Kids Cook Monday: Fun Shaped Pasta for Sports and Holidays
Fun Shaped Pasta to Delight Kids at Mealtime
I don't remember the first time I found fun shaped pasta at the store. It was probably Christmas time, and I noticed these packages of little tree-shaped noodles in red, green and white colors.
How fun, I thought! Whether the special noodles are used in a casserole or pasta salad, they can take encourage picky eaters and make mealtime more exciting.
Years passed, and I forgot about the creative noodles until my nephew's swim team started selling them last fall for a fund raiser. The company, the Pasta Shoppe, is one of several that manufacture special pasta noodles in a wide variety of shapes and colors for any holiday, birthdays, favorite pets and animals, any sport, or even college logos in school colors! There are over 150 special pastas that are offered. You can also find novelty pasta from other companies, including shapes like Hello Kitty, cute ducks, and - of course - alphabet noodles.
Admittedly, shaped pasta is not a new concept, given the long-time popularity of Alphabet Soup. But cooking your own meal from scratch and incorporating special theme pasta is a fun way to bring the family together in the kitchen and around the table.
Kids love cooking and eating these fun pasta noodles!
Easy Family Meals Start with Pasta Noodles
Just about any child loves pasta noodles. A family dinner recipe that is built on cooked pasta will usually be a hit. When you add in fun shapes and you might not have any complaining about what is served.
Cooked novelty noodles can be served plain (or with a little bit of butter or oil and cheese) to young children, provided you make sure that the noodles are cooked to a soft consistency. You can also stir in uncooked noodles to soup or stews. Whether you're cooking on the stove top or the crockpot, add a desired amount of noodles during the last 15 minutes of preparation to enhance the meal.
We like to use a variety of ingredients to make a satisfying pasta meal. Our current favorite is Shamrock "Good Luck" Pasta - the recipe is below!
Of course, cooked and cooled novelty noodles make a fine base for a chilled pasta salad. Substitute the fun shapes for the "usual" pasta you use in your recipe.
Cook Time for Shamrock Good Luck Pasta
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 20 min
- Ready in: 25 min
- Yields: 6-8 servings
More Fun Pasta Shapes
Shamrock "Good Luck" Pasta Recipe
This is another easy family recipe that takes no more than 15 minutes to make, from start to finish! We serve Good Luck Pasta the night before a gymnastics meet or the beginning of a baseball tournament.
Loaded with healthy carbohydrates, this energizing meal is satisfying and delicious. Again, no heavy sauce is required, making less of a mess at the dinner table for busy parents to clean up!
Ingredients for Good Luck Pasta:
- 2 cups shamrock shaped pasta, cooked and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup cooked ham, diced
- 1 cup green beans, washed and trimmed (can use frozen, but be sure to thaw ahead of time)
- 1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook and drain the shamrock pasta
- In a large skillet, add olive oil, then brown diced onion over medium high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly
- Add chopped ham and green beans to onion mixture and stir to warm, another 2-3 minutes
- Remove ham mixture from heat
- Stir together cooked pasta, ham mixture, butter, cheese and salt and pepper
This recipe serves 6-8 people and can easily be doubled for a larger group. Left-overs will keep refrigerated for several days and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Rate this Shamrock Good Luck Pasta Recipe
Kids Aren't the Only Ones that Love Novelty Pasta!
Planning a tailgate party before the big game? You can buy novelty pasta in your team colors with collegiate logos (where they have agreed to a license). Stir up some fun pasta salad to enjoy during pre-game festivities or at half time!
Maybe you're having a few friends over for a "girls weekend?" Girlfriend pasta is pink and white, and includes tiny high heels, handbags and cell phones.
Perhaps not surprisingly, you can buy novelty pasta in wedding shapes too! These designs are fun for a bridal shower or a bachelorette party (I've even seen "naughty" pasta shapes for such events!)
Novelty shaped pasta is an affordable way to inject some fun into a celebration or family dinner. Regular 14 ounce packages of these special noodles usually cost less than $10 and include 6 servings. Gluten-free varieties are also available.
What Kind of Fun Shaped Pasta Would Your Family Like?See results without voting
Make Your Own Bow-Tie Shaped Pasta
© 2012 Stephanie Hicks
More by this Author
An easy homemade chili recipe that does not take all day to cook, so you can prepare a family meal quickly!
Its simple to prepare family meals in a slow cooker! Consider these crockpot easy recipes before you head out the door in the morning.
A domestic Bengal Cat is a unique breed. While it can be easier to care for with respect to medical issues, you must be prepared to entertain and engage with this cat more than you might expect compared to other...