Growing up, whenever I was sick (or in need of some TLC), my mom would make me Pastina pasta with chicken broth. To this day it continues to be a comfort food for me, and honestly it's delicious. James is not much of a meat eater, but he doesn't mind fish and when I mix it with Pastina, he gobbles it up handily. When he was 6 or 7-months old, he hated peas with a passion. However, recently he has taken a liking to them so sometimes I mix peas with Pastina as well.
Pastina is one of those great things you can mix with anything -- when I don't have any fish or peas, but I want James to still get some protein, I mix Pastina with Ricotta cheese and he goes nuts for it (I like to think of it as my version of mac and cheese). Anyways, Pastina is a stable in my home and it is so quick and easy to whip up and mix any way you want.
Pastina with Salmon and Peas
We eat a lot of Salmon in my home and Jamesie loves his salmon with Pastina. I didn't start giving James meat until he was around a year old, but I started giving him Pastina when he was around 7-months old. Below is just one way I serve Pastina to James.
- Pastina pasta
- Chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- Parmesan cheese
- Baked salmon
- Fresh or frozen peas, cooked
Pour desired amount of Pastina into a pot and cover with chicken broth, add salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and stir frequently.
Add chicken broth as needed, but Pastina should absorb most of the liquid by the time it is finished cooking - approximately 6 minutes for authentic "al dente" pasta.
Add butter to pot and stir in with Pastina.
Mix in baked Salmon and cooked peas and serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Chicken broth - homemade is best, but if you are like me then you like to save the homemade stuff for chicken noodle soup. I usually use organic boxed chicken broth for Pastina. Chicken broth is a great source of protein, especially for babies who won't eat much meat. It is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
Salmon - I'm a total salmon snob. My preferred kind of salmon is organic Scottish salmon, but again -- I'm a total salmon snob. The majority of salmon consumed in the U.S is farm raised Atlantic salmon. All kinds of salmon provide a great source of high quality proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. It is another great source of vitamins and minerals.
Peas - green peas are one of the most nutritious vegetables, rich in phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Fresh green peas are also an excellent source of folic acid (perfect for all you pregnant mamas).
James absolutely adore Pastina, and although Pastina itself is not the most nutritious food, it is and excellent tool for pairing other healthy foods for little tots. I almost always put salmon or some other kind of fish or chicken in with the Pastina. I often have frozen peas or veggies, so it is simple to mix those in as well. Sometimes I also sauté some spinach or steam some carrots and throw those in there too. Acorn squash is also excellent with Pastina. Pastina with a blend of protein and veggies is my go to meal when I need something quick for Jamesie and don't have a whole lot in the fridge besides leftovers.
Full Disclosure: This and all future Mama Tastings include recipes that I have created or adapted while cooking for my son. Mama Tastings is a resource for mothers who make their own baby food, and for babies who like to eat! Each feature includes appropriate age suggestions and ingredients nutrition facts. If you have any questions or requests feel free to comment below!