Following the success of The Silver Spoon (the most influential and successful Italian cookbook of the last 50 years) a special edition adapted especially for children presents authentic, quick, wholesome and easy-to-make Italian recipes that kids will love to help cook and eat. Guaranteed to appeal to the fussiest of children, these delicious dishes also make wonderful winter warmers that the entire family will adore. Buon appetito!

 Tagliatelle with Cream, Peas and Ham

This is a delicious sauce for fresh tagliatelle, but it’s also just as good with dried tagliatelle. This recipe shows how Italians like to eat their pasta sauce – just enough to coat the pasta, not a great big pile of sauce on top!

Tip – If you like the flavour of garlic, you could add a crushed garlic clove to the pan with the onion in step two.

Serves 4

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes


400 g fresh or dried tagliatelle
1 onion or 2 spring onions
10 g butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
200 g shelled fresh peas (or frozen peas if you don’t have fresh)
2 slices cooked ham
100 ml double cream
40 g Parmesan cheese

Step 1
Chop the onion or spring onions. Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over a low heat (the butter adds flavour and the oil keeps it from burning). Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until really soft. Stir every now and then with a wooden spoon.

Step 2
Add the peas, stir to coat them in the buttery juices and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then with a wooden spoon. Using kitchen scissors, snip the ham into small pieces.

Step 3
Add the cream to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the ham.

Step 4

Three-quarters fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the fresh tagliatelle and cook for 3–4 minutes until the pasta is just cooked. It should be soft and not taste ‘raw’. If you are using dried pasta, follow the cooking instructions on the packet. Ask an adult to help you drain the pasta in a colander and put it back into the empty pan.

Step 5

Ladle the sauce over the pasta in the pan. Grate the Parmesan using the small holes on a grater and sprinkle over the pasta. Mix together and serve immediately!

Beans with Sausages

Beans and sausages are a classic combination, simple and delicious. In this recipe, you pour some apple juice in with the beans, which may sound a bit strange at first, but it makes for a really wonderful sweet sauce for the beans!

Serves 4

Preparation time 5 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes


8–12 good quality pork sausages (depending on how many you want to eat!)
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 fresh sage leaves
400 g tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
100 ml apple juice
Freshly ground black pepper

Step 1
Turn on the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Prick the sausages all over with a fork. Put into a heavy-based roasting dish, add the whole garlic cloves with the skin left on and the olive oil. Using oven gloves, put into the oven for 20 minutes. The sausages will turn lovely and brown as they cook in the roasting dish – this will help colour the beans and the gravy juice later.

Step 2
Put your oven gloves on and take the roasting dish out of the oven. Using tongs or a knife and fork, carefully turn the sausages over. The sausages will then go brown on the other side when they go back in the oven.

Step 3
Very carefully spoon out any spare fat that has collected in the bottom of the dish. Roughly tear the sage and add to the sausages with the tinned beans. Add the apple juice and stir.

Step 4
Wearing your oven gloves, put back into the oven for another 20 minutes until the beans are hot and slightly soft. Carefully stir everything with a wooden spoon, and add a little freshly ground black pepper. Serve with some fresh cooked green vegetables. If you like, you can serve the beans and sausages in a pretty dish, but it’s not necessary!

Banana Cream

To make this quick, easy and deliciously creamy dessert, you need really nice ripe bananas. This recipe makes a small amount of dessert for four people. You can always increase the quantities to make more!

Serves 4
Preparation time 5 minutes


2 ripe bananas, plus an extra banana to decorate (optional)
½ lemon
4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
8 tablespoons natural yogurt
4 teaspoons runny honey
A pinch of ground cinnamon

Step 1
Peel the 2 bananas and put the flesh into a bowl. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the bananas until smooth. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice over the bananas (use a squeezer to catch the pips) and mix with a fork.

Step 2
Add the mascarpone cheese and yogurt to the mashed banana and mix together, then swirl through the honey.

Step 3
Spoon into small serving dishes. If you like, you can put a few extra slices of banana on top to decorate. Sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon and serve.

The Silver Spoon for Children (10th Anniversary Edition), edited by Amanda Grant, published by Phaidon, HB £14.95. Available from

Nadia Duncan

Author: Nadia Duncan


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