I will describe the basic way I make spaghetti, then offer some sneaky additives to make your spaghetti even more nutrient packed!
Ingredients for basic spaghetti:
- Ground Turkey or Beef, optional (ground turkey seems to be packaged in 1.2-1.5 lb packages, so when I make my monthly turkey loaf batch--which calls for only 1 lb ground turkey--I reserve a bit of what I do not need for that recipe to use for this)
- Natural/Organic Spaghetti Sauce (I like the garden vegetable varieties)
- Cooked Whole Wheat Pasta (I recommend ditalini or elbow to make it an easy finger food OR starter food on a fork)
- Olive Oil
- Boil water and add desired amount of pasta along with a dash of olive oil. Cook according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, brown meat and drain fat (if any).
- Add sauce to meat and heat on low simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Drain pasta.
- Mix pasta with sauce.
- Serve warm as a finger food or this is a great food to allow your little one to use on a fork.
- Thinner Sauces/Hide the Meat: Little Joy did not always like meat, so I try to find ways to hide it. After cooking your sauce as mentioned above, place the mixture in a food chopper and puree until the meat is finely cut up. Add a bit of water as you puree it too to make the sauce a little thinner for beginners. Serve as directed above.
- Butternut Squash: After cooking your sauce, place in a food chopper and add roasted butternut squash chunks or puree (here is a link to apple butternut squash bake just omit the apples from the recipe and you have your basic butternut squash). Add however much you want. Puree until sauce reaches your desired consistency; serve as directed above!
- Lentils: Add some extra iron, protein and fiber by sneaking some lentils in your epicutie's spaghetti! After cooking your sauce as mentioned above, toss in some cooked lentils (lentils cooking tips here; I prefer red lentils). Add whatever amount you want and no need to puree because cooked lentils are soft. Serve as directed above.
- Mixed Veggies: When you begin to simmer your sauce add some frozen mixed veggies. Add whatever proportions you think. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are soft. Serve as directed above.
- Dairy: I am always looking to ways to add a bit of extra dairy to each meal since Little Joy is not a huge drinker. Sprinkle your epictutie's favorite type of cheese atop the spaghetti just before serving' your little one is SURE to love it!
- Spice it up: Spice up your sauces with herbs such as basil, oregano, garlic and parsley.
- Meatballs: Try adding our Meatballs for the Whole Family just before serving. Mash up the meatballs in a size appropriate for you child's age.
Yeild: Depends on the amount of noodles you prepare:
Storage: In the fridge for 3-5 days depending on how fresh your ingredients were. I have not attempted to freeze it yet.
Timing: Depending on the variation you choose maybe 9-10 months. For thinner spaghetti sauces and puree'd meat, 8 months is fine. For the mixed veggie variation, closer to 10 months if your little one does not have many teeth. They need to be able to chew the veggies in there. As always, watch your little one anytime they are trying a new food for allergies and struggles in chewing
Difficulty: 2 out of 5; even if you choose one of the variations, this is an easy meal!
Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions
No matter how you serve Little Joy spaghetti, she is IN LOVE....and makes a mess.