Molly isn’t the only one in our household that absolutely adores this dish. My husband gobbles it up in a flash and almost always asks for seconds.
It’s designed as a finger food alternative to meatballs. Molly has been fiercely independent when it comes to feeding herself right from the start so I came up with the idea for these when I was searching for easy finger foods to make.
The sauce is super tasty and quick to prepare and the fingers are soft enough that even without teeth Molly was able to suck away on them and still get off bits of meat. They also have hidden veggies in the fingers which is always a winner when it comes to kids.
A little warning though; if you’re giving this to your kids sans cutlery this does get messy. Molly likes to spread tomato sauce all over her face and invariably it generally ends up getting on me and the floor as well. Thankfully, we have a trusty chocolate labrador who likes to hover around Molly’s highchair and clean up any bits she drops.
But if you’re worried about mess on yourself, maybe don’t wear your evening gown at the table on the night these are served for dinner.
Or wear a raincoat *insert joking face*.
1. Wash and grate the zucchini and carrot on the small grater setting (the one you normally use for Parmesan cheese). I normally leave the skin on the carrot for extra nutrients and just give it a good wash beforehand.
2. Combine mince, one teaspoon of garlic, oregano carrot and zucchini in a bowl and use your fingers to mix together.
3. Shape handfuls of mince into sausage shape sticks that your baby can easily hold in their hand.
4. Place meat fingers on a plate and put in the fridge for at least half an hour to rest (this is really important as it ensures the fingers don’t fall apart when cooking.
5. While the fingers are resting in the fridge combine passata, tomatoes, remaining garlic and tomato paste in a large saucepan (I use a Le Crusset) and warm on low heat.
6. After the fingers have rested, cook them in a non-stick pan on medium heat until they are browned on both sides and almost cooked through.
7. Place fingers in the tomato mixture and cook on medium heat for around 15 minutes. I generally leave the lid on whilst cooking and take it off with around 5 minutes to go but if you want a thicker sauce, leave the lid off.
8. While the tomato mixture is cooking, place pasta in a saucepan of boiling water and cook until tender.
9. Drain pasta and place on a plate with meaty fingers and tomato sauce.
This makes between 18-24 fingers depending on how big you make them.
* I normally serve Molly two meaty fingers and a handful of pasta
*You wouldn’t think it but most cans of crushed or diced tomatoes actually have added salt in them. Look for the ones that specify no added salt as little baby and toddler kidneys can’t process that much of it so it can be quite bad for them to have a lot of hidden salt.
*This freezes really well or save some leftovers in the fridge for the next day’s lunch.
And this is how we get messy!
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