The Zucchini Pasta with Feta and Balsamic Vinegar is one of my favorite to prepare when we invite friends with kids. The recipe is easy to prepare in no time and it’s great when you are hosting as you can prepare the sauce in advance and just cook the pasta when your guests arrive. On top of it, the flavor combination appeals babies, toddlers and adults! It’s a one family = one meal recipe, my favorite ones.
You can adjust the measurements and switch/opt out ingredients pending the age of the kids. I will share with you all the tips, but let’s start preparing together the main recipe.
Start preparing the pasta bringing a large pot full with water to boil. When the water is boiling add the sea salt and the pasta. Set the timer and focus on the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of starchy boiling water from the pasta to thin the sauce later.
Grate the zucchini. I usually grate them with the large holes, you can also choose to finely grate the zucchini, the final result will be smoother, like dressing the pasta with a cream. Do not squeeze the extra water out of the zucchini, we will need it.
In a large skillet add the olive oil and the minced onion. Cook for 2 minutes at medium heat. When the onion turns into a golden color, add the grated zucchini, season with salt and cook for 5 minutes to let the zucchini release their water and reduce to a creamy texture.
Drain the pasta and in a large bowl combine all the ingredients: pasta + cooked zucchini + feta cheese + mint leaves + balsamic vinegar. Stir well to combine.
Add enough boiling water from the pasta (the one you set aside) to thin the sauce and create a creamy texture.
Serve warm and enjoy!
CAN I OFFER FETA TO MY BABY?
Yes, but not a lot. Feta cheese is definitely rich in sodium, so moderation is the key. I would not offer feta cheese by itself before 12 months of age, but you can add some to a recipe like for this pasta and offer it to your baby starting from around 9 months of age. Feta is rich in fats (babies need fats too!!), protein, vitamin B. It is also easier to digest than other cheeses made from cow’s milk as it is made from sheep’s and goat’s milk.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE FETA WITH ANOTHER CHEESE?
If you are worried for the sodium content in feta you can either cut the quantity in half (1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup) or switch to a cheese with less sodium like ricotta cheese or goat cheese.
CAN I SKIP BALSAMIC VINEGAR?
I really think that those 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar will really make a difference in the overall taste of the pasta. They will balance the sweetness of the zucchini and saltiness of the feta with a delicate kick of acidity. That being said, I understand, balsamic vinegar might not be a staple in every pantry. So, if you don’t have it, you can skip it. The pasta will still be yummy, I promise 🙂
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS?
If you have any pasta leftover you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you end up preparing more zucchini sauce than needed I suggest to save the extra BEFORE mixing it with the pasta. Leftover pasta is never as good as fresh one: it gets overcooked and gooey. You can store any zucchini mix leftover in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or even freeze it for up to 3 months and mix it with a freshly cooked pasta and feta whenever you want. The final result will taste as the one made from scratch.
OTHER BABY & KID FRIENDLY PASTA RECIPES?
- Vegetable Bolognese Pasta
- Fava Beans & Cashew Cream Pasta +12M
- Awesome Creamy Orzo Pasta with Vegetables – Ready in no time!
- Zucchini Pistachio Pasta +9M
- Broccoli Pasta with Cashews cream
- Caprese Pasta
- Pasta with tomatoes, goat cheese and olives
- First egg yolk recipe: pastina with zucchini
- Baby pasta with fresh tomatoes
- Tuna baby pasta with vegetables
- Colorful pasta with homemade basil Pesto
- 3 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 lb short shaped pasta
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp mint leaves, minced
- 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
Bring a large pot with water to boil. When the water is boiling add 2 Tbsp sea salt and the pasta. Set the timer following the cooking instructions on the packaging.
Reserve 1 cup of starchy boiling water from the pasta. Set aside.
In a skillet add 3 Tbsp olive oil and the onion. Cook 2 min at medium heat.
When the onion is golden add the zucchini, season with 1/2 tsp sea salt and cook for 5 min to let the zucchini release their water and reduce into a creamy texture.
In a large bowl combine pasta + zucchini + feta cheese + mint + balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine well. Add also some boiling water you reserved from the pasta pot, as much as you need to get a creamy sauce. Serve warm.