Toddler Meal: Penne with Spinach Sauce

penne with spinach sauceThanks to monkamoma for flagging down Penne With Spinach Sauce from Giada DeLaurentis on Everyday Italian. This is how monkamoma got her 20 month old son Hayden to eat spinach.

"There were three things I really liked about this recipe," monkamoma says. "There is so much spinach in it, you can use it in place of a salad; you don't have to cook the sauce; and it exposed Hayden to unusual flavors like goat cheese without being too overpowering."

She is alwasy scouting new recipes and cooking, and often puts her favorite toddler fare up on her personal blog, Monkey Food. Pop on over from time to time, and bookmark this page for next time you need a quick dinner idea.

Penne with Spinach Sauce (from Everyday Italian)

Prep time: 20 mins.

Cook time: 12 mins.

You'll need:

1 lb whole wheat or multi-grain penne

3 garlic cloves

2 ounces goat cheese

1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves

2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Make it:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil; add the penne and cook until it is tender but firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.

2. Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, 3/4 tsp. of salt, 1/2 tsp. of pepper, and half of the spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.

3. Place the remaining spinach leaves in a large bowl.

4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Spoon the pasta atop the spinach leaves in the bowl. Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten.

5. Season the pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve.

Check back next Thursday for another great recipe. Got a favorite toddler friendly meal or snack of your own to share with other idea-strapped mamas? Let me know about it and I may feature it here.


Past Toddler Meals:

Soft Wraps Idea

Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes

Breakfast Pizza

Peanut Noodles and Broccoli

Savory Cheddar Bread

Whatever's-in-the-Fridge Smoothies

Israeli Couscous Salad

Oscar's Gross Green Popsicles

Turkey Burgers with Sneaky Veggies

Red Noodles from the Hillbilly Housewife

Confetti Potatoes

Mini Meatloaves

Alex Guarnaschelli's Homemade Granola

Happy Face Baked Pancakes

Yogurt Fruit Salad

Fruit Salsa With Cinnamon Crisps

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken

Italian Goulash

Parmesan Risotto

Chicken Sausages

Barbecue Cups

Healthy Ketchup

Cinnamon Raisin Roll-Ups

Hot Dogs with Mashed Potatoes

Leftover Baby Food Idea

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