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They’re back! Les Petits Chefs do pasta, two ways

I can’t believe that we’re back in the kitchen science lab again for another round of Les Petits Chefs, my after-school cooking club for 9-11 year old boys.  I’m hosting two sessions of 6-8 weeks each this term between now and December so expect lots of great and kid-friendly (but not dumbed down) recipes!

This term we will once again be working with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook and this week, I chose two pasta recipes to show them just how versatile a few ingredients can be and how you can whip up a great meal in about a half an hour.  We made Classic Tomato Spaghetti and Broccoli and Pesto Tagliatelle.

The “old boys” showed the new boys how it’s done as they chopped, grated and peeled the ingredients for each recipe. There was also much excitement as the boys got to use the Magic Bullet to make arugula and walnut pesto.

Seriously, maybe I should incorporate a bit of Magic Bulleting into my classes. The boys were SO excited!!!

And then we got cooking!

The boys took home not one but TWO great meals to share with their families.

Both pastas got a thumbs up from the boys, although Ritvik and Charles thought the “green one” was a  bit “tasteless”. Ok then. Next time we’re going big or going home with the garlic – I went easy on it and perhaps I should not have underestimated my petits chefs’ tastebuds!  I was pleased to show them that we could make two really solid dishes with just 60 minutes and limited equipment and I, personally, will be making the “green one” again – love the addition of the potato slices – makes it creamy without having to add cream.

We’ll be taking a break next week as the boys will be on Outdoor Education camp but we’ll be back in two weeks.

Did you check out my first entry for Project Food Blog yet?


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32 Responses to They’re back! Les Petits Chefs do pasta, two ways

  1. Belinda @zomppa September 16, 2010 at 07:16 #

    Great job, guys! I’m super impressed!

  2. penny aka jeroxie September 16, 2010 at 07:50 #

    Hoot! I love reading this. Yay to kids cooking.

  3. Shea M. @ Blissfully Unrefined September 16, 2010 at 09:01 #

    I heart my Magic Bullet – I miss it so much! And it’s so kid-friendly. I can’t wait to read more about this newest set of Petit Chefs :D

  4. Daniel@CocinaSavant September 16, 2010 at 09:07 #

    This cause makes me happy each time I see it. You are truly addressing the heart of the problem with teaching children how to cook. It not only informs them that much better food can be had at home than a cheap burger but also how much healthier it is. The individuals I am around, especially men, on a day to day basis have almost no knowledge of how to cook a wholesome meal. If they were shown as children the draw of instant food would diminish. Because, as you know a home cooked meal is so much more gratifying than one that is picked up or eaten out. Bravo to you and Jamie Oliver for being revolutionary foodies.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 18, 2010 at 08:33 #

      Yes I have to agree- the earlier kids are exposed to healthy home cooking, the more it is ingrained in them and becomes a habit. I think it’s so important.

  5. Mr. Neil September 16, 2010 at 09:15 #

    Hey, I didn’t see any meals come home to share with “this” family?

    - harumph -

  6. Lora September 16, 2010 at 09:32 #

    Wonderful! Both the class and the recipes.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 18, 2010 at 08:32 #

      Cheers – I really enjoy it and it’s great to be able to share that with my students!

  7. RavieNomNoms September 16, 2010 at 09:37 #

    Both look fantastic! I have been in SUCH a mood for broccoli lately though! Thanks for sharing the recipes, they are both fabulous!

  8. Daydreamer Desserts September 16, 2010 at 10:00 #

    Well done boys! Both pastas sound fantastic, but the broccoli pesto looks especially yummy!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 18, 2010 at 08:31 #

      Yes I was a fan of the broccoli one – even though it was “tasteless” – loved the potato in there!

  9. Conor @ HoldtheBeef September 16, 2010 at 11:25 #

    Hooray for the return of Les Petits Chefs!

    You know what is missing from the Magic Bullet (and their ilk) ads? Super excited cooking children! I would be way more impressed with the FlavorWave if there was a 10 year old making all those piles of pork chops with it. Probably best to keep the kids out of the Ab King Pro and Nads Hair Removal ads though.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 18, 2010 at 08:31 #

      Totally – these guys could recite the whole of the ad (most of them) – they should make their own!!

  10. K a b l o o e y September 16, 2010 at 13:05 #

    These recipes look marvelous and I want to try them both. I almost bit and bought a Magic Bullet the other day, but it looked so tiny and I had flashbacks of trying to make pesto in a blender. Are you a convert if it wasn’t for the kids? And what is a speed peeler? I am always amazed that you can teach, supervise kids with sharp objects, cook good food AND document the whole process with great photos. I made Karen’s turkey burgers with Mooch the other day and I managed one bad photo. Good burgers, though. (I must tell her.)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 18, 2010 at 08:30 #

      I actually am going to leave it at school because as a gadget, it’s NOT that useful…. But the kids love it! The speed peeler is one of those y-shaped ones that peel stuff well and fast. Love them. As a teacher I get good at multi-tasking hence the ability to do all of the above and document it!

  11. Kocinera September 16, 2010 at 19:13 #

    Both of those dishes look so yummy! Can I come join your class? Please? :D

    Oh, and I have to say a “Yay!” for the Magic Bullet. That thing is amazing!

  12. make my day September 17, 2010 at 08:41 #

    oh..this i have to show to my 14 year old son…can’t wait to get him in the kitchen but wasn’t sure how or when to give the reigns over…ie; it’s my kitchen and I have to get dinner done quickly blah blah blah!
    i’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. cheers Kari

  13. K a b l o o e y September 17, 2010 at 09:29 #

    Mardi (and those that celebrate her existence — wow, she’s not going to like that): the artwork inspired by your BlogHer voices of the year winning post is up for auction here:
    http://www.blogher.com/good-food-takes-time-kate-inglis-inspired-graine-de-macarons-mardi-eat-live-travel-write
    Thought you might want to see it.

  14. A Canadian Foodie September 17, 2010 at 13:49 #

    Bravo, Students!
    Great work and both look YUMMY!
    Valerie

  15. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction September 17, 2010 at 20:13 #

    Yay! So glad to see Les Petits Chefs are back… Always enjoy these posts. Those pastas look lovely.

  16. Anna Johnston September 17, 2010 at 21:00 #

    What a cool idea, & great job to you all. Jamie Olivers dishes are excellent for this sort of project, imagine the great cooks they’ll grow up to be.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 18, 2010 at 08:23 #

      Yes I love that they are not “dumbed down” – I don’t see why kids shouldn’t start with real recipes right away…

  17. Corinne @ Gourmantic September 21, 2010 at 00:13 #

    What a way to get them to eat broccoli! Well done :)

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