I still expect Sylvia to spit out any new food. I had decided to serve the pasta with pumpkin, which she likes, rather than tomato sauce, which she has never tried. I am trying to introduce her to dairy so decided some ricotta would help her get used to creamy food but I also added a sweetener (literally) in the guise of apple puree. To my surprise she lapped it up, though on the first night I had a good laugh when she would only eat it from E if he fed her by hand rather than using a spoon.
When putting away her baby pasta, I found some macaroni noodles at the back of the pantry. I had a bunch of unused celery that I had bought on special in a whimsical moment. I sometimes want to buy celery but don’t know how to use it as I generally use it frequently but not in large proportions. It is rarely the star of any dishes I make. I decided to use it up in a minestrone-style stew. The results were as pleasing as Sylvia eating her dinner. The celery didn’t overwhelm the stew but it added to the flavour.
I wasn’t going to blog this recipe as it is one of my lazy sorts of meals that I just throw in what is about. Hence my lack of photos. However, I often feel stuck for ideas about using up celery and this was such a good way to use it up that I thought I should have it here to remind me next time I see it on special.
Above is a gratuituous photo of Sylvia at play in the garden. She seems to like food off the floor best of all and I suspect if I told her to just eat the dirt out of the pots she would! I am sending the stew to Ruth of Once Upon a Feast who is hosting this week’s Presto Pasta Night (No. 149).
Sylvia’s first pasta
serves 3 meals to an 11 month old
- 1 handful of soup pasta or baby pasta (about ¼ - ½ cup)
- 100g pumpkin, diced small
- 2 dessertspoons of ricotta
- 1-2 dessertspoons of apple puree
- 3 basil leaves, finely chopped
Cook pumpkin and pasta in boiling water for 10-15 minutes until soft. Drain but reserve water in case you need to thin sauce. Stir in ricotta, apple puree and basil. Add a little water to get a sauce consistency.
Vegetable, lentil and pasta stew
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bunch of celery, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped
- 700ml jar of passata or chopped tomatoes (keep jar to measure water)
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp stock powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp bush herb mixture or dried mixed herbs
- 300g pumpkin, diced
- ½ cup red lentils
- 2 medium zucchini chopped
- 250g macaroni noodles
- 2 dessertspoons of ricotta
- handful basil chopped
Heat olive oil in a stockpot. Add onion, celery, carrot and potatoes and cook over a medium low heat for 15-20 minutes until they start to soften. Add the passata, garlic, stock powder, cayenne and herbs. Once you have emptied passata into the pot, fill the jar with water and add to pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the carrot and celery is soft. Add the pumpkin, red lentils, zucchini, and macaroni. Again, fill your passata jar with water and add to pot. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until pasta and lentils are cooked and pumpkin is soft. Stir in ricotta. Sprinkle with basil to serve.
On the stereo:
Wonderland soundtrack: Michael Nyman