Small children love to pick up and eat pasta.  It’s such an easy finger food for toddlers once their pincer grip has been fine tuned.   They will also enjoy picking up (and potentially squishing!) the lovely soft pumpkin. This recipe will make enough for a few servings, and it will freeze well for a short period of time (add the cheese when it’s been heated for serving).


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 cup pumpkin, diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked penne pasta
  • Grated cheese for sprinkling


  1. Cover pumpkin with water and bring to a simmer.  Cook gently until soft, but not mushy.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon pasta water.
  3. Melt butter in a frypan over medium heat until lightly browned. Add olive oil, sage and garlic.  Cook for 1 minute.  Stir in cooked, drained pumpkin and pepper.  Cook 2 more minutes.
  4. Add reserved pasta water and drained pasta, sprinkle with cheese and stir all together well. Cool until it is safe for your child to touch, then serve.

Fun additions to try:

  • Fry sliced mushrooms with the garlic and sage
  • Try different herbs in place of the sage
  • Use different shapes of pasta, especially as your child is learning to use a fork – different shapes can be fun to try and spear!
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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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