Week nights are especially busy for my little family, if it's not science club on a Monday or swimming lessons on a Friday, then we are busy doing our reading and spellings in preparation for the school week. We had Leo's first parent's evening of the year last night, and I managed to work myself up about it. I know it's not the most conventional thing to work yourself up about, but it makes me nervous to think about what the teacher is going to say, because I am so used to hearing about his set backs and I go in prepared to hear all about what he can't do. After the unnecessary worry, it was nice to hear that although he wasn't where all the other children are, he's doing well, he's a joy to have in the classroom and she loves that he gives everything a try!
When we have nights like this where we will be running around into the evening, I always like to have a fuss free dinner ready to go when we get home. Last night we decided to cook a Lamb Mini Roast. I don't usually cook Lamb so I thought it would make a nice change. It can be difficult at times because Leo is such a fussy eater, and the mention of a roast dinner is enough for him to give me the evils.
With that in mind we decided to cook up an alternative kind of roast: A Lamb Mini Roast with Red Pesto Pasta. The recipe is from Red Tractor, who I am sure you are all familiar with. All Beef and Lamb carrying the Red Tractor logo can be traced back to the farms and the livestock that it came from. I like this as I rest easier knowing where my food has come from, and I like to know that I am feeding my family good quality meat.
The Red Tractor logo means that we know that the suppliers who are producing the Beef and Lamb meet comprehensive standards that cover hygiene, safety, environmental protection and animal welfare at each and every stage from the farm to our forks.
My partner and I love Pesto, and although Leo turns his nose up at Green Pesto (because apparently it's green and slimey), we thought that we might have a fighting chance with the Red Pesto. Not to mention the Mini Roast being disguised along with the pasta, one of Leo's staple foods in life. Before I go full steam ahead with this post, I should probably explain what Leo dislikes about a traditional roast, and that is the amount of vegetables that accompany it. Leo dislikes Carrots, Peas, Brussels Sprouts and just about any other veggie you might care to mention.
The joy about cooking up a Mini Roast is that it's quick and easy to prepare, you stick it in the oven and can go about getting other jobs done before you get swept away with the rest of the evening and Leo's bedtime creeps up on you.
I set the temperature for the oven, seasoned the meat and put it into bake. While dinner was being cooked with the most minimal intervention from myself. I set a timer on my phone for 40 minutes, took Leo upstairs for his bath, got him into his pajamas and then came back to the kitchen to prepare the ingredients for the pasta while the roast finished up.
I always use whole wheat pasta if I am cooking for myself, and I don't eat pasta very often these days, so this alone was a huge treat for me. I threw in pine nuts, chopped cherry tomatoes and a generous amount of spinach. The beauty of Spinach is that you can pretty much add an entire bag and it wilts down to nothing, it's packed full of Vitamins, Antioxidants and is a great source of vitamins A, B2, C and K.
Now I can get Leo to drink a green smoothie, but presenting it in his dinner is a first for me... Suffice to say he ate around that, the cherry tomatoes and the pine nuts. However he did eat the Pasta in the Red Pesto. He even gave the Lamb a try (thanks to it not looking like a conventional roast!), he did think it was Chicken though, that boy thinks everything is Chicken...
Daddy and I made up a smaller plate for Leo, and between the 3 of us we ate the entire Mini Roast. I would say it could easily feed 4 people (2 adults, 2 Children), and it was absolutely delicious. Luke even went as far to say that it was one of the best Lamb Roasts that he has ever eaten (which I am going to take as a compliment as that man loves a roast dinner!).
I am taking this meal as a win, a big family win!
For everything you need to know about beef and lamb, more recipe ideas and information about Red Tractor beef and lamb, please visit www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk
Lamb Mini Roast with Red Pesto
Serves 2-3Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 35-40 minutes (for medium)Ingredients:1 x 400-450g/14oz-1lb lean lamb mini roastSalt and freshly milled black pepper15-30ml/1-2tbsp prepared red pesto
For the Pasta:
175g/6oz pasta shapes
30ml/2tbsp prepared red pesto
100g/4oz cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful baby spinach leaves
25g/1oz pinenuts, toasted
Freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to Gas mark -5, 190°C, 375°F.
- Place the mini roast joint on a chopping board and make several slits over the surface and season. Spread with the prepared pesto.
- Transfer to a foil-lined metal rack in a roasting tin and roast and roast for 35-40 minutes. Cover with foil if browning too quickly.
- Transfer the lamb to a warm plate; lightly cover with foil and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes, 20 minutes if time allows.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and return the pasta to the pan. Add the remaining pasta ingredients.
- Slice the lamb and serve with the pasta.