Pasta with Vegetables. This is one of those recipes that you prepare for your kids and the whole family loves it 🙂
I served a normal portion to the kids and my hubby and I ended up receiving requests for a second from all of them. Double win!! The kids loved the creamy texture, my hubby loved the abundance of vegetables, I loved that they all loved it.
This pasta is cooked using the risotto method. We are not going to cook the pasta separately from the sauce, drain it and combine the two. We will instead cook everything in one large skillet.
I used a mix of vegetables that more or less you should be able to find all year around: zucchini, mushrooms, sweet peas. I used butternut squash as it’s in season but you can substitute with sweet potato during summer time. They are both great roasted!
Ready to start?
Roast the almond meal in a skillet for 2 minutes up until golden and set aside.
Reusing the same skillet, add the olive oil with the minced onions, minced garlic and chopped Shiitake mushrooms. Stir and cook for 2 minutes at medium heat.
Add the zucchini that have been finely grated and squeezed to remove the extra water, the orzo pasta and the chicken stock.
Reduce to simmer and cook for 9 minutes (check the cooking time of the pasta).
Add the frozen peas and the roasted squash (check here below how to easily roast a squash). Cook for 2 minutes.
Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of roasted almond meal and grated Parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!
HOW TO EASILY ROAST A BUTTERNUT SQUASH
There is some prep work that you can do ahead and that will save you time. Roasting the butternut squash is a good example. I usually roast one or two butternut squash at the time and freeze them so that they will be ready to use for future recipes. Once roasted the butternut squash can be also stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Start peeling the butternut squash. I use a simple potato peeler, I find it easier than using the knife. Once peeled, cut the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds and chop it in small cubes, more or less of the same size.
Place the butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are not too crowded and only in one layer. Overcrowding will end up in steaming the squash more than roasting it 🙂
Roast the squash in the oven to 425F for 25 min up until you will see a nice golden color on top. Done!
CAN I OFFER MUSHROOMS TO MY BABY?
Yes!! Mushrooms can be served as baby food starting from the very beginning, 6 months of age. The suggestion is not to serve them raw but cooked. They are easier to digest and also their nutrients are better absorbed by the body.
WHICH KIND OF MUSHROOM TO USE?
You can really choose any kind you like but I would recommend Shiitake if you can find them. Shiitake mushrooms are richer in taste, a good source of Vitamin D and they have been used in the Chinese medicine for centuries to boost the immune system.
I also love Chanterelle and of course, Porcini. It’s just a bit difficult to find them at the store 🙂
CAN I SUBSTITUTE PASTA WITH SOMETHING ELSE?
If you want to switch orzo pasta with something else you can try try:
- a bigger size of pasta. Fusilli or Maccheroni would be great.
- real orzo (the cereal!) or amaranth or barley
HOW TO STORE THE LEFTOVERS?
You can store any leftover in the refrigerator, in an air tight container for up to 3-4 days.
HOW TO REHEAT THE LEFTOVERS?
You can reheat the orzo pasta on the stove in a pan simply adding 2-3 tablespoons of water to recreate the creamy texture.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR OTHER PASTA RECIPES?
Check out this other yummy recipes!
- 2 Tbsp almond meal
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta
- 4 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese (or cheddar)
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash in cubes
Roast the almond meal in a skillet for 2 minutes up until golden brown. Set aside.
Using the same skillet, add the olive oil, onions, garlic and mushrooms. Stir and cook for 2 minutes at medium heat.
Add the grated zucchini, orzo pasta, stock. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 9 minutes.
Add the frozen peas and the roasted butternut squash. Cook for 2 minutes.
Serve warm with a drizzle of almond meal and parmesan cheese on top.