Cheesy Veggie Pasta

This simple recipe for cheesy veggie pasta is a great one pot meal suitable for the whole family.  It also makes a great speedy meal for kids as it can be frozen in individual portions and defrosted when heated.  It needs no further accompaniments.  If in your household there is a daddy who must have meat in every meal, as there is in my house, then you can always just cook a chicken breast to serve alongside.

The quantities below are based on feeding a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) and on preparing 3 servings per person.

Ingredients:

  • 600g Orzo Pasta
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 4 small carrots
  • 3 courgettes
  • 6 tablespoons frozen peas
  • Pepper to season
  • Mixed Italian herbs
  • 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
    • I use the Heinz baby stock cubes as they contain less salt
    • You may not need to use the whole quantity
  • 100g parmesan cheese

Method:

  • Finely chop leek
  • Dice carrot and courgette (I recommend removing the skin from the courgette)
  • Add oil to a large saucepan and add leek, carrot and courgette
  • Cook over a low heat until softened (about 5 mins)
  • Add half of stock and cook for 5 mins over medium heat
  • Top up stock levels if required and bring up to the boil before adding pasta
  • Lower heat and simmer.  You will need to stir regularly and add more stock if needed.  If you have used all the stock and the pasta is not yet ready then just top up with a little water.  All the water is to be absorbed so better to add less and top up
  • After 10 mins add the peas
  • Add herbs and pepper to taste
  • Pasta will need to be softer than the usual al dente if it is to be served to toddlers or older babies (this can also be blended and served during weaning, but I would not add any pepper in that case)
  • Once pasta is ready (it should be soft and almost all of the liquid have been absorbed), remove from heat add grated parmesan cheese and stir
  • If freezing cool and transfer to freezer safe pots or serve immediately

This cheesy veggie pasta is such a winner with our kids and so handy to have in the freezer as once defrosted and heated that’s it dinner or lunch sorted that I cannot recommend it enough.

Kx