6-8 months +, Toddlers & Young Children
This is a great pasta sauce for babies, toddlers & kids. It’s quick and easy to make, healthy, tasty and hides an umteen amount of veggies which has got to be good! I literally throw in any veggies that happen to be lurking and handily clear out my fridge in doing so, and as they’re all whizzed up with tomato and creme fraiche, they’ll never ever know exactly what you’ve put in it. Excellent if you have difficulty getting your kids to eat their veggies.
I tend to make my sauce in quite large quantities so that I can freeze all the leftovers (in tupperware portions that can be pulled out and made into almost instant dinners).
If making for young babies serve the sauce with an appropriate sized pasta, teeny weeny pasta stars are perfect for weening babies onto lumps in their food. Increase the size of the pasta as they get more accomplished and by the time they’re toddling around they should be eating grown up pasta sizes and shapes.
In this particular sauce I used a courgette, half an aubergine, a handful of french beans and surprise surprise a large slice of pumpkin (yep it really does go into anything and everything these days!). You really can add a whole multitude of veg, peppers, carrots, squash, peas, celery, broccoli and mushrooms all work really well too.
Enough for several children’s meals
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
600g mixed veggies (see above list)
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
a bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp of tomato puree
100 ml water
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
2 heaped tbsp creme fraiche
Add the oil, onion and garlic to a high sided saucepan and saute for a few minutes, until the onion is soft. Meanwhile roughly chop your veggie selection into smallish chunks – don’t worry about them all being uniform and neat as you’re going to blitz the mixture later anyway.
Add the veggies to the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring at regular intervals. If they appear to be catching on the bottom add a splash of water to the pan. After 5 minutes, stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, 100 ml of water, bay leaf, oregano, pinch of sugar and maybe a little salt and pepper (if your child is very young then obviously don’t add any salt).
Cook the sauce for a further 15 to 20 minutes until all the veggies are soft and fully cooked through. Take out your bay leaf, add the creme fraiche and blitz the sauce until smooth (and all veggies fully unidentifiable!) either with a stick blender in the saucepan or in a food processor. Job done! One huge pan of yummy pasta sauce.
Serve with whatever pasta your precious monsters like most and a sprinkling of cheese on the top. And I promise you they’ll never guess what’s in it!