Avocado Pesto Pasta: The Smart Baby Cookbook – Lauren Cheney

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Smart Baby Cookbook by Lauren Cheney (Murdoch Books RRP $24.99)

 

AVOCADO PESTO PASTA

A deceptively light and summery pasta, combining a dizzying array of flavours and textures, this dish will be a firm family favourite in no time.” p112

Making time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

180 g (6¼ oz/2 cups) pasta, such as spirals or bowties
1 tablespoon olive oil
150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) grape tomatoes, quartered
Basil leaves, to serve
65 g (2½ oz/½ cup) crumbled feta cheese

Avocado, Spinach & Basil Pesto
25 g (1 oz/½ cup) baby spinach leaves
2 avocados, halved
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
50 g (1¾ oz/1 cup) basil leaves
50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons olive oil
25 g (1 oz/¼ cup) grated parmesan cheese

 

Cook the pasta according to the packet directions. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Wilt the spinach leaves by pouring boiling water over them in a bowl and stirring well. Drain and squeeze dry.

Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor and add the spinach, lemon juice, garlic, basil and pine nuts. Process until smooth, drizzling the oil in slowly. Finally, add the grated parmesan.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and toss quickly, then add the pasta, pesto to taste and enough of the reserved cooking water to make a sauce-like consistency. Gently toss until just combined.

Remove baby’s portion before scattering with basil leaves and crumbled feta.

FOR BABY:
Purée to the desired consistency or cut into bite-size pieces to serve as finger food.

ALL GROWN UP:
Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. If you like a bit of heat then add some finely chopped chilli.

SMART TIP
Avocado is nutrient dense with more than 20 minerals and vitamins.

Fried Yoghurt Flatbreads Filled with Cavalo Nero and Fontina: The Great Australian Bake Off Companion – BBC Worldwide

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Extracted from The Great Australian Bake Off Companion (Hachette Australia November 2016)

Fried Yoghurt Flatbreads Filled with Cavalo Nero and Fontina

p207-fried-yogurt flat breads

For the dough

350g self-raising flour

pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

350g natural Greek yoghurt

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley

 

For the filling

100g pine nuts

1 leek

2 garlic cloves

olive oil for frying

50g salted butter

1 bunch cavalo nero, finely chopped (if not available use kale)

200g fontina cheese, grated

100g Greek sheep’s milk fetta

pinch of sea salt

cracked pepper

olive oil and balsamic vinegar (to serve)

 

  1. For the dough, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together. Bring together using your hands. Tip out the dough onto a floured surface and gently knead to bring together. Place in a floured bowl and cover.
  2. For the filling, place the pine nuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven until golden. Finely slice the leeks and garlic and sauté in a frying pan over medium–high heat with a splash of olive oil and the butter. Once the leeks have caramelised, add the chopped cavalo nero and roasted pine nuts to the pan. Leave the mixture to cool slightly. Finely grate in the fontina and crumble in the fetta. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Flour your hands so the dough doesn’t stick. Take a tennis ball-sized piece of dough, approx. 100g each, and make a hole in the centre. Using your thumbs, stretch the hole and stuff 2–3 tablespoons filling inside. Pinch the dough to enclose the filling, then gently roll on a floured surface until flat.
  4. Using a non-stick frying pan, over medium–high heat, fry the flatbreads in a good splash of olive oil for approx. 90 seconds on each side or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel. Slice into wedges and serve with leftover filling in a small bowl and a mix of balsamic vinegar and oil in another (to taste).

 

 

 

Jumbo Sausage Rolls – The Simple Secrets To Cooking Everything -Matt Preston

Hot out of the oven ten minutes ago (and ready for my daughter and son in laws house warming/baby shower), these sausage rolls are delicious!  Make to the size you desire, add as much or as little spice ( read fire) as you like – we prefer our sausage rolls with a good dash of fire.  I think I might just have to make another batch for Christmas.

 

** The secret ingredients are pine nuts and a special spice mix (see p.148)

 

Sausage Rolls

Pea and Pine Nut Salad: David Herbert’s Best Home Cooking – David Herbert

The Garden: Snow Peas and Sugar Snap Peas

What do you do when your garden has an abundance of sugar snap peas, snow peas (and broad beans very soon)? You make this spectacular yet so easy salad. I served this as a side dish to a very impressive birthday dinner I made for my husband recently – it looked and tasted fantastic. There were left overs which I converted to a filling lunch by simply adding some halved cherry tomatoes and some quartered hard boiled eggs. Fresh and delicious. (If you are vegetarian simply omit the bacon from this recipe)

David Herbert's Pea and Pine Nut Salad