Cheesy Pasta with Bacon and Peas

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It’s hard to find things my picky three year old will eat most days. Sometimes I feel like I spend so much time making new things for him to try and he still ends up wanting hot dogs or grilled cheese. Peas are one vegetable he will never turn down and if you ask my husband, bacon makes everything taste better, so I thought this recipe was worth a try. To my surprise he ate his entire plate. A rare occurrence around here for sure!

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Ingredients
12 oz penne pasta
6 slices thick-cut bacon
12 oz frozen peas
12 oz plain Greek yogurt
Tabasco sauce
6 oz Fontina cheese
6 oz Sharp cheddar cheese
Salt
Pepper

Directions

1. Line baking sheet with foil and cook
bacon in a 400 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. Set aside.

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2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.

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3. While pasta is cooking, cut bacon into small pieces and shred cheeses.

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4. Before straining pasta, add frozen peas to water and cook for an additional minute. Drain water but reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

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5. Return pasta and peas to pot and add in 1/3 cup of pasta water, yogurt, a few splashes of Tabasco and half of the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

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6. Stir in remaining cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Add in additional hot pasta water if needed to reach desired creaminess.

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7. Add bacon and stir until thoroughly combined.

Hope your picky eaters enjoy it as much as mine!

Better-for-You Baked Mac

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This months issue of Parents Magazine couldn’t have come at a better time. Parents Magazine offered up 21 Twists on Mac ‘n’ Cheese. From a Greek Style to a Protein Boost; there’s a Mac ‘n’ Cheese for everyone!

We started with the basic Better-for-You Baked Mac recipe and added some chopped broccoli. The dish was super easy to make and was a hit with the little one!

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray

3 cups dried fusilli (or pasta of your choosing)

1/4 cup light butter with canola oil (we used regular salted stick butter)

3 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp.salt

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. low fat milk

1/3lb. fontina cheese, 1.5 cups shredded ( we used 1/2 lb. of fontina cheese)

1/2 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs.

Medium head of broccoli

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2-qt square baking dish (or what ever shape you have in at least the 2 quart range) with nonstick spray; set aside.

2. Chop broccoli, place in medium sauce pan with a small amount of water and a pinch of salt. Simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally until broccoli reaches desired tenderness.

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3. Cook pasta as directed on package; drain and keep warm.

4. While pasta cooks, melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and salt; stir for 1 minute.

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5. Add milk and stir until thick and bubbly.

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6. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted.

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7. Toss together pasta, broccoli and cheese sauce. Transfer to prepared dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

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Thank you Parents Magazine for 21 twists to my daughters favorite meal!