A New Version of "Boring Kids Pasta" - A Vegetarian Ditalini Dressed Up

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I get tired of making my kids buttered noodles and frequently like making 1 pot meals.  I make this in my favorite Le Crueset dutch oven and it is a dish that the whole family will enjoy.  The key to making this yummy pasta is using a good olive oil, and a good tomato paste (best ones are in a tube & not a can).

Begin by dicing the vegetables, I use 2 large carrots, 1/4 of a yellow onion, and few (4-5 large) fresh kale leaves.  Then, heat 2-3 Tblsp. of olive oil in large dutch oven pan on stove over medium heat.  Mince 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic & add to oil.  Meanwhile heat 4-5 cups hot water (I use tea kettle)  on stove to add to pan later.  Then add 3-4 Tblsp. tomato paste and blend in oil.  Add vegetables to warm oil/paste and saute a few minutes.  Add a few Tblsp. white wine (if you have on hand-otherwise can skip this step).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Measure dry ditalini pasta with a measuring cup, & add 3-4 cups dry ditalini to pan.  Then pour 4-5 cups hot water over pasta and turn heat to med-high for 1-2 mins., making sure to stir bottom so it doesn't stick.  Add a few more dashes of salt and fresh parmesan (chunks or shredded), then turn down heat to simmer and cover with lid.  Stir every few minutes while it simmers, and pasta is ready when most of liquid is absorbed.  Serve with extra grated parmesan and salt and pepper.

Ingredients:

2 large carrots

1/4 yellow onion

4-5 large kale leaves (cooking greens ok)

2-3 garlic cloves

4-5 Tblsp. olive oil

4-5 Tblsp. tomato paste from tube

3-4 Tblsp. white wine (optional)

1 box ditalini pasta

4-5 cups hot boiling water

Fresh parmesan (desired to taste)

Salt & pepper

This is an easy dish to play around with, & add things to your liking.  For example, I often serve it on a bed of arugula to add vegetables to the meal.  My husband prefers to add protein, could use cooked chicken or sausage or even nuts at the end.   But the best part, is both my 6 & 8 year old love eating this pasta and frequently ask for seconds!