Now I know what you're thinking FTY readers... Nancy never takes food pictures along side cookbooks??? (ok maybe that didn't warrant three whole question marks butttt). You know, this time I thought this recipe needed to be taken along side a really great cookbook that caters to kids tastebuds. As a mom of a little toddler, I can tell you first hand that most kids need to develop their tastebuds slowly. Let's face it, eating is an art, it takes time to try different types of foods and it equally takes time to appreciate things that you put into your mouth. I found this book, Top 100 Finger Foods by: Annabel Karmel to be a great inspiration for me. She put simple and tasty recipes into the book that can cater to the kid in all of us. Here is a simple tomato sauce from the book, that she says could be used as a dipper for her arancini recipe or used as a topper for pizzas. I like to simply serve it with small ditali pastas, that are really great for little mouths. I will say here, if you're a new parent and don't know what to make for your kids - go buy this book! This has great ideas for party eats too. Enjoy!

Adapted from the "Quick Tomato Sauce" recipe in the Top 100 Finger Foods cookbook. By: Annabel Karmel. (Copyright 2009).

Serves 3-4 (child portions)

  • small pkg of ditali pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 (14-oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • salt and pepper, to season

1. Put on a large pot of boiling water and add in a little salt to season the pasta itself. Follow the package instructions and cook the pasta to desired doneness; drain and leave aside for now. If serving the pasta to a little toddler I suggest cooking the pasta past al dente. Those little teeth cannot crunch those pasta pieces too easily.

2. In a large shallow skillet, heat the oil on medium high heat. Add in the diced shallots and garlic, and saute for about 2 minutes. Make sure to stir constantly.

3. Add in the remaining ingredients and bring it all to a boil. Squash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Keep the sauce at the same temp for a good 15 minutes, making sure to stir frequently. The sauce should eventually come together and have a thick consistency.

4. Add the cooked pasta into the sauce and cook the pasta with sauce on medium heat. Once the pasta has heated through, turn the heat off and serve warm. Make sure to cool the pasta a bit longer for the little ones!

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