5-minute frozen pea pasta

Little pasta shapes, like alphabetti or orzo, cook in minutes and are very easy for little kids to pour, stir up - and eat. This recipe uses ingredients that, nine times out of ten, you'll have knocking around in the fridge and freezer - a knob of cheese, a lone carrot, frozen peas. It's a proper get-out-of-jail meal for when you're low on groceries and the kids have just got home from school starving. Rough measuring in an old tin makes life easier - no need for scales. 

Serves 2-3 children 

250g alphabetti or orzo (or measure 1 tin can)
a handful of frozen peas (a quarter tin can)
1 carrot, diced
a knob of cheddar or Parmesan 

Takes 5 minutes

1. Boil the kettle while you put the pasta and veggies in a small pan. Just cover with boiling water, stir and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes (or following packet instructions).

2. Meanwhile, grate the cheese (box graters like this one are easy for small hands or try a rotary grater).

3. Drain any remaining water from the pasta, stir in the cheese and serve. Babies like this too - and it freezes well in individual baby portion plastic pots. Just thaw in the fridge then reheat thoroughly.