My kids love pasta in white sauce! And when it is homemade, using the freshest ingredients, it can be tailored to suit your child’s palate, while skipping the preservatives and other chemical additives. The white sauce in this recipe is made using whole wheat flour, minced ginger, garlic and red chili flakes in a milk base with some added cheese.
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings):
- Brown Rice Pasta (uncooked – 1 cup)
- Butter/ghee/oil (1 tsp)
- Whole wheat flour (1 tbsp)
- Dried Italian seasoning (1/2 tsp)
- Ginger-garlic-red chili flakes paste (1 tsp)
- Organic milk (1/2-3/4 cup)
- Grated cheese (1/2 cup – I used Trader Joes’ 3 cheese Mexican blend) or cheese slices (2 – any kind)
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper powder (to taste)
- Cook pasta according to instructions on the package. Drain excess water. Run cold water on it, drain again. Keep aside.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- In a wok on medium heat, add butter/ghee/oil. Add dried Italian seasoning and ginger-garlic-red chili paste. Saute for a minute, until the raw garlic smell goes away.
- Add wheat flour and saute on low to medium flame, until the flour turns slightly reddish in color.
- Add milk and when it starts bubbling, add salt and pepper.
- Mix in the cooked pasta. Transfer the pasta in milk into an oven safe bowl. Top with grated cheese.
- Cover with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for 1 minute more. Take it out of the oven.
- Mix well and serve immediately, if possible.
- The kids love this in their lunch box. Here, I’ve served it with a simple stir-fry of julienne carrots, zucchini, cauliflower and corn. Snack box is homemade chocolate chip cookies (using Martha Stewart’s recipe online) and boondi (store-bought).
Sweet (pasta, cheese, milk), sour (cheese), salty (salt), bitter (Italian seasoning), pungent (chili, ginger, garlic, pepper), astringent (Italian seasoning).
Pasta can be considered a kapha aggravating food, in excess. Since it is difficult to digest, it is important to add digestive spices while preparing pasta dishes. Being a brown rice pasta, this can be pitta aggravating and difficult to digest since brown rice is harder to digest than its white counterpart. Ghee is tridoshic and aids digestion, so I like to use small quantities of that while preparing most dishes, including this one. Ginger and black pepper aids in digestion. Cheese and milk are both kapha aggravating. Overall, this dish is kapha aggravating in excess. Addition of digestive and pungent spices balances this effect.
This brown rice pasta in white sauce is somewhat rajasic and tamasic in its effect on the mind. Garlic and red chili flakes may be completely eliminated to reduce rajas. Cheese and pastas (processed) are tamasic in nature. Although I am not a fan of pasta or white sauce, my kids love it and I do make this occasionally for them guilt-free since it is at least free of the preservatives and chemical additives in the store-bought versions of sauce!