Wednesday, 5 October 2011

TOMATO AND BASIL PASTA




This is the simplest sauce in the world, but in my opinion, if the ingredients are fresh, the best one.
This is something I'm sure my children always like, there are never leftovers! I started to cook it for them from weaning, from the tenth month or earlier (it depends on what your health visitor tells you about the introduction of tomato in the baby's menu).
If you are cooking for your baby only, you'll need  300 gr of tomatoes (you'll get two or three portions but I usually freeze them) , two or three spoons of baby pasta and a few basil leaves. As you surely already know, until they reach the age of 12 months it is better not to use any salt.
For my children I often use the De Cecco Chifferi rigati, as it takes only seven minutes for them to cook as they're quite small. 

Ingredients for four:

600 gr tomatoes (I usually buy the Red Choice ones in Waitrose, they're very sweet )
10 basil leaves or more
A slice of onion
A small piece of carrot
A small part of celery
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Grated parmesan

Fry lightly some onion, carrot and celery (finely chopped - I use the food processor) in olive oil. This is what is called "soffritto". I usually freeze the rest of it, that's very handy when you're in a hurry!. Be careful it doesn't burn. In the meantime, take off the skin and the seeds of tomatoes (the quickest way to peel them  is to put them in boiling water for a minute, you’ll see the skin will break ). Cut them into pieces then put them in the pan. Add some chopped basil, salt and pepper . After 10 minutes or so, the tomatoes will melt and the sauce will be ready. Don't forget to put some grated parmesan on top of your pasta dish! Enjoy!!

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