4/27/2011

Homemade pasta sauce with pumpkin

Saw this pasta sauce recipe over at The Little Teochew some time back and I knew I just had to give it a try and I must say that both hubby and Alicia loved the sauce!

It's a really sneaky way of adding pumpkin into Alicia's diet coz she doesn't like pumpkin... but she doesn't know that in that delicious sauce, pumpkin is a key ingredient! hee.... *evil laughter* Then again, I don't like pumpkin much either... I like pumpkin soup though!

I modified the recipe as the recipe does not contain any meat so since I wanted to make it a one-dish meal for the family, I added in the usual minced beef and mushrooms... and I made a much bigger batch of sauce to freeze the remainder in small portions for Alicia. :)

Homemade pasta sauce with pumpkin




Ingredients:



  • 500-600g pumpkin (skinned and cut into chunks)
  • a bottle of passata (you can view the photo of the actual product over at The Little Teochew's post)
  • 1 small yellow/ white onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 250g minced beef
  • 10 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • salt to taste
  • basil flakes to taste - I added a generous portion :)



Method:



  1. Steam the pumpkin till fork tender, press the pumpkin through a sieve (truly reminds me of the days I pureed food for Alicia!). Set aside.
  2. Heat wok and add some oil.
  3. Fry the onion and garlic till fragrant and the onions have softened.
  4. Add the minced beef and some water if necessary to make sure that the minced beef does not become lumpy.
  5. Add the mushrooms. Saute for awhile.
  6. After the beef is browned, remove all the ingredients from the wok.
  7. Add passata and the pureed pumpkin to the wok. Let it simmer for about a minute.
  8. Return the ingredients that you fried earlier back into the wok and mix well.
  9. Let the sauce simmer for about 10-20min (to ensure that the mushrooms are cooked and have released their sweetness into the sauce) and meanwhile you can add the salt and basil to taste. :)
  10. Pour sauce over cooked pasta or put the cooked pasta into the wok and mix well before dishing onto the plate. (I chose to pour the sauce over the pasta as I wanted to save the remaining sauce to freeze in baby cubes for Alicia)
  11. Top with grated cheese of your choice (optional).

Notes:
Passata can be easily obtained from NTUC or Giant.
You can substitute beef with chicken.
Omit the basil if you do not like it or you can add other herbs of your choice. I have a bottle of basil in my kitchen so I just used it... :)



4/26/2011

Water chestnuts with sweet corn dessert soup


My mum made this for me when I was young and now I make it for my darling! Alicia loves this dessert soup - which I don't make so sweet so that she has it as a drink, not just as a dessert on days I cook it. 

The water chestnuts are 'cooling' in nature, have a nice crunch and paired with the fragrant, sweet corn kernels, you can imagine that it is a refreshing dessert and drink for both adults and kids.

I cook this about once a week for Alicia and hubby and we have barley water twice a week (she loves to eat barley too!)

This dessert takes only 15-20min to cook so it's really convenient!

Water chestnuts with corn dessert soup


Ingredients:

  • 5-8 water chestnuts (washed, peeled and diced) - adjust according to your preference
  • 1/2 soup bowl of frozen sweet corn kernels (you can use fresh corn and remove the kernels if you have time)
  • about 1.5L water
  • about 8 pieces of wintermelon strips (adjust according to preference)



Method:

  1. Add the diced water chestnuts, corn kernels and wintermelon strips to the pot of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Simmer for another 15-20min.
  3. Serve.


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