Monday, 22 February 2016

Magic Sausage Spaghetti

Cooking with the boys is often fun for them with an educational element they aren't even aware of.  As a self confessed Pinterest junkie, I've found a few pins that I thought I'd adapt and try with the boys.

The magic sausage spaghetti was a great hit and, although I'm not really a fan of frankfurter sausages, they went down well at dinner time.

My portions are for 4 people, my husband and teen opted out!

8 Frankfurter sausages; I used chicken sausages but you may use which ever you like.
2 handfuls of Dry spaghetti

Hidden Vegetable sauce
1 tbsp light olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 leek chopped
1 courgette, chopped
5 button mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 pinch of black pepper
I also use 1/2 tbsp of all purpose seasoning, you don't have to but it's a force of habit of mine to use a Caribbean all purpose in most of my cooking!
100 ml vegetable stock
2 tsp pesto
1 pinch of dried oregano
1 handful of grated cheese to garnish

Always start by everyone washing their hands with soap and running water.

I told the boys to cut the sausages into quarters, explaining to the 4 year old that it was to cut into 4 by cutting in the middle, half and half again.   He's learning fractions without even knowing it!  They both used small kitchen knives, yes these are sharp but they are used to using them as I have taught them knife safety individually before.  I was in the kitchen with them but did not hover over them as I feel they are now competent enough to cut and slice without that type of supervision.  I then told them to push the spaghetti through the uncooked sausage pieces.  Five in each, encouraging them to count objects, they both found that the spaghetti would break at times so using their problem solving skills, they worked out different strategies to get a whole spaghetti strand through without breakage, this lent for great communication skills and a little competitiveness as they challenge each other to 'win'.  It's one of the great things about the age gaps my boys have, they are always learning from each other.

I had chopped up the veg and, whilst the boys were busy threading, I started the hidden veg sauce.  The boys are pretty good at eating all their veg but the baby is a little fussy so I blend his only.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion, carrot, leek and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the courgette and mushrooms then cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cook for one minute.
Stir in the tinned tomato, tomato puree, ketchup, pesto, oregano, seasonings and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Puree with an electric hand blender.

Add the Spaghetti sausage to a pot of boiling water and cook following the recommendations on the spaghetti pack.

Drain once cooked and add the sauce to the pot, stir and serve with grated cheese...  Yum!!  Don't forget to get them to help you clean up after!

Not only are they getting a few portions of their five a day, but they have learnt:

How food changes: when cooked, spaghetti, hard to soft with hot water added, peeling and chopping of vegetables
Fractions and addition,
Extended their vocabulary
Social skills and healthy competition
Practised hand eye co-ordination
Problem Solving
Kitchen safety and hygiene: heat safety, knife safety, washing hands, cleaning after

How's that for a quick meal!  Lessons we eat!

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