From spaghetti to wagon wheels, there isn't a child who doesn't love pasta. And tortellini might be the most irresistible of all. These bite-size, treasure-filled morsels are smack in the intersection of food and fun. They're also wonderfully versatile—you can dress them up for dinner or down for lunch or set them afloat in chicken stock for an anytime meal in minutes. My kalamata olive-loving kindergartner's favorite version of this dish involves pairing those dark beauties with sweet grape tomatoes, a bit of sharp red onion and a lemony vinaigrette. A bit of smoked turkey adds the mid-day protein boost kids need. To make a simple dish simpler still, just add some cannellini to those teeny-weeny tortellini.
—By Laraine Perri, a food writer in New York City.