When someone else offers to cook dinner I always accept, so when my five-and-a-half year old asked if he could I thought it would be giving a bad example not to let him. Together we chose a recipe that (a) he would eat and (b) he would be able to cook without too much intervention, or knife skills.
I really think it’s important to let kids help in the kitchen, whether it’s to butter their own bread or help to chop vegetables. It’s a much better life skill to give them than knowing how to bake cupcakes. (I’ve written about this before too HERE)
The recipe we chose was in the Family Food Cookbook that Paul Flynn did for Lidl a few years ago. Cathal did everything himself except boil the kettle and drain the pasta, and plug in the blender.
The result was a delicious dish that is back on the meal plan in this house again. You could add vegetable, I’m thinking a grated courgette or some frozen peas would work well. We just served it with green salad (that Cathal made).
You can use this sauce with a variety of fillings for the bake, try cooked chicken, ham or lightly sautéed veggies.
Creamy Tomato and Chorizo Pasta Bake
300g Pasta pieces- (penne/fusili would work well)
1 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
100g sliced Chorizo, roughly chopped (I gave Cathal the kitchen scissors to cut this up)
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 Chicken Stock Cube
A pinch of Sugar
Grated Cheese to taste- we used red cheddar as the kids prefer it but Parmesan would work well
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180C. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet (not too soft now).
Next you need to blend the tomatoes, cream, garlic, sugar and chicken stock cube together. You can use a blender/food processor or a stick blender. We used a stick blender this time as it’s easier to wash up.
Get a baking dish ready, we used one we use to make lasagne or shepherd’s pie. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and put it back in the cooking pot, then add in the blended sauce and chopped chorizo and mix (Add any additional veg here too). Season with salt and pepper, then transfer into a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese to taste.
Bake the pasta in a hot oven (180° C) for 15 – 20 minutes until hot and bubbling.
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