Pasta & vegetables with lentil 'bolognaise' (page 316)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Measure the tomato puree.
  • Grate the Parmesan with as much supervision as they need.
  • Pick the basil leaves from the stalks.
  • Weigh the cooked lentils.
  • Measure the tomato juice.
  • Help with the courgette and carrot ribbons, best to get them to do the start of these.
  • Peel the garlic. Jake and James love banging it to loosen the skin first.
  • Shave or grate their Parmesan at the table.

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 5 years 5 months, James 2 years 9 months


Jake and James are away with their beloved Nanna at the moment. But this is a regular favourite. They find long pasta very exciting, so there's every reason for them to like the vegetable pasta. I made a version of this with tomato sauce for a kids food festival which was a huge success. It's an idea that opens up possibilities. You can lower the quantity of pasta and increase the vegetables and you can change the vegetables with the season.


I'm never sure if making food look like something else is a good idea. Making vegetables into pasta is a very gentle example. But my more general thought is that if there's no waste it is fine. I'd be quite happy with a dinosaur crouton or a polenta star, so long as I know that there aren't a pile of trimmings going in the bin. Saying that, if it's a way to get my kids to eat something they otherwise wouldn't I'll quite happily eat all of the trimmings myself! My principles are always easy to stick to when things are going well.