150 g green beans
300 g chat potatoes
300 g short dried pasta like fusilli, or a long pasta like linguine
For the pesto
1 large bunch basil
50 g pine nuts
50 g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated, plus extra to serve (optional)
2 cloves garlic
100 ml olive oil
- Pick the basil for the pesto. Get your child to pick the basil leaves off the stalks. Ask them to look at and smell the leaves as you tell them the name of the herb until they remember it – try to do this with all herbs when you can.
- Make the pesto. Toast the pine nuts in a pan over a low heat. A child of seven years plus can stir the nuts in the pan. Tip into a mini chopper (or use a pestle and mortar) with the basil, Parmesan, garlic and olive oil. Blitz or pound into a green sauce, then set aside.
- Chop up the beans. Using the child-friendly knife, get children from the age of five to chop the green beans into shorter lengths, and quarter the potatoes. Younger children can snap the beans into short lengths while you prepare the potatoes.
- Cook the vegetables and pasta. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the potatoes and boil for 3 mins. Remove from the heat and ask the child to tip in the pasta and give it a stir. Put the pan back on the heat, boil the pasta for 5 mins, add the beans and cook for a final 3 mins. Mix everything together.
- Drain everything well and tip into a bowl. Spoon most of the pesto into the pasta and stir everything together to coat. Bring the large bowl of pasta to the table and serve with extra Parmesan, more basil and remaining pesto, if you like.