October 2, 2012
You know how much I love cooking with my kid’s right?
Recently, I let my newly turned 8 year old take the lead on making dinner. She had been in and out of the pool all day, but whenever they opportunity arises to get busy in the kitchen that girl is on it :)
She settled on Ree Drummonds "Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks". We had recently watched the episode "Eating for One" on The Food Network(the one where Ree is home alone for the weekend and gets to cook up her favorites). While watching the episode, my daughter, Samantha, proclaimed that she wanted to make the pasta...all the while making lip-smacking-sounds lol! I was right there with her! The pasta, the bruschetta and the Gazpacho on that Ree cooked up on that episode left me drooling!
When I told Samantha she could make the whole dinner (except drain the pasta) by herself...she was crazy excited.
The way I see it, if we don't limit our kids in the kitchen, they will soon learn that they really can create anything (this goes for everything in life too)! All we have to do is put guidelines around it, teach safety, planning, organization, etc and in no time...we may be the ones sitting on the couch while the kids prepare dinner!! But really, it's an incredible life skill to be taught...right? We teach them to walk, talk, dress themselves, ride a bike so why not a great foundation on feeding themselves.
This was de-lic-ious!! All 4 of us loved it and it sure will become a new staple around here...after all I have a helper who already knows just how to whip this up!!
I showed Samantha how to chop using a chef’s knife...she did such a good job!
Isn’t it funny how kids can think, so smart and fast sometimes...as I was showing her how to peel and mince garlic with a chef’s knife, but was stressing how important it was that she have the sharp edge pointed away...she almost instantly opened our kitchen tool drawer, pulled out a pie cutter and said "I can use this...it's safer and works the same” I was left standing there speechless! Love that girl!
Here is Ree's recipe below...we stuck to that with the exception of adding 4 strips crispy crumbled up bacon (something my daughter thought her bacon-loving brother and father would enjoy>
Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta
-Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman
12 ounces, weight Pasta, Cooked Al Dente
Reserved Pasta Water, If Needed
3 ounces, weight Chopped Pancetta
3 whole Leeks, Sliced Thin
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
Parmesan Cheese, Shaved
Cook pasta and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Saute chopped pancetta until fat is rendered and it starts to brown. Add sliced leeks and cook for 8 minutes. When you add the leeks, you can also throw in a pat or two of butter if you want to. This’ll give the dish some scrumptious flavor. I add it after the bacon is browned because I don’t want the butter to brown. After 8 to 10 minutes, pour in wine, then cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until reduced. Reduce heat to low, then pour in cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Parmesan shavings. Toss in pasta, adding a little pasta water to thin as needed. Serve with Parmesan shavings over-top.