Oh how to make to make the ‘little people’ eat more green food? Always a slight dilemma in our home unless you add the magic pasta. Somehow this genius addition means I can slip in all sorts of vegetables and meat and the whole lot gets lapped up. We have cauliflower cheese pasta, pork and tomato ragu, pheasant and leek cream, venison and chestnut – and most popular of all ‘Princess Pea’ pasta – basically a broccoli and pea puree – so simple but surprisingly good and what is more, edible for the grown ups!!
The obvious addition of a spoonful of cream, several handfuls of fresh Parmesan, a few peeled broad beans and fresh mint, transforms a nursery food classic into a dish straight from the River Cafe! ‘Princess and the Pea’ pasta is a complete hit – maybe my ‘little people’ have not wizened up to my sneaky ways of squeezing the veggies in – and long may that continue – though to be honest ‘peas’ have never been a battleground – but broccoli – well that is another story. Actually, the real selling point of this sauce is that it is so easy and quick to prepare. It can be stored in the fridge for several days or it can be frozen. It is just a very versatile, healthy sauce to add to the endless pasta repertoire.
‘Princess and the Pea’ Pasta
Serves 4 (2 adults and 2 toddlers)
300g of Tagliatelle
100g of frozen peas
100g of broccoli
2 tablespoons of double cream
4 tablespoons of chicken/vegetable stock
4 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan
Adult additions: 100g of podded broad beans, 1 handful of mint, a good pinch of maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper, more parmesan.
1. Pop 1 large pan of water on to boil, big enough to hold the pasta, and another smaller pan on for the peas and broccoli.
2. When the small pan is boiling pop in the broccoli and peas and let it come back to the boil – when the broccoli is just done, drain and liquidise with a hand blender to a fine puree, adding in the stock (or pea water if you have no stock) and the double cream. You should have a soup like consistency.
3. Cook the tagliatelle as instructed on the pack and drain. Pop back in the sauce pan and add in the pea – broccoli puree plus the parmesan, stir until evenly coated and serve immediately to the hungry ‘little people’.
Adult version: Now throw in the chopped fresh mint, good pinch of salt and pepper, a little more cream and broad beans and serve with additional parmesan, to really impress scatter some pea shoots on top!