BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bobby Griffin and Eric Sabella from Bakersfield City School District’s Nutrition Services, along with special guest, Emma Sabella, joined 17 News at Sunrise for a Kids in the Kitchen segment ahead of the district’s upcoming Nutrition Night.

BCSD parents and students are invited to the event tomorrow evening from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Cato Middle School/Fletcher Elementary cafeteria. The event will feature many vendor booths with food samples for families to try, allowing for feedback as the district formulates meals for students.

During the show, the guests shared a recipe for a plant-based penne Bolognese that can be made by the whole family.


1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dark chili powder
300 grams vegan mince (like Beyond Meat) (frozen or fresh, aka “ground” (or sub for 1 x drained 400g can of green, brown of beluga lentils))
1 tablespoon tomato puree (aka tomato paste)
400 grams of chopped canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (guest uses a brand called “Mushroom Ketchup”)
2 teaspoons vegan beef flavor stock powder
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
220 grams pasta (guest used penne)
2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)


Place a large, open saucepan over medium heat and stir in the tomato puree, vegan Worcestershire sauce and can of chopped tomatoes. Add dry seasonings. Fill the empty can of chopped tomatoes up with just boiled water and stir in the vegan beef flavor stock powder. Add to the saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer then stir in the bay leaf, pepper and sugar.

Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the sauce cooks, place a large saucepan of water over medium heat and bring to the boil. When 10 minutes of sauce cooking time remain, cook your pasta according to the packet instructions or until al dente. Drain the pasta but reserve around 200ml of the pasta water. Check the sauce, it should be reduced and very thick.

Add a dash of the pasta water to the sauce and stir to loosen things up. Finally stir through the liquid smoke. Return the cooked pasta to its saucepan and dress with a little sauce. Divide the pasta between 4 plates and top with the remaining sauce. Serve with extra black pepper, a sprinkle of fresh parsley or your favorite vegan parmesan.