These days, my soon to be one-year old daughter eats whatever my two-year old son eats. Which, when the stars align, happen to be whatever my husband and I are eating. Ipso facto, a cook-one-meal day. Yay! Anyway, while they prefer the staples (rice, pasta, chicken, ham, breads), they love variety. So I try to get as creative with starches and meat as they'll let me. Luckily, pesto and any kind of cheese go a long way with my two.
Yesterday, while staring at the box of pinwheel pasta, racking my brain for yet some other pinwheel pasta combination, I spotted the leftover bottle of parmesan cheese and a still unopened cartoon of heavy cream (this thing had to be at least three months old, but still under the expiration date - what do they put in this stuff?!?) in the refrigerator. Somewhere a lightbulb went off and I whipped up pinwheel pasta in a bechamel sauce, accented with diced ham. My chickadees scarfed it down in no time. I figured this dish had to be really good, or really cheesy, or both.
After getting the kids down for a nap this afternoon, I ransacked through the refrigerated leftovers for my own lunch and come across, what else, my pasta creation. I heated up a bowl, turned on HGTV and got ready to enjoy a little quiet. Best hour ever. Seriously, that was the best pasta dish I've had in a while. Or I was just really hungry. But more likely a combination of the two. In any event, it finally hit me, when my kids are fussy with food, it's normally something I threw together in haste - always healthy and balanced, but not usually tasty. Think baked potatoes and burnt meat. Things they enjoy tend to require a more sophisticated palette. Think shrimp and mushroom over angel hair pasta. My kids are wannabe foodies. Great, should make their teen years all the more interesting.
If you're interested in trying it, here's the recipe:
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup choice of pasta
In a pasta pot, boil pasta until al dente.
1. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over light to medium heat, make a roux (equal parts butter and flour combined)
2. When smooth, add heavy cream
3. Add black pepper and ham
4. Toss in pasta