This recipe ticks every single box when it comes to making dinner. It’s packed with protein, veggies and probiotics, it makes enough for four plus four more single serving portions for the freezer along with extra ground beef to add to other meals.
When I cook, I make sure that I’m not just cooking for that specific meal. I need to utilizing my time to its max. So I often cook double portions of sauces and store the leftover in single portions in a silicone freezer tray. Once frozen I pop them out and add them to a reusable zip top freezer bag. Often I end up with a variety of sauces in one bag, so meal times might be a surprise. They end up being different colors so I let the girls pick which cube they want for dinner. One large cube is enough sauce for two kid servings.
Not having time to batch cook is one of the main complaints that I hear from parents. So try to make extra portions of sauces, cooked ground beef (like in this recipe) quinoa (freeze half to add to milk shakes or to burger patties) casseroles (freeze half) or I even buy a large fish and cut it into perfect kid size pieces and freeze for quick meals. All of this saves time in the long run. How often do you open your fridge and have nothing!? I do it all of the time, yep even me. But I typically have a freezer full of prepped or batch cooked food.
Sorry for the tangent and back to this delicious Parma Rosa Pasta with a hint of Primavera. What does that mean? I have no idea, I was just trying to sound oh so Italiano. Sorry Mr. Wolfgang, I realize this is not an Italian classic in the least, but it is delicious and full of nutrition.
Parma Rosa means pink pasta sauce, so I made this recipe with tomato puree and yogurt instead of the traditional heavy cream. Then for the Primavera instead of adding veggies to the sauce, I blended in cooked cauliflower.
I also added ground beef to the sauce since my kids don’t typically like burgers, steak or even chicken for that matter. This is not uncommon for toddlers and is one of the most asked questions by my clients, “How do I get more meat into my kids diet.” When browning the meat, I make sure to stir and crumble the mince very well so my kids won’t pick out the meat. I generally add a meat protein to their meal plan once or twice a week, while ensuring that one of those is a red meat once or twice a month for the extra boost of heme iron. I have several pasta recipes that I like to hide a bit of finely minced beef or shredded chicken to. Quesadillas work great too.
Now for the recipe…
Pink Pasta Sauce…with hidden veggies.Recipe by Jenny Atkins of Real Food By Two Moms
A pasta sauce that has it all! Protein, probiotics and veggies all in one dish with extra servings to quick freezer meals.
1 cup veggie, chicken or beef broth
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups or 500g tomato puree
1/3 cup yogurt
1 lb beef
4 cups cooked pasta shells
- In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil and add cauliflower, mushrooms, salt, oregano and garlic. Cook over medium heat until cauliflower is soft enough to blend.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, brown the ground beef. After it is cooked drain off the fat.
- Pour the cooked cauliflower, mushrooms and broth into a Vitamix or blender and add tomato sauce and yogurt. Blend until smooth.
- Pour half of the sauce back into the sauce pan and add half of the beef. Stir in pasta shells.
- Pour other half of pasta sauce into freezer cubes for leftovers and store the remaining half of ground beef in the fridge to use for other meals.
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