Pasta and Sweet Peas

Pasta and Sweet Peas

Sweet peas add a burst of flavor and whole wheat pasta gives texture to a familiar palette of fresh tomato sauce and cheese. This recipe comes to us from Stacey Antine, MS, RD, and author of Appetite for Life:  The Thumbs-Up, No-Yucks Guide to Getting Your Kid to Be a Great Eater.

Serves 10

Cooking Tip of the Week: When using fresh peas, be sure to enjoy them ASAP. Peas are naturally sweet, but when they go unused, they become starchy. If you don’t plan on using them immediately, refrigerate them to prolong their sweetness.

Food For Thought: Did you know that peas are easy to grow at home? You’ll need a packet of gardening peas (not the kind from the grocery store!) some potting soil and a paper cup with a few holes poked in the bottom. Fill the cup with soil and bury a pea one inch deep. Keep the soil moist and place it on a sunny windowsill. In a few days you’ll have a pea sprout you can plant outside!

Family Dinner Conversation Starter: Why is it important to not give up on something right away?

Directions: 

Adult: In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta as label directs.  Drain pasta and set aside.

Kid: Mince onion and garlic, cut tomato quarters into 1-inch cubes, and chop fresh oregano leaves. Shell peas (if fresh).

Adult: Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Together:Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Together:Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring.

Together:Add tomatoes, water, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook, uncovered, until tomatoes are very soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Together:Stir in pasta and peas and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors and cook peas.

Together: Shred the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Adult: Remove saucepan from heat.

Kid:  Stir in mozzarella and Parmesan before serving.

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