Ever invented your own pasta recipe? Today is the day! All you need is some creativity with your pantry, whether you choose to make a fancy dish or a quick one-pot recipe for your family. What’s more, pantry pasta makes for a great opportunity for you and your kids to play with your food (Imagine: ‘Spaghetti Super Bowl!’ You can wear the colander on your head as a protective gear…😊 )

But seriously though, pasta does make a SUPER BOWL of food, especially if you add in nutritionally-balanced ingredients. And you can, in fact, make this game! Grab your kids and let them loose choosing ingredients from your pantry, freezer, or fridge. The main rule is there are no rules. They can choose the ones they think will go well together, and they get points for combining veggies and proteins. You can either make a big pot of one type of pasta, or mix in ingredients for individual bowls.

REMEMBER: Failure is a matter of perspective! If we discover a flavor combination that doesn’t work, then we learn something, and can adjust for next time! No matter what, keep a record of what you like and don’t like about your creations, and share it with us at @TasteQuestHQ!

Did you know…
‘Al dente’ means “firm to the tooth.” Well-prepared pasta has a denser texture than over-cooked pasta, making it more enjoyable to eat. But pasta al dente also has a lower Glycemic index than overcooked pasta, meaning it can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and doesn’t increase blood sugar and insulin production. So cool!

Here are some examples for mixing and matching some ingredients:

  • Lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, and goat cheese;
  • Tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cream
  • Chicken, capers, broccoli, sherry (Piccata pasta!)
  • Basil, butter, garlic, and canned anchovies/tuna and Parmesan cheese
  • Chickpeas, cream, spinach, garlic. Cheese is optional;
  • Tomatoes (fresh/canned), dry thyme, a lot of ground nutmeg, any ground/finely sliced meat and cheese;
  • Canned or dry lentils, canned or fresh peppers, olive oil, cilantro, butter, and Gouda cheese;
  • Dry or fresh mushrooms, dry or fresh dill, butter, and Gorgonzola cheese;
  • Mint, Greek yogurt, garlic, and eggplant. Cheese is optional;
  • Korean chili paste, green/black olives, parsley, and Pecorino Romano cheese.

Did you know…
There is a “No cheese rule” imposed by Italians when eating pasta with fresh seafood. They find that cheese distracts from the delicate flavor of seafood. So, if you’re feeling authentically inclined, and you happen to use fresh seafood, do not use cheese!

SUBSTITUTIONS: If you or your kids are following a specific diet due to any reason, then substitute pasta with zucchini/potato spaghetti, chickpea, or corn pasta and replace any dairy products with vegan options.

Game for Littles!
Got some younger kiddos who want to play? Dry spaghetti can serve many purposes. Remember the colander in the very beginning? As part of your Spaghetti bowl, littler kids can use dry spaghetti to ‘stuff’ a colander while it is upside down. The game is great for kids to develop their motor skills, and you can turn it into a timed competition if you like: whoever stuffs the most noodles into the colander wins!

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