Ratatouille Pasta

For reasons mentioned in post opsit, I don’t normally go in for the food blog.  However, in the name of contributing something practical to the general parental-culinary nexus, here is another kiddy dish.  Also, I was surprised by the attention my garlic pasta received so I thought it best to actually stay true to my inference that more recipe posts were in the pipeline.

So here’s one…

Ratatouille Pasta, of sorts:

This dish is a tweaked version of something I found on another mummy site – unfortunately I cannot cite her properly as I’ve absolutely no recollection of what site it was.  Sorry mystery pasta mummy.  It’s phenomenally easy and is a handy way to ram as much veg as possible into your child’s digestive tract.  I serve it with pasta for my toddler (again, the trusty though perhaps pretentious anistelle), but you could just as easily serve the sauce (or indeed the sauce with the pasta and then blended) to a much younger child, such as one only recently on solids.

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Ingredients:

Vegetables – whatever vegetables you have in the fridge really, although what I normally go for is a carrot, a courgette, a red pepper and sometimes an aubergine.  Some butternut squash or parsnip might also work nicely.

Olive oil

Butter

Couple of garlic cloves

Tin tomatoes

Lots of fresh parsley, plus whatever herbs might be lurking in your fridge or herb garden – basil and thyme are nice additions (I’m a big advocate of getting children to eat parsley; it’s so nutritious.  This is also my mother’s influence; she doused everything in piles of chopped parsley.  It just makes a meal look immediately fresh, healthy and totally amazing).

Heat a glug of oil gently in a pot along with a good dollop of butter.  Add the garlic (whole cloves are fine) and all roughly chopped vegetables.  Fry for a minute or two in the garlicky, buttery oil so all the vegetables are nicely coated.  Add the tin of tomatoes and then fill the tin with water and add that as well.  Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Leave simmering for around twenty minutes or so or until all the veg is tender.  Remove from heat, stir through your chopped herbs and then zim with a stick blender (or whatever blending device you happen to have).

This will make a tonne of sauce so it’s handy to portion some out for the freezer.

Cook your pasta and then stir through with your sauce.  Grate some cheese over the top and serve.  This sauce works well with a number of variables as well; if I happen to have mascarpone or a tub of ricotta in the fridge that needs using, a small dollop of either of these will transform the sauce into a nice creamy one – just in case you need to inject some variety into your child’s diet.

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