I call this homemade baby food recipe “vegetable lasagna” because even though it’s a puree, it has the lasagna flavor that kids – and babies love. The addition of tomato paste adds a healthy dose of the powerful antioxidants lycopene and vitamin C. Plus, you can pack your vegetable lasagna full of healthy veggies, even the ones that baby usually doesn’t like. I like to add any combination of eggplant, carrots, celery, kale, spinach and zucchini to the mix, depending on what’s available. You can also add garlic, oregano and basil. Don’t skimp on the flavor, because even baby gets bored of bland food.
You can prepare this recipe differently according to your baby’s age. For younger babies, cook everything until it is soft, then puree until very smooth. For older babies who are accustomed to more texture, puree for less time. I don’t recommend this recipe for a finger food, because the tomato sauce is super messy. I learned this the hard way! As I’ve mentioned in past baby food recipes, I like to use my Cuisinart mini prep for this task. While it isn’t the best for a really smooth puree, I like that it takes up little counter space and is simple to clean. To get a fine puree, you can take the additional step of passing the puree through a mesh strainer.
Use your favorite pasta in this dish. It really doesn’t matter what shape, because you are blending it. You can use whole wheat or rice pasta. I used some organic cheese raviolis, which added a little extra flavor.
- ½ organic onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove or a pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch dried oregano
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 cup zucchini (and/or eggplant, spinach, peas, etc.), chopped
- 2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- ½ cup pasta (your choice)
- 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese, grated
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and oregano, stir. Add carrots, veggies, tomato paste and stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Add pasta. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until carrots are tender. You can overcook the pasta in this case, since it will be pureed. Once all of the veggies are tender, remove from heat and stir in the ricotta and Parmesan cheese. Allow to cool and puree until smooth, adding the cooking liquid a little at a time until you reach the right consistency.