This is a great alternative to macaroni and cheese. It is very easy and fast to make and it also has some great vegetables in it. It is perfect for toddlers who love to feed themselves. It has a mild flavor that kids love and it is just strong enough that mom and dad love it as well. This recipe is actually called Pastina with Peas and Carrots and it is by the Food Network star Giada DeLaurentiis, from Everyday Italian. She made this for her daughter, Jade's one year old birthday party. Although I did not make this for Xavier's birthday party I did make it for him on his actual birthday so he had something fun and new to eat. The reason I changed the name is simply because I think the Pastina with Peas and Carrots sounds like too basic of a pasta with peas, so I wanted to make sure people can tell in the title that this is actually closer to a macaroni and cheese that you make in a skillet. I hope you enjoy it, I know we did and it's a keeper in our house!
Cheese Pasta With Peas and Carrots
- 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) farfellini pasta (or any small pasta you like)
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2- inch pieces
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup ( 4 oz) mascarpone cheese at room temperature
- kosher salt
- 2 Tbsps chopped fresh basil leaves
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook.
Drain, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. In skillet heat oil, add onion, cook about 7 minutes. Add carrots and stock bring to a boil,
reduce and simmer 5 minutes. Add peas and cook for about 2 minutes.
Stir in pasta, remove pan from heat and add cheeses. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped basil.