A deceptively light and summery pasta, combining a dizzying array of flavors and textures, this dish will be a firm family favorite in no time.
- 180 g (6¼ oz/ 2 cups) pasta, such as spirals or bowties
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 150 g (5½ oz/ 1 cup) grape tomatoes, quartered
- Basil leaves, to serve
- 65 g (2½ oz/ ½ cup) crumbled feta cheese
Avocado, Spinach & Basil Pesto
- 25 g (1 oz/ ½ cup) baby spinach leaves
- 2 avocados, halved
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 50 g (1¾ oz/ 1 cup) basil leaves
- 50 g (1¾ oz/ ¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 25 g (1 oz/ ¼ cup) grated parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta according to the packet directions. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Wilt the spinach leaves by pouring boiling water over them in a bowl and stirring well. Drain and squeeze dry.
- Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor and add the spinach, lemon juice, garlic, basil and pine nuts. Process until smooth, drizzling the oil in slowly. Finally, add the grated parmesan.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and toss quickly, then add the pasta, pesto to taste and enough of the reserved cooking water to make a sauce-like consistency. Gently toss until just combined.
- Remove baby’s portion before scattering with basil leaves and crumbled feta.
- Purée to the desired consistency or cut into bite-size pieces to serve as finger food.
ALL GROWN UP
- Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. If you like a bit of heat then add some finely chopped chilli.
- Avocado is nutrient dense with more than 20 minerals and vitamins.
Smart Baby Cookbook by Lauren Cheney (Murdoch Books RRP $24.99)