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Donna Hay: Recipes even kids will love

Donna Hay: Recipes even kids will love

Donna Hay

Donna Hay shares three of her newest recipes that’ll satisfy even the fussiest of little eaters

Words Katy Gillet

Recipes Donna Hay

Photography Chris Court, William Meppem 2017

Donna Hay

Australia’s favourite cookbook author, Donna Hay, has a knack for taking basic ingredients and turning them into brilliant dishes. And her new book, Basics to Brilliance Kids, is proof of that. She’s created more than 200 beautiful pages of internationally inspired recipes that work for every family occasion. We try out three of them…

Mean Green Pesto

Serves 4-6

Donna Hay

Ingredients

• 2 small heads broccoli (500g), roughly chopped
• 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
• 375g orecchiette (or your favourite pasta)
• 1/3 cup (45g) slivered almonds or pine nuts
• 1 ½ cups basil leaves
• 1 cup mint leaves (a fresh twist)
• 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
• ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
• 1 cup (80g) finely grated parmesan
• sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions

• Place the broccoli in a food processor and pulse until it resembles grains of rice (try 5 bursts of 3 seconds each).
• Place half the oil in a large, deep-sided, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring with a spatula, for 3-4 minutes or until it’s almost soft but still bright green. Remove from the heat.
• Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water, stirring once with a spatula, for 8-10 minutes or until just soft.
• Place the almonds, basil, mint, parsley, lemon rind and juice, the parmesan and the remaining oil in the food processor and process into a rough paste. Pour it into the pan with the broccoli, scraping the sides with a spatula.
• Carefully reserve ½ cup (125ml) of the pasta’s cooking liquid. Place a colander in the sink and, wearing oven gloves, pour in the pasta to drain. Place the hot pasta and the reserved liquid into the pan with the pesto. Place over low heat, add some salt and pepper and stir until heated through and combined.
• Divide the pasta between serving bowls and top with some extra parmesan to serve, if you like.

Ricotta & Zucchini Cannelloni

Serves: 4-6 people

Donna Hay

Ingredients

• 1½ cups (180g) frozen peas
• 2 eggs
• 1 ½ cups (360g) fresh firm ricotta
• 2 cups (50g) baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
• ¼ cup finely chopped mint

• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
• sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
• 3-4 courgettes, thinly sliced lengthways using a mandolin (you’ll need about 24 long slices)
• 2 cups (500ml) tomato purée (passata)
• ½ cup (50g) grated mozzarella

Directions

• Preheat oven to 180°C.
• Place the peas in a colander and rinse them under hot running water to thaw. Drain well and place in a big bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, roughly mash the peas. Crack the eggs on top and add the ricotta, spinach, mint, lemon • rind, salt and pepper. Mix well with a spatula.
• Place 1 heaped tablespoon of the pea mixture at one end of each slice of courgette. Roll up the slices to enclose the filling.
• Pour the purée into a 22cm x 30cm (2-litre-capacity) baking dish. Nestle the courgette rolls into the dish snugly. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through, then allow to cool a little before spooning onto serving plates.

Chocolate Peanut Slices

Makes 20

Donna Hay

Ingredients

• 20 soft fresh dates (400g), pitted
• 1/3 cup (95g) natural smooth peanut butter
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (always yum)
• ½ cup (70g) roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
• 80g raw cacao chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
• 1 cup (15g) puffed brown rice (crisp and puffy)

Directions

• Line a 10cm x 20cm loaf tin with non-stick baking paper, leaving 4cm of paper overhanging on the long sides (this will help you later!).
• Place the dates, peanut butter and vanilla in a food processor and process for 2-4 minutes or until the mixture turns into a paste. You might need to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula between pulses, just to make sure everything combines.
• Transfer the date mixture to a big bowl. Add the puffed rice and peanuts. Mix well with a spatula to combine.
• Press the mixture into the prepared tin, using the back of a spoon to help you smooth it (rub the spoon with a little oil if it’s a bit sticky). Pour the melted chocolate over the slice and spread it with the back of the spoon to coat. Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes or until set.
• Use the paper to help you lift the slice from the tin. Carefully heat a sharp knife under hot water, dry it, then cut the slice into squares (the hot knife cuts the fudgy slice more easily). Place them in the fridge until ready to eat.

Basics to Brilliance Kids by Donna Hay is published by Fourth Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins, £20;
HarperCollins


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