Yes, my children would have been satisfied with pasta covered in ketchup, tuna salad, and frozen, literally still frozen, corn. But, ew, really?
For school lunch, try it cold, for a one-dish, energy packed, lunch to-go!
The sauce is so fast and easy to make, you can begin the prep at the same time you start the pasta water. And like all my "non-recipes" the ingredients are flexible.
You will need about 3/4 lb of pasta (3/4 of a regular box of bag) to serve 5-6 people. I cooked the whole box and kept some plain.
- Boil the pasta of your choice in salted water.
- Add frozen peas, broccoli, or vegetable of your choice when the pasta is almost done.
- Drain pasta and veggies; do not rinse.
- Prep about 8 mushrooms, 2 cloves of garlic, and half an onion.
- Put in the bowl of a blender, food processor, or (preferably) a hand blender.
- Add walnuts and/or pine nuts and about half a can of coconut "milk" (the white liquid made from ground coconut pulp) or about 3/4 cup of your favorite non-dairy liquid like soy milk or vegetable broth.
- Add salt and pepper if you like. I used a pinch of crushed red pepper and no additional salt.
- Blend until very smooth.
- Cook in a sauce pan or small pot to bring out the mushroom flavors and tone down the garlic.
- When sauce is cooked, remove from heat and add two cans of sardines, crumbled. (Of course, you could use tuna, salmon, or any leftover fish or chicken.)
- Vegan option: Instead of sardines, add more nuts, beans, seitan, or protein of your choice.
- Add to about 3/4 of the pasta. Add more pasta if sauce permits.
- Optionally, mix nutritional yeast into the sauce or sprinkle on top for a cheesy touch.