrients too.
Hands on: 15 minutes
Portion: for 4
500gr. (16 oz.) wholegrain pasta (whatever your kids like)
5 tablespoons basil pesto
200 gr. (7 oz.) Greek strained yogurt
400 gr. coarsely grated small zucchinis (optional)
4 tablespoons grated cheese - (could be Parmesan)
How to do it
Wash and grate your zucchinis. Since we will not boil them, they have to be tender (small zucchinis usually are). Add some salt (1 teaspoon) and place them in a colander. Let them drain for 15 minutes.
In the mean time boil some salted water and add the wholegrain pasta. Follow the package directions for the cooking time.
Drain the pasta and add it again into the pot.
Time to add the basil pesto sauce and the grated zucchinis. Stir well.
Finally add the yogurt, the grated cheese and some pepper if you like.
If you cannot find small zucchinis, or if your kids don’t like zucchinis, make the recipe without them. It will still be delicious and nutritious.
If you haven’t already prepared a homemade basil pesto, then just buy the best pesto sauce you can afford. No problem.
My husband’s colleague Marino from Genoa told him a clever Italian secret, when making pasta served with sauce. Add a peeled potato at the boiling water. Boil the potato for 10-15 minutes, until the potato’s starch is fully released. Remove the potato and boil your pasta in the same pot. The potato’s starch acts like a thickening agent, and helps pasta and sauce BECOME ONE. The perfect incorporation.