I've mentioned my cream sauce before in other pasta related entries but I will repeat it once again because it's so good and easy to make! It's a sauce I made A LOT while living in Florence, Italy for a semester. And now it's my go to mealtime fix when I need something in a hurry that I know the toddler will gobble down. (here's the babe with her Pasta yesterday at lunch... her Aunt tied her napkin around her head. She make a cute swiss miss!) I sometimes make the sauce with tomatoes, but since it seems to be too acidic for young ones skin, I've been making the sauce sans tomato. (But this doesn't mean you have to!)
I'm also sharing this recipe, for my Cousin, who fed this to her daughter when they were visiting. Her 12 month old loved the sauce over the mushroom stuffed raviolis. The sauce is a great way to include vegetables. I'm not for hiding vegetables in kid's food, I feel they should be educated about food, and eat vegetables on their own... This sauce doesn't hide them, simply incorporates them into the mix, making your life a few steps easier on those nights when you are D-O-N-E! ; ) And you need something fast and tasty.
Cream Sauce Recipe:
* Chop 1 onion and two cloves of garlic and cook it in a pan with olive oil. (You Can sauté mushrooms, spinach, peas or another veg at this point too. If you have frozen chopped onion and minced garlic in a jar- congratulations your sauce will be that much faster!)
* Once the onion is golden and soft, add 1/3 or 1/4 cup of flour to the mix (depending on how much sauce you need.). Stir it in so the olive oil really mixes with the flour. Then add milk (or cream and milk!) in proportion to how thick you want the sauce to be. Usually at the beginning pour enough milk so it covers the onion/flour/oil mix (You can always add more milk later). Salt and nutmeg are great additions!
As the sauce cooks, it will continue to thicken with the heat, so add more milk/cream to balance out the thickness. Don't worry if it seems too thin, the continued heat will be sure to thicken it eventually. Don't add flour, just wait... I've botched this sauce up at the beginning when tweaking it, by adding flour later on, the result is thick paste. Keep tasting it as you cook to see if it needs more pepper/salt/nutmeg, etc.
* Pour over your favorite pasta or stuffed Ravs.
FUN TODDLER TIP: If you're running late and the baby is really hungry, rinse your pasta in cold water to cool it off, so when the straight-off-the-stove-sauce is added, it won't be completely hot and scalding. If it's still too hot and frantically blowing on it, is not enough, pop it in the freezer for a minute.
In the past I've also added a can of mushroom soup to the sauce. In doing so I didn't have to add as much milk since the soup provided the liquid. However I did taste as I cooked and added milk here and there to balance out the salty-ness of the soup.