This week in the Kids Kitchen, we made Rainbow Pasta Salad! This colorful, nutrient-rich recipe makes it easy for kids to get excited about cooking and eating an assortment of veggies.
In this lesson our students learned the basics of boiling water and moist-heat cooking methods. Kids were also exposed to a wide variety of vegetables and some introduced to certain veggies for the first time! Kids Kitchen cooking classes encourage hands-on learning and active participation through each step of our recipes.
To make our Rainbow Pasta Salad, each student began by chopping a variety of bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, and spinach. Meanwhile, selected students helped fill up pots with water, added salt, and brought it to a boil. We used a naturally color tri-color rotini packed with spinach and tomatos for our pasta noodles. During
the 9 minutes it took to cook the pasta to an ‘Al-Dente’ texture, students began making the Red Wine and Maple Vinaigrette dressing, where they learned about emulsions and the chemical reactions that occur when cooking. We tossed tender pasta together with
everyone’s chopped vegetables in the same pot used to cook pasta and mixed in the dressing. At first several students seemed a bit uneasy about certain items that were going into this recipe, however after chopping and mixing together all of their veggies and pasta, they became very excited to try this dish! The pasta salad was finished with a sweet and sour, herb filled dressing which was definitely a crowd-pleaser. All of our students raved about how delicious this pasta salad was and some even said it was the best pasta dish they have ever tried! The FAQ of the day was; “Chef Katelyn, Can we have more?” accompanied with a big smile!
- 1 box (16 oz) Naturally Colored Dry Pasta
- 4-5 cups Fresh chopped veggies
- (various colors bell pepper, broccoli, red cabbage, red or white onion, mushrooms, carrots, and/or tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp dry mustard or 1 tbsp mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse the pasta. Set aside.
- 2. Add 1 tbsp oil to a pre-heated pan.
- 3. Add veggies to pan and stir-fry for a minute or two.
- 4. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a glass measuring cup.
- 5. Add pasta to pan with veggies.
- 6. Pour dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Serve.
- (Or, skip steps 2-5 to serve a cold pasta salad. Stir the dressing and veggies with the cooled and rinsed pasta. Put in refrigerator to chill until serving.)