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Pasta the sauce please!

Pasta is usually made from white flour, and therefore it is digested quickly into glucose and may rapidly spike blood sugar levels. White flour contains few nutrients making pasta not the most healthy of foods. However, pasta is a quick food to prepare and is adored by most children and therefore can be a great vehicle to get them to eat a whole range of different foods.

Here are some great sauce ideas for pasta. They can be blended to a smooth consistency or left in big chunks depending on what goes down well in your household.

To make your pasta dish healthier, go for wholemeal pasta or perhaps one of the new types of pasta made from beans or lentils.

  • Salmon, broccoli and peas – Add frozen broccoli and peas to the pasta pan during the last 5 minutes of the pasta cooking time. Mix your pasta and vegetables with some baked salmon. You could also stir in some natural yogurt or soft cheese to make this a bit creamier. This makes a balanced meal with the salmon providing protein and the green vegetables providing many nutrients, including B vitamins and fibre

  • Ratatouille – a big favourite in my house. Traditional Italian vegetables like red onion, aubergine, courgette and red pepper are sautéed until soft and then a tin of chopped tomatoes and dried oregano added. This can be blended for an innocent-looking red pasta sauce or left chunky. The red vegetables in this sauce contain a plant polyphenol called lycopene, which has antioxidant properties

  • The green one – this no-cook sauce is a bit different, but went down surprisingly well! I blended 1½ avocados, 150g Brazil nuts, 2 big handfuls of spinach, basil leaves, a glug of olive oil and a dash of lemon juice. This makes a creamy nutritious sauce which can be stirred through pasta

  • Lovely lentils – sauté a couple of red onions with 2 diced carrots and stick of celery (diced). Then stir in about 250g red lentils and a tin of chopped tomatoes. Add enough water so that the lentils don’t stick to the pan. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. This makes a substantial sauce that can be blended or left a bit chunky. The lentils contain fibre and protein, which makes this sauce very filling

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