Kids love getting messy. They also love to get involved in whatever mum and dad are doing. So what better way to get them involved in home and family life than rolling up your collective sleeves in the kitchen?
Cooking with the children is a great way to spend some quality time together and ideally should result in a tasty feast that you can sit down and enjoy together, made all the more enjoyable of course by the sense of pride you can have in the knowledge you have prepared it!
Food is so varied and exciting; you will always find a recipe that suits the whole family. Half the fun is trying new things and exploring the wide range of ingredients that are now so easily available, as you embark on your very own culinary adventure.
Seasonal and festive events provide even more room to explore new recipes – be it Christmas, Halloween, Easter – there is always something new to try. Or why not try some more exotic flavours and slowly work your way across continents, with a new dish to try for every country on the map.
For me any culinary adventure needs to start in Italy (coming from an Italian background, I may be slightly biased!) So here is a recipe for spinach butterfly pasta with ricotta – or farfalline alla ricotta. In my experience the little ones equally enjoy making the dainty green butterflies and eating the creamy end dish. Buon appetito!
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
300gr 00 flour
100gr fresh spinach
A few sprigs of parsley
Pinch salt to taste
Boil the spinach leaves and whizz them up in a food processor with the eggs (gently to avoid splitting the eggs)
Make a small mound with the flour and pour the spinach mixture in the middle
Here’s the fun part – get stuck in with your hands and mix it all together
Then roll into a ball and wrap with a clean cloth – set aside for 30 minutes
In a small bowl mix the ricotta, a drop of oil and the sprigs of parsley chopped finely
Take a rolling pin each and roll out the pasta mixture
Cut the pasta into strips of around 3cm, ideally using a roller with teeth (a knife will do though)
Ask your helper to pinch each strip in the middle to form a butterfly shape
When ready to serve, bring a pan of water to the boil with a pinch of salt to taste and cook the pasta – strain and add the ricotta dressing to taste