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.

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

METHOD

  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet directions. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Wilt the spinach leaves by pouring boiling water over them in a bowl and stirring well. Drain and squeeze dry.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove baby’s portion before scattering with basil leaves and crumbled feta.

FOR BABY

  • 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.

SMART TIP

  • Avocado is nutrient dense with more than 20 minerals and vitamins.

Smart Baby Cookbook by Lauren Cheney (Murdoch Books RRP $24.99)