Family food: Spring greens (or ANY greens!) and feta tagliatelle [recipe]

This is possibly one of the most simple, quick and nutritious meals we do. Suitable for all the family, it’s packed full of goodness and is fun for little fingers to handle. It’s a winner in our house and is a great way to get lots of goodness into a meal you can eat hot, or portion up and use for meals on-the-go.

While we’ve used spring greens here (as they’re currently in season), you can replace these for any green vegetables, such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli, even simply frozen peas if that’s all you have to hand! You can also use different cheeses or even creme fraiche (Lauren uses feta as she and little M can’t consume dairy), but just choose something that is creamy (such as Philadelphia).

We’ve made the below recipe for two adults and one infant, but it’s really easy to just add a little bit more of everything if you have more or a little less of everything if you have fewer mouths to feed. In fact, you really don’t need to be precise on the quantities, the below are more a guide to get you started. You can also read our post on baby-led weaning for advice on introducing solids to your little one, right down to great cutlery, high chairs and bibs.

The recipe

Feeds: 2 x adults; 1 x infant (chop the tagliatelle up into smaller pieces to make it easier for little hands and mouths)

Time to prepare: 10-15 minutes, tops!

Ingredients

Tagliatelle to feed three. This can be dried or fresh, and follow the guidelines on the package as to how much to use (normally one nest per person, if dried).

2 cups (or two big handfuls) of spring greens, sliced.

100g feta cheese, broken into small crumbs (normally about half a packet)

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste (preferably no salt for little ones as it can harm their developing kidneys)

You will also need a hand blender, food processor or nutribullet (or similar) to blitz the cooked ingredients.

Method

Pop the tagliatelle into a pan, boil the kettle and pour over enough hot water to cover the pasta, and follow directions on the packet to cook.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the spring greens and then pop into a steamer in a pan with about an inch of hot water. Steaming retains more nutrients than boiling; Lauren swears by a simple steaming basket which can just go in a pan of any size, but you can also use a colander or sieve over a pan of hot water and pop the pan lid on top to create the same effect.

Put the lid on and steam the greens for approximately 3-4 minutes so they retain their freshness and as much of their goodness as possible.

Meanwhile, finely crumble the feta cheese into a bowl (you can use more than the recipe if you prefer, it’s all to taste).

Once the greens are steamed, take them out and pop them in a bowl. Use the hand blender to blitz them into a medium-fine pulp, and add a dash or two of olive to loosen if needed.

Add the feta cheese to the blended greens and mix it all together. You’ll see the feta cheese start to melt from the residual heat, until you get a smooth pesto-style sauce (the finer the crumbled feta the better, to help it melt more quickly).

Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and put it back into the pan. Add the greens and feta cheese mix to the pasta and stir in until all the pasta is covered.

Put in bowls (chop up for little ones) and serve.

Enjoy!

The Mother Side xx

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