Okay, I have to be honest – a lot of the baby food I’ve made for Andrew, I’ve never even tasted. I’m fine with the fruit purees, but a lot of the veggie purees make my stomach churn. Ben has tried everything we’ve ever fed him, and approves of it all, but a lot of it just does not look appetizing to me – it’s baby food after all! Well, here is a major exception. This smelled so incredible while I was making it that I just couldn’t resist a small taste, and WOW! I would gladly eat this for my own dinner. What’s more, Andrew loves it. This is a great dish because it helps introduce baby to foods with a bit more texture than a straight puree, and it has five different veggies in the sauce. Awesome! I used pasta stars for this, but any small pasta shape would be suitable. Also, the original recipe calls for mascarpone but that’s a pricey ingredient to buy just for baby food making. I had cream cheese on hand so I just stirred in a few tablespoons of that and it made the sauce pleasantly creamy. It’s a winner!
Pasta with Very Veggie Sauce
2 tbsp. light olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium zucchini, trimmed and chopped
3/4 cup cleaned and chopped button mushrooms
3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp. torn fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. pasta shapes
3-4 tbsp. cream or mascarpone cheese (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the zucchini and saute for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes more.
Add in the fresh tomatoes and the butter and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the can of tomatoes with about half of the juice. Finally, add the vegetable stock, basil, and season with pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Check to be sure all the vegetables are tender, then blend to a puree.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions (with no added salt) until tender. Toss the cooked pasta with the vegetable sauce and stir in cream cheese or mascarpone, if using.
(Note: This recipe makes a fairly large quantity of food, and is suitable for freezing.)
Source: adapted from Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel