Food can be fun! Especially when you have kids who are finally discovering the delicious nature of food, it can become important to engage their curiosity and introduce them to some of the great values in the kitchen. What better way to do this than to get them interested in fun pasta shapes?
Pasta is a crowd-pleaser for many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is arguably for its quick prep time and simple recipes. With a deep and rich history, pasta has become one of the most popular everyday dishes: feeding mouths of every age and becoming a staple meal for many. Not only is it quite simple to make, but it is also easy for your kids to pick up on–although they may be years away from cooking for themselves, watching you make pasta can be a valuable experience for them that might get them more involved in the kitchen. For this reason, pasta is a great dish to teach to your kids, making it fun and accessible! While we will be highlighting some of the fun pasta shapes that your kids can try, it can be just as great for you. Here we go!
The Power of Pasta
Because of pasta’s natural versatility, purchasing a different pasta shape at the grocery store makes it super easy to switch it up and try something new.
Not only is it easy for you, but it is also great for your kids. Whether they have a love for food or are on the pickier side, offering them something a little bit different is sure to pique their interest. Utilize the different varieties of pasta to your advantage–it’s time to get creative!
Allowing your kids to choose what kind of pasta shape they want can not only be a fun tradition you introduce to them, but it can also be a great way for them to have the opportunity to exercise their autonomy. Recognizing the different options not only puts them in a position to make decisions but also plants the seed for the various ways they might be able to help out and eventually cook in the kitchen. You know what they say: there’s never any harm in your kids learning important life skills!
Different Pasta Shapes
Here are a few fun pasta shapes for your kids to try. Although this list is not exhaustive, it will give you a good idea of the different routes you can take and the various meals you might make!
Penne: Although this pasta shape might be conventional, that doesn’t mean it is any less fun. Switch it up from your usual spaghetti, and intrigue your kids with these cylindrical tubes! Because of its versatility, you can include penne in a variety of recipes and your kids are sure to enjoy their meal (plus, it might be a lot less messy!).
Rigatoni: Who remembers May 24, 2021, when people from all over the world sat down to eat Rigatoni? While that may have been a trend, rigatoni is truly timeless. A bit larger than penne but still with a hollow middle, rigatoni is great for making sure you get a good amount of sauce in every bite.
Fusilli: Here’s where the fun really begins. Fusilli is a true crowd-pleaser for your kids–with their fun shape and prevalence in not just pasta but also salads and soups, the twisted shape of this pasta is sure to keep your kids entertained at dinner.
Farfalle: Farfalle, or perhaps more commonly called “bow-tie” or “butterfly” pasta, are rectangular or oval pieces of pasta that are pinched in the middle. Who knew such simple origins could result in such pretty shapes? Your kids will be able to exercise their imagination with this pasta shape, and who doesn’t love a little creativity?
Gobetti: Gobetti is a curved-shaped pasta that you commonly see in mac-and-cheese recipes. And we know kids love mac-and-cheese. With their swooped nature, it is no surprise that these can be used to make smiley faces, or just be gobbled up by hungry eaters. Either way: a win-win!
Gemelli: Similar to Fusilli but with a slightly smaller twist, Gemelli pasta is unique and versatile. The name is derived from the Italian word for twins, meant to represent the two strands entwined with each other. This is also a great option for all pasta-loving kiddos–try it out!
Capellini: In its name itself, Capellini, or angel-hair pasta, strikes people with imagination. The thin strands are well-suited for kids who might be just starting out with pasta, and they are often soft and flavorful. You might get some questions about why it’s called angel hair pasta–all the more creative freedom to you.
A Fun Add-On: Natural Pasta Dye and Pasta From Scratch
Another great way to individualize pasta if you’re up for a bit more work is to use natural pasta dye, utilizing ingredients you likely already have at your house. Contrary to the typical tomato or cream sauce color your pasta is, there are many other fun options to personalize your meal–which your kids will love. Listed below are a few ingredients that you can use to make your pasta specific colors:
Orange/yellow: bell peppers
Purple: red cabbage
Green: spinach or parsley
With each of these colors, you can boil the veggies and add them to portions of dough before you make the pasta itself. This not only creates a beautiful dish but is also sure to get your kids excited about the prospect of eating the rainbow.
Have fun, and enjoy! Your pasta adventures await.