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Leek and potato pasta sauce

I love French food. I really love French food. I love eating French food and I love cooking French food.

I have a well-worn French cookbook I bought in Australia and one of my favourite recipes from it (hubby’s too) is leek and potato soup. I adapted the recipe to make a soup for Nicholas (my adaptation was mainly omitting the large quantity of cream!) but he wasn’t very keen on it. I spooned it over pasta and he loved it. Leek and potato soup became leek and potato sauce.

You could cook the onion, celery and leek in the microwave to be quicker and/or to avoid the butter. 2-3 minutes on medium with a couple tablespoons of water should be fine. Try to dice the potato into the smallest cubes you can as it will cook quicker. If your finished soup is a bit too thick, add a dash of milk or cream.

LEEK AND POTATO PASTA SAUCE

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes about 400ml
Freezable

1 leek, sliced and rinsed
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/2 stick celery, cut lengthwise then sliced finely
1 tsp butter
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 cup water

Put the butter, onion, celery and leek in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook them gently over a med-low heat until the onion is opaque, and the celery and leek are softened (about 5 mins).

Add potato and the water and turn the heat up slightly to bring it to a light boil. Keep lightly boiling until the potatoes are cooked (about 10 mins depending on the size of your potatos).

Take off the heat and, if you have time, cool for a few minutes. Puree, and season if you wish.

Serve over cooked pasta.

Variations:

  • use stock (chicken or vegetable) instead of the water
  • cook some finely chopped garlic with the onion, celery and leek
  • garnish with fresh chives
  • add a dash of cream at the end for a richer sauce

Other uses:

  • add milk or cream to make a soup
  • add milk or formula and serve without the pasta for younger babies
  • serve over fish

Tip: leeks can have dirt stuck between their many layers which can sometimes be difficult to wash away. It’s more effective (and easier) to rinse them after you slice them. Put the slices in a colander or sieve and rinse under running water. Leave the leek to drain while you prepare the other vegetables.

Have you successfully adapted any of your favourite recipes for your baby?

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Creamy mushroom pasta sauce

Pasta. What child doesn’t love pasta? My Italian husband’s very happy that Nicholas absolutely adores pasta. And the amount of pasta Nicholas can eat in one sitting constantly amazes me. Lunch after his swimming class at the weekend was a chunk of lasagne at Carluccio’s, from their lovely children’s menu. A chunk of lasagne that looked like an adult’s portion. He didn’t eat all of it, but almost all of it!

While this isn’t a pasta sauce you’d make several servings of and freeze, you can whip it up very quickly in the microwave while the pasta is cooking.

CREAMY MUSHROOM PASTA SAUCE

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Makes 1 serving

6 closed cup mushrooms
2 tbsp water
1 large basil leaf, finely chopped
1 tbsp plain yogurt

Chop the mushrooms into cubes about 0.5cm. Put them in a small microwave-safe bowl with the water and cook on medium for 5 mins.

Stir in the basil and yogurt until combined.

Serve over pasta.

Variations:

  • add a small squeeze of lemon juice
  • use fresh parsley instead of basil

Other uses:

  • eat with rice
  • use as a crepe filling for toddlers and adults