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This easy pasta dish has hearty greens and a little hint of lemon. It's loaded with protein and calcium from fresh ricotta cheese and lots of vitamins and minerals from the sautéed spinach. If you like, stir in 1/3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) marinara sauce, pour the mixture into a small, greased baking dish, top with a little grated cheese, and bake at 375°F (190°C) until bubbly – cool, cut into pieces small enough for your child to eat safely, and serve.
This recipe is intended for children 10 months and up.
- 1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) small-shaped whole-wheat pasta, such as mini shells or macaroni
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup (1 oz/30) baby spinach
- 1/3 cup (2.5 oz/75 g) whole-milk ricotta
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and chop very finely.
Transfer the spinach to a bowl and stir in the ricotta and lemon zest. Add the pasta and stir to combine. If the mixture is too thick, thin it with a little warm cooking water.
Refrigerate the pasta in an airtight container for up to three days.
Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups (9 oz/280 g)