Richmond were kind enough to send me some vouchers to purchase and review some of their new mini meatballs. I am always a fan of time saving when it comes to making dinners without compromising on quality and these mini meatballs really hit the spot.
I was hoping to make some sort of hungry caterpillar type kebab for the boys in the first instance but figured that sharp wooden tools and toddlers probably wasn’t the best idea so instead of the wooden skewers I decided to use spaghetti instead.
The great thing about this recipe is that it is very adaptable, you can use up whatever veg you have left over in the fridge or whatever your child has a preference for.
If your child is older you can also use wooden skewers instead of spaghetti.
For the caterpillar
- A pack of 20 Richmond mini meatballs
- Half a red pepper
- Half a green pepper
- A hand full of cherry tomatoes
- A hand full of button mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Chicken stock
- Pasta of your choice (I used fusilli).
- A teaspoon of pesto (optional)
For the sauce
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- Dry mixed herbs
Prep time: If using spaghetti skewers: 15 mins / If using wooden skewers: 5 mins
Cook time: 20-25 mins.
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2) Chop your veg into kebab size chunks.
3) Take 2 pieces of spaghetti and begin carefully threading the veg and meatballs along it in your order of preference. Be sure to leave a little spaghetti showing at one end as these will be the caterpillar’s ‘feelers’. Once complete place the caterpillars into an oven proof saucepan (I placed mine straight onto a plate to take a picture and then had to transfer them. Not easy!).
NB: If you have trouble threading the ingredients then try piercing them first with a shorter piece of spaghetti and use the hole that you have created as a pilot hole when threading onto the longer piece of spaghetti. see below.
Once you have threaded all of your ingredients you should end up with something that looks like this:
|In hindsight I should have just put these straight into the pan so I didn’t have to keep transferring them!
4) Now that you have your caterpillars in the pan pour over enough chicken stock to cover them. Simmer for 4 mins. This will allow the spaghetti to soften. (If using skewers you can skip this stage and go straight to stage 6)
5) Pour the stock away into a separate saucepan (this will be used to cook the remaining pasta later).
6) Drizzle over the olive oil and throw any left over veg/meatballs into the pan too. I cooked my whole pack of meatballs, but of course you can always save yours for another yummy recipe. Place the pan in the oven for approx 20 mins or until the meatballs are golden and the veg is nice and soft.
7) While the meatballs are cooking. Cook your choice of pasta in the left over chicken stock and heat your tin of chopped tomatoes in a pan. Once the tomatoes are simmering, add a teaspoon of mixed herbs and allow to cook for 20 mins or until reduced.
8) Dish up your pasta, with a dollop of the tomato sauce in the middle. Add a little teaspoon of pesto (optional leaf for the caterpillar to munch on). Carefully place your caterpillar on top of the cooked pasta and sauce so that it’s head is placed on the pesto.
9) There you have it! A hungry caterpillar munching on a leaf!
|Check out his little feelers!
My boys agreed that it was very yummy indeed!
|Oscar, Lucas and Harry with their mouths full
|Harry seeing how much he can ram in
|Harry trying to work out how his meatballs and veg were stuck together
We then carried on the theme and went on to read a book about caterpillars and butterflies for their bedtime story.
This post is an entry for BritMums’ Hungry to Happy Challenge sponsored by Richmond Mini Meatballs” http://wp.me/p3bVJd-5wB