A quick pasta that is also amongst the simplest of recipes, this Cheesy Pasta Arrabbiata is so easy to make, it is sure to become your fallback meal when time is limited. Although 'arrabbiata' literally means 'angry' in Italian, referring to the heat of the red chilli peppers used to make traditional arrabbiata sauce, your little one's tummies will be anything but.
This recipe has been adapted to be friendly for tiny taste buds, including added cheese appeal. For more adventurous children (over 18 months), a pinch of chilli powder may be optionally added to introduce a hint of spice. And for the quick pasta version, canned chopped tomatoes can be substituted for fresh ones.
This is one of my go to recipes for meal time emergencies, as it is so easy to throw together using a few store cupboard items. Although arrabbiata sauce is traditionally paired with penne pasta, feel free to choose whatever pasta shapes your child prefers. Smaller star or mini shell shapes may be more suitable for younger babies with smaller mouths, or try larger shapes that your baby can grip with his hands; similarly toddlers may prefer pasta with character shapes - follow your child's lead!
This recipe yields 7-8 servings and is suitable for freezing. You could also make a large batch of the sauce to freeze for future use, and cook only the amount of pasta you need, just before serving.
100ml oil for cooking
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
400g plum (or other) tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Small pinch of chilli powder (optional, for babies over 18 months)
250g pasta shapes
40g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated