Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bento for Baby 46: Banana Bread and Pasta Carbonara

Baby Girl had some more leftovers to start off her week of bentos.  I made some pasta carbonara for dinner the night before using fresh farm eggs and summer squash from our CSA and whole wheat rotini.  We love pasta carbonara. It's not the lightest dish, but it is a crowd pleaser that can be made in less than half an hour.  After being at the beach all afternoon I needed a quick dinner before Baby Girl crashed!  After trying a few recipes over the years, this recipe from Gourmet Magazine is my favorite backbone to work from.  I use nice uncured bacon from Earth Fare in place of pancetta, and I often add squash or peas to the mix.  If it's peas, I add frozen peas to the onions right before the wine and let them simmer with the onions.  If it's squash, I slice it thinly then add it right after the onions have softened and saute it for a bit before adding the wine.  Sometimes we get squash blossoms with the CSA and I'll throw those in too.  They're best lightly cooked so I'll cut them into strips and mix them into the hot onion/wine mixture before combining everything.  They add a lovely floral flavor to the dish.  I love this dish with the classic spaghetti, but larger pasta shapes are easier for Baby Girl to eat, and the final stirring to cook the egg into a lovely creamy sauce is a lot easier with shapes than spaghetti.  It's an arm work out with spaghetti.  I make this in my enameled cast iron pot, which retains a lot of heat, alleviating any worries I have about uncooked eggs.  I often move the pot back to the still-warm burner if the sauce looks a little thin.  Be careful not to scramble the egg, though!

Anywhoo, back to the bento. . .I put some pasta for Baby Girl into a 4 ounce glass canning jar so it could be warmed in the microwave.  I packed the rest of her food for the day in the medium sized container from the Kids Konserve Nesting Trio.  For morning snack and the rest of her lunch she had a slice of whole wheat banana bread from the freezer, two sunbutter oatmeal balls, half of a spinach cake from the freezer (she ate the other half with dinner the night before), some sugar snap peas and a strawberry.

Items used to pack this bento:

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