Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Bento #42 Pasta Friends

Sarah chose this ballerina.  I'm ashamed to say how my little ballerina pales in comparison to Susan's. :(  Little ballerina made from cheese and ham cut outs and nori for face and bun decoration.  The little blue dots are made from apple cut-outs dyed a little with food colouring.
Kimi chose the Kungfu boy which I made from cheese and ham cut-out and apple slices dyed with a little blue food colouring.  I totally forgot to place the cheese strips to complete his yukata. And after the travelling, the little boy's face got a little smeared. :(
Claire's simple chick and bear.  Can't think of what to make for a 12 year old
I was to make dinner for the kids (Kimi and my nieces) and this was a last minute decision to pack them as cute bentos cos I did not have most of the items I needed for the decoration.  But Sarah was so keen so I just made do with whatever I had.  I made shaped pasta with meat sauce for the kids.

I'd forgotten my camera and was using my handphone to take these pix and there was really zero lighting at my sis's place so please excuse the bad quality of the pix.  These were terribly rushed bentos so the cutting, etc looks a little tacky.  But the kids were happy! :)

I'm so happy I finally got my 2 books (Hawaii's Bento Box Cook Book 1 & Book 2) by Susan.  Sarah loved the bentos and so did Kimi.  The other night when I had just gotten them, Kimi and I just sat there pouring over the pages, admiring them... all the oohs, ahhs and wahhhs!  Go grab them if you can!

I love making this pasta cos it has everything in it that kids do not like and they will eat them not knowing what they are eating! FABULOUS!  Here's the recipe which is guess-timated cos I do not cook with measuring spoons but I try to be as accurate as I can ok? :)

Tomato Base Meat Sauce Recipe
  • 250g minced meat (of your choice) washed in sieve marinate with ginger juice, pepper and salt
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped finely
  • 4-6 white button mushrooms chopped finely
  • 1 medium carrot shredded finely
  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1 corn shaved
  • 1/2 small bottle of Prego Original/Traditional Pasta Sauce
  • Dash of mixed herbs (optional)
  • Dash of black pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp Maggi Chicken Stock granules (no msg)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup water
Method
  1. Season mince for at least 15 mins and panfry in DRY pan over medium fire.
  2. As you fry the mince, use ladle to push at meat to separate the meat and fry till all the water has dried up and starts to brown and emits a fragrance.  Remove from pan and place aside.
  3. Add some oil and saute onions till soft and fragrant.
  4. Add the carrot, corn and mushrooms and fry for 2 mins or till slightly soft before adding chopped tomatoes.
  5. Return browned mince to pan and let it mix well.
  6. Pour in the pasta sauce or tomatoe puree and stir till mixed.
  7. Add in seasoning and water.
  8. Simmer for at least 30 mins on low fire slightly covered.
  9. Serve with pasta shapes or pasta of your choice.
Tips
  • Always taste sauce before adding seasoning, etc as different brands of pasta sauces may have different salt content and some sauce can be rather tart so it is best to taste before adjusting the flavour.
  • If using chicken stock, you can omit the chicken granules and water.
  • I usually make a little more so I can freeze up portions for Kimi to eat the following week.  This is a good sauce for Shepherd's Pie, Baked Pasta/Macaroni or Baked Rice.
  • I love this recipe as you can add in different kinds of vegetables like peppers, shredded zucchini and even apples!  Experiment and/or add in whatever your child do not like and you will be surprised how they will eat it without really knowing what's inside.
  • The trick is that it has to be finely chopped so that it 'melts' into the sauce.

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