When G. and I were visiting my cousin in NY, I noticed a cookbook open on her counter. As I flipped through it, I thought, “Gee, these all sound so yummy! I need this cookbook!” Indeed the dishes did sound good: Filet of Fish Mornay with Vegetables, Rosti Salmon Cakes, Zucchini Fritters…. I flipped it to the cover and saw that it was, in fact, a cookbook for children’s food. I have one of those- Cooking For Baby– but it’s not nearly as inspiring. This one, well, this one was different. I asked my cousin to email me the title and then promptly forgot. About a week after G. and I returned home, this showed up on my doorstep via Amazon:
You know, ’cause that’s how we roll in my family- why send the title when you can send a copy of the actual book?
So, my next few posts will be food from this book. We’ll start with Cheesy Pasta Stars. Now, even if you’re not cooking for a baby, stick with me- some of this food is really good, no matter what your age!
Cheesy Pasta Stars
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup boiling water
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, and chopped
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons soup pasta stars (stelline)
Peel and chop your carrots. I used rounds and sliced mine pretty thin. It took about three medium size carrots to make one cup.
Place the carrots in a pan with the cup of boiling water (if not cooking for adults, add a pinch of salt). Cook until tender about 15-20 minutes. This will depend on both how thinly you cut your carrots and what you consider tender. It only took about 10 minutes for me.
Peel, seed and chop your tomatoes. I did not do this. I used two tomatoes from our backyard (thanks to a good friend and her husband who are “borrowing” a corner of our yard to grow tomatoes- we get the benefits of extras), which I cored and then just chopped- I don’t mind seeds and skin. I also threw in the rest of the small yellow cherry tomatoes I had leftover to make it to a cup. I chopped them a bit as well.
Melt the butter in a separate pan, add the tomatoes and saute until mushy.
Grate your cheese. I am too lazy for grating so I just chopped mine pretty thin.
In the meantime, bring a pan of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then drain.
Mix together the cooked carrots, along with the cooking liquid, with the cheese and tomato mixture. It will look….funny.
Now, the recipe says to blend it to a puree. I debated this. I decided to do it, so that I could see what the intention was. I’m glad I did because I ended up with a thick, yummy, fresh-tasting sauce that was tomato-y and sweet from the carrots. If you wanted to, you could probably skip the puree step but I’m not sure you’d get the same effect.
Add the sauce to the drained pasta stars and serve.
If you’re cooking for adults, I’d say use larger pasta, like ziti or rotini. The stars got lost in my sauce. Ironically, my husband and I both liked this but G, for whom it was made, turned her nose up at it, preferring instead her nectarine and plain old cheese. Go figure.