Say so long to plain buttered pasta for dinner--instead, try this vegetable-packed, kid-friendly version. Carrots and cinnamon are zapped with butter, then tossed in cooked pasta for a super speedy weeknight meal. Freeze the butter and just break off what you need. As a bonus, the pasta is school-friendly and can be eaten hot or cold, which makes it perfect for packing in lunch boxes!
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside. Reserve the pot.
Meanwhile, pulse the carrots, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice, 1 tablespoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a food processor, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until very finely chopped. Add the butter and continue to process, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until well combined.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the carrot-cinnamon butter in the reserved pasta pot over medium heat. Add the cooked pasta and stir until combined, thinning it out with the reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. Divide among plates and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Tightly wrap the remaining carrot-cinnamon butter in plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
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