Pasta Pilaf / Risotto (page 97)

See the slideshow to go an adventure with pasta pilaf / risotto

Photographs copyright Peter Knab

Switch & Mix

Switch & Mix already exists for all of the recipes in this chapter as you can cook any of the pasta pilafs with any of the suitable pastas. The pastas and their simmering times are noted on page 97. 

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Weigh the macaroni.
  • Peel the onion. Start your child off by cutting off the onion tops with a knife. Then peel the skin just enough to give them something to grip and then pull off. This is extremely satisfying at any age.
  • Peel the garlic, Jake and James love banging it to loosen the skin first.
  • Cut the butter with a butter knife.
  • Measure the mascarpone.
  • Grate the cheese with as much supervision as they need.

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 5 years 5 months, James 2 years 9 months


Because I’d always made versions of this with penne in the past, when my kids were weaning I never got the chance to take advantage of the smaller pastas. The giant couscous is absolutely perfect because of its size. You can cut different vegetables to the same size in a mini chopper and then cook it all together, the kids get plenty of protein from the cheese and the cooked mixture freezes well. There is even a perfect succession, from the giant couscous to the orzo to the macaroni to the penne. However, the greatest discovery was the whole wheat giant couscous. Throughout the whole time that James wouldn’t eat much that was good for him, I had the comfort that he would eat this whole wheat couscous and whole meal toast.